Science, Technology, Arts, Math

Local Group Forging Path for a New Regional Science Center – Science Galaxy

Bringing a Galaxy of Experiences to the Colorado Front Range

explore the galaxy of hands-on science

Science Galaxy will bring experiential opportunities to children of all ages.

A grass-roots organization is working across the Colorado Front Range to create the coolest science and tech center in the region – the Science Galaxy Museum.   The group started small but has been gaining steam (…pun intended).   The team consists of scientists, educators, philanthropists and other community members who come from a wide variety of backgrounds – all of whom care about a common theme, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).

Why does the Front Range need a science center?

In a time when our region lacks a sufficiently educated workforce to fill our rapidly expanding technology sector, Science Galaxy will empower a new generation of science and technology innovators.  The science center’s focus of creating opportunities for people of all ages to explore open-ended activities covering a broad range of STEAM topics is shown to boost achievement in STEAM-related careers.

What is the vision for Science Galaxy?

Science Galaxy is a collaborative center that fosters educational partnerships with area schools, research institutions, tech

galaxy, explore, STEM, girls

Robotics, biology, arts – you name it, Science Galaxy will provide access

nology businesses, and existing non-profit science education groups.  The founding committee envisions Science Galaxy as a community resource where everyone can explore science and innovation in an interactive way.  Think of it as a destination for interactive science experiences.

What sets Science Galaxy apart?

Just look around you.  Colorado is an amazing region, and Boulder County specifically is full of accomplished scientists, techies, and entrepreneurs.  Science Galaxy is creating a place to showcase our area’s achievements and encourage curiosity for the world around us.

Who is Science Galaxy for?

In short…everyone!  The team wants to encourage not just students, but all visitors to open their minds to the possibilities. In fact, core to the Center’s mission will be outreach to encourage people of all backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, etc. to explore what STEAM has to offer.  Broad access is essential to feeding curious minds.

Will it ever really happen?

The team is really excited about the overwhelming positive response they’ve received from the community.  We recently released an online survey (still in progress, you can respond here), and the clear message is that the region will welcome a science center with open arms!

Science, Technology, Arts, Math, Making, Engineering

Science Galaxy will feature all ranges of science and technology.

“The process of a “start-up” museum is an amazing learning experience.  Every community member we meet with teaches us something new and helps us move this monumental project forward, which is extremely rewarding,” commented Kristin Lawrence, one of the leaders of the Science Galaxy effort.

What’s the next step?

The team is asking for help to build a new Science Center here in Boulder County.  “It’s important to us,” said, Lawrence, “that this center is built with the greater community at the center of the design.  To that end, we are actively seeking input through a variety of tools, including the online survey.”

The team is also looking for appropriate property, talking with local businesses and practitioners to learn more about what should be included in an experiential museum, and seeking funding to support construction and staffing for the effort.

People who complete the survey can elect to be entered into a drawing to win gift cards to local shops or a brand new Spark Sphero.  You can also let the Science Galaxy team know that you’re interested in helping when you complete the survey.

To take the survey, click the link below or copy and paste it into a Web browser.

https://sciencegalaxy.typeform.com/to/p8peT3

To learn more about Science Galaxy: www.sciencegalaxy.org

Four Reasons Women Aren’t Succeeding in STEM

In the past few years there has been a significant push to encourage women and girls to pursue careers in STEM.  From White House initiatives to non-profits, it seems like closing the gender gap is finally becoming a national priority.

And rightly so, according to the Economics & Statistics Administration women make up nearly half of all jobs in the U.S. economy but only about 25 percent of STEM jobs.  This remains consistent, even as more college-educated women enter the workforce.  In fact, the number of women in computer science has actually decreased since 1991.

Women in STEM earn about 33 percent more than women in non-STEM jobs.  The gender wage gap in STEM is significantly smaller than in other fields.  So why aren’t more women succeeding in STEM?

The Harvard Business Review highlighted four biases that are keeping women out.  Through in-depth interviews with 60 female scientists and a survey of 557 female scientists, researchers think they are closing in on the problem.

Pressure to Prove Yourself 

Of those surveyed, two-thirds reported a significant pressure to prove themselves in the workplace over and over again.  This phenomena has been the subject of social psychology, but this is the first instance of real women confirming this as their experience.

Masculine vs Feminine

Women in the workplace are forced to inhabit a duality — behave in masculine ways to appear competent while acting feminine to be likable.  Of those surveyed, more than a third said they feel pressure to act “feminine” to be likable.  Around half of the women said they have received backlash for exhibiting traditionally masculine behaviors, like being direct, decisive and outspoken.

Starting a Family

Nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed said their professional lives changes drastically after having children.  Not because of the added responsibly of starting a family, but rather because of how their colleagues began to view them.  Women with kids found their commitment and competency coming into question.  Co-workers and managers began assuming they would lose their passion and drive after having children.

The “Woman’s Spot”

Discrimination in the workplace is also turning some women against each other.  Studies show that woman who have dealt with adversity and discrimination often avoid professional relationships with other women.  Many woman report feeling they are competing for “the woman’s spot” in organizations that are mostly male.

Initiatives to close the gender gap often focus on building the STEM pipeline or point fingers at personal choices, but if this study is any indicator, the real problem is actually gender bias.

So the real questions is: how do we make sure women are being accepted in the STEM community and workplace?

Sources:

http://www.esa.doc.gov/reports/women-stem-gender-gap-innovation

https://hbr.org/2015/03/the-5-biases-pushing-women-out-of-stem

Alexa Chrisbacher is the Director of Public Relations at Stem Match, a social media platform for the STEM community.  She is also pursuing an MFA at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  Connect with Alexa at stemmatch.net.

Meet a Maker: Arieann with Kitables

Arieann has a long standing passion for taking ideas and running with them. Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Cell Science and a minor and Chemistry, she spent the next five years wandering the world of academic research, before starting a company of her own. She is now Founder/CEO of Kitables and Executive Director of Spark Boulder. A fan of perpetual learning and exploration, as well as an entrepreneur by nature, she loves building whether that’s an actual project, a company, or helping strengthen the amazing entrepreneurial community of Boulder.

What do you make?
I make companies and communities, and I used to get to do cool chemistry side projects but not for a while… (running 2 companies doesn’t leave a lot of r IMG_8056oom for tinkering.)

How did you get started making and why?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a builder. Although I was never a ”let’s take the remote apart” kinda kid. I was more “ok I have 2 pieces of plywood, an ice cube, and a piece of broccoli” I’m just gonna build something kind of kid. I cleared a 3rd grade class because I refused to read the directions on my chemistry kit and just threw some stuff together that started smoking and the teacher freaked out.

The “why” actually has a lot to do with my upbringing. My father was a fixer and a contractor professionally and my mother was very into crafts so I grew up thinking that’s just how things were done. Also I was a massively independent person from a young age and you learn how to get “it” done when you are like that.

What part of STEAM Fest are you most excited for?
Showing off Kitables new offerings, we’ve got a really cool kit coming out!

What will you be demo’ing, hacking, making, playing with at your STEAM Fest booth?

Our Kits:
Including the repeat appearance Rubiks cube solving robot kit the RubiSolver. Our new Bismuth Crystal kit and our newest offering the Mini Origami Quad Copter! It’s the cutest coolest thing you have ever seen!

What’s the most amazing, unusual (craziest) Rubisolver-wood-1-e1437500319344thing anyone has ever done with or told you about what you make?

Someone wanted me to make them a life size sword out of aerogel, they were being dead serious. I started specking out what it would take but it was crazy expensive to build the machine. But I would have built it, given the money.

What is your advice to creators looking to do what you do or make what you make?
Never stop moving or learning, complacency is the death of everything. Also Boulder’s entrepreneurial community is unique and we have a “Give First” mentality. This town is crazy welcoming as long as you contribute. Funny story – Mary Anne the co-founder of Maker Boulder was the first person to get me started on my networking journey. We had coffee one morning during my first Kickstarter campaign she told me about the give first thing and I was like how do I give back I know nothing right now, she simply replied “your time.” So my advice would be to go out there and help and it comes back 10 fold, even if you think you have nothing but your time to give!

What is your favorite part about the maker movement?
The people, I know that sounds really corny but it’s true. The fact that a community like this exists is amazing to me. Makers are everywhere from your backyard auto-enthusiast to leading technology entrepreneurs. Makers love to build, they are creatives, the movers and shakers of our generation seeing opportunity where others see none. It is for these reasons the world needs more of them, and I am proud to call myself one.

Where do you see your making going in the next 3 to 5 years?
I hope to make Kitables a national household name, and really help empower the maker movement, both for those looking to do projects and the project creators. As far as Spark I hope to solidify our position as the one stop shop for young entrepreneurial talent and expand what young people think of when they hear the word entrepreneurship, it’s not just tech (although tech is awesome).

What do you wish you could make but don’t know how to (yet)?
The Forbes 30 under 30 list
But in all seriousness.. I actually don’t know how to code at all, I hope to learn at least front end web dev from our class at Spark this fall.

Meet a Maker: RogueMaking

IMG_2002 My name is Tenaya Hurst and I am a Rogue Maker.  I teach sewing, soldering, and programming electronics all around the world.  It is my honor to help support the community of Boulder Colorado with this year’s STEAMfest.  I teach workshops in schools, libraries, scout troops, conferences, birthday parties, and more.  I have seen first hand the importance of STEAM and the maker movement to education.  When a child has a traditional learning experience with books, essays, presentations, and tests, it’s important to also incorporate some hands on learning.  STEAM is a way to constantly keep these important subjects present in the minds of the students.  But why?

Team work.  When we make, we learn how to work in a group.  Make your ideas heard, listen to2015-07-07 10.59.20 your teammates, and collaborate to the best creation.  These are essential skills I missed in school.  Whenever a group project was announced, I dreaded it because I was conditioned that only my individual merits mattered.  Now that I’m in the maker movement and see the intelligent advancement of kids half my age, I see how those team efforts really pay off in creating more prepared people for our society.  Even if a child becomes a lawyer or a doctor instead of an engineer or designer, that’s okay by me!  The experience of creating an Arduino robot, sewing an electronic circuit, prototyping with paper circuits, or mastering the art of soldering – makes you a better person!  You learn that failure is just part of the process instead of a devastating end to your creativity.

My favorite activity to teach is wearable technology, sewing with conductive thread.  I find it is the best activity to combine everything in STEAM.

Science – we’re learning about eleRedPinkctricity!

Technology – we’re learning that Lilypad Arduino and other hardware can be sewn into clothing and circuits can be created to help our daily lives and join the Internet of Things movement.

Engineering – there’s a lot of planning to make sure your circuit functions reliably and testing to try to find failures and solve them.

Art – the overall design and intention of a wearable tech project is the ultimate artistic expression because we’re going to wear it!

And Math….  I definitely wanted to incorporate math, but wasn’t sure how…and then I started using different colors of LEDs and discovered forward voltage!  My students examine the data sheets of the Lilypad LEDs and compare the values.  We can then calculate how much voltage (how many batteries) we’ll need to illuminate our desired combination of LEDs.  I could make it easy on my students and always give out white LEDs, but it’s so much more fun to allow a struggle and give them an electrical/math equation as the solution to find…the solution!BearFaceButterflyProject

My grandpa grew up in the great depression.  From an early age, he was fascinated with the way the world worked and emerging technologies.  He found wires in the streets of Chicago (from the first installation of electricity), took any small jobs he could around he neighborhood to learn skills, installed a doorbell at his house, accepted hand-me down tools, started a photography lab in his basement and even accepted a broken printing press to fix and use.  He didn’t let his economic status hold him back from making.  With the materials, kits, microcontrollers, and resources available today at relatively low cost, he would be proud that America is going back to a state of empowerment, WE can make things ourselves; we have value in our individual and collective innovation.  My grandpa eventually achieved a degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern and was awarded both Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu.  He is my hero and I hope he’ d be proud of me, bringing electrical engineering to students in a new and emerging way with wearable technology.


@TenayaHurst
Phi Beta Kappa

Meet a Maker: Cooper with Outchasers

Meet Cooper with Outchasers! We’re so unbelievably excited to have the opportunity to play the Outchasers card game at Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest!

iLMsLBUk_400x400My name is Cooper Heinrichs. I’m currently a computer science student at CSU. I’m working on starting my own game development studio with our first game Outchasers, where players get to battle each other with giant robots.

What do you make?

I make games, specifically strategy card games right now.

How did you get started making and why?

Game development has been a passion of mine for my whole life. I kept applying for jobs and getting denied. I got tired of waiting for someone to let me do it, and decided to just do it! After I had made up my mind,

I found a good friend to work with and the rest haIMG_4733s been nothing but hard work and a dream coming true.

What part of STEAM Fest are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to show off what I’ve made, and see all of the amazing things other makers have brought.

What will you be demo’ing, hacking, making, playing with at your STEAM Fest booth?

I’m going to be demoing my card game Outchasers at my STEAM Fest booth. I’m going to give people the opportunity to get into a giant robot and beat their friends up, metaphorically at least!

What’s the most amazing, unusual (craziest) thing anyone has ever done with or told you about what you make?

I really love to see people get into a game design mindset when they play my game. I’ve been working on it for two years, and everyone is always willing to give advice, but I enjoy it most when they come up with a fun way to play that is outside of our rules. I feel like I’ve made a playground and now people just get to enjoy it however they choose.

IMG_5043What is your advice to creators looking to do what you do or make what you make?

My advice to creators who are looking to get going is just that – get going! Every little step you can make will get you closer to your dream, but you have to take one step at a time and keep pushing. That leads me to my favorite lyric by Hey Rosetta – “It’s just a dream until you see it happening.”

What is your favorite part about the maker movement?

My favorite part of the movement is the empowerment. Makers don’t sit back and wait for someone to solve their problems, they get innovative and make their own solution.

Where do you see your making going in the next 3 to 5 years?

I see myself moving into a digital space so that I can reach a broader market and shed some of the limitations that physicals goods force upon us. I know our game will be even more fun once it’s created in a digital space.

What do you wish you could make but don’t know how to (yet)?

I always admire makers who can work with electronics. I haven’t had time to learn, but I am always so impressed by what those guys and gals can make!

Meet A Maker: Pinshape

Pinshape is offering a 20% discount on 3D models to MakerBoulder fans! Just use the code “boulder”. Oh and hey, if you sign up for a new account or already have an account, Pinshape started a deals page for their Community that gives 5-25% off of 3D Printing Accessories – https://pinshape.com/deals

What does Pi3D-Community-Team-Pinshapenshape do?

Pinshape is the next generation 3D Printing Community & Marketplace for brands, designers and makers. Our community helps make 3D printing easier and more fun. We help brands and amazing 3D designers bring their 3D printable digital products to customers worldwide while respecting their Intellectual Property.

Who is your target customer?

Pinshape is a community for anyone who makes, designs, or prints 3D models. We work with global Brands and 3D designers to bring really innovative products to market. Most of our community members own 3D printers and use Pinshape to explore high quality models to print. We’re focused on Brands, companies, 3D Designers, 3D Engineers / Innovators, Makers, Hobbyists, & Teachers!

What is your most inspiring customer feedback?

“We’re working crazy hard to create the best experience possible for our community members to explore high quality models. We’re growing 150% month over month for the past 6 months! That’s the best customer feedback we can ever ask for. We have a lot of community on Pinshape and people really appreciate how much everyone engages with each other to help make 3D Design & Printing, easier and fun.” – Lucas Matheson CEO at Pinshape

Some of the most inspiring customer feedback has come on 3DPI where customers backed our platform in an article comparing us to Thingiverse. Read & Comment Here.Pinshape

Here is what our community is saying about Pinshape.com:

“This site has been very valuable to me and I am sure others will think so too. There are some great creative ideas available as well.”
“It’s an amazing way to spread out your work and find extremely useful parts”
“Because the community is awesome”
“A more user friendly site, with more usable search functions”
“Pinshape seems to have a tighter relationship with customers and designers”
“Reputable, quality models, good platform to launch from”
“for more serious 3D printing individuals, the value of observing settings and results enables the tuning and diagnostics of equipment in a way that isn’t really being engaged thoughtfully or rigorously by others“
“3D Designers use PinshapPinshape-3D-Community-Word-Cloude because of the transparency within the community and know that their designs are safe with them. Other websites have frustrated 3D Designers because of Intellectual Property disputes where Designers have lost the rights to their Designs.”

Where do you see your company in five years?

One of the most exciting things about 3D printing is the ability for people to customize and personalize digital products. The way consumers purchase products is about to change significantly. The next generation of consumers will explore models online, easily customize them, click a few buttons and have a unique product(s) 3D printed and shipped the same day.

Pinshape is building a new way for brands and customers to create products and innovate. Our strategy is to focus on bringing the best quality products to market and leveraging technology to make the experience as seamless as possible.

Why is Pinshape important and what will your customers get out of being members?

-The Best 3D Designers in the world use Pinshape
-Friendly Community with Expert Knowledge and Wisdom
-Thousands of 3D Designs to Browse, Print, and Share
-A ton of information and free resources to help with 3D Designing, 3D Printing, and everything in between.
-Free membership gets access to deals on 3D Printers, Filament, and Accessories; savings up to 25%
-Streaming Technology to keep your Designs and Intellectual Property Safe
-Contests are run frequently that encourage the community of designers, and engineers to create, and share their work with aim of winning awesome prizes like 3D Printers, Software, Filament, and gift cards.

What else do you want our readers to know?

We’re at the very beginning of a really exciting time! 3D printing is here and it’s growing everyday. If you’re passionate about design, or just love printing, you’re invited to join Pinshape; learn from the most experienced makers, hackers and designers and contribute to our ever-growing community.

We have a community-first approach so we value every insight that is provided and plan to keep making our 3D Printing Community and Marketplace a destination that appreciates Design, Creativity, and Innovation.

We feature a Designer on a monthly basis based on their work and involvement within the community. At Pinshape, we want to help Designers get their designs noticed as well as printed for free or sold to buyers who want to pay for specific designs. We are actively helping Designers become Entrepreneurs by provided them with the opportunity to put their product designs in front of a qualified audience as well as to educate them on best practices through educational resources and newsletters to make 3D printing as streamlined as possible

How did your company get started and why?Pinshape-Founders 2

Everyone at Pinshape has a passion for 3D printing and the future of the industry. We love seeing new products being designed and printed every day. For us, quality is King, and we want to build a community and platform that brings the best quality 3d content to market. We want to work with the most innovative companies, 3d designers, hackers, makers, hobbyists and teachers to create truly unique and inspiring digital products.

We got started because we saw a need to bring really amazing 3D content to the market. Without great content, 3D printing isn’t exciting! We went through the 500 Startups accelerator program in Silicon Valley, raised our initial seed round, hired an amazing team, and built what Pinshape is today.

What is your best advice to a young entrepreneur who wants to start a company like you?

My best advice is to ask for advice from really smart, really experienced, and really passionate entrepreneurs. Unlike a lot of industries, the startup community is full of ultra generous founders who will take time and help. If you want to get someone, find someone who’s been there before and ask them specific questions that will allow you to take actionable steps to building your company.

Meet a Maker: HyPars

denny and elliotMeet Denny, Isaac and Mitzi Newland, The startup team for HyPars LLC. We are two dads, a mom, a husband and wife team, a semi-retired nuclear engineer, a very retired customer service manager, a tech support specialist and soon, professional toymakers!isaac and mitzi

What do you make?

HyPars, the cool name for hyperbolic paraboloids. They are geometry based building toys that we hope the world will soon come to love.

How did you get started making and why?

Denny invented the toys and needed a lot of help getting them to market. Mitzi got involved with the technical writing and Isaac pitched in. We’ve just been taking on more roles as they come up. Turns out there are a lot of hats to wear.

bloom bouquetWhat’s the most amazing, unusual (craziest) thing anyone has ever done with or told you about what you make?

When Denny started, he thought he had put together every type of creation possible with HyPars. As soon as we showed them to new people, the ideas began flooding in! It’s great to see that everyone has amazing ideas and we’re happy to share in them. Mitzi’s favorite so far is the Helical Coil that a future geneticist made. Love it!

What is your advice to creators looking to do what you do or make what you make?

Perseverance is required

What is your favorite part about the maker movement?

Seeing the ideas that people have come to life firsthand!

Where do you see your making going in the next 3 to 5 years?twisted

Hopefully, we will be creating our toys in our brand new building in Longmont, Colorado. We’ve secured land just east of Sandstone Ranch and should be breaking ground on the building within the next year!

What do you wish you could make but don’t know how to (yet)?

Hyperbolic paraboloids do not always lend themselves to creating the exact shapes you want. We still haven’t found a good way to make a cube shaped box, but we’re working on it.

Bonus question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

The owners of Zometools! We’re huge fans.

Inventions we Love! Matrix Flare

We had so much fun at Denver Mini Maker Faire!  We saw tons of great new things, and met interesting people that are working on creative and wonder-inducing new inventions.

One of our favorites is Matrix Flare (and they’ve signed up to exhibit at the upcoming STEAM Fest – so be sure to join us and check them out!)

We interviewed Tasha Bingman and learned more about Matrix Flare.  We hope you’ll support her Kickstarter campaign.  We think you’ll be inspired by her story.

An idea is born
matrix.cubes

Matrix Flare cubes show off their creative animations and artwork created in the Pixel Maker App.

Tasha initially created this project for her 7 year old so he could learn about circuits, programming, graphical user interfaces (GUI), and still be able to create art quickly.  He enjoys it so much she thought it would be a fantastic Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) project.  After they’d created a couple of them, they realized that they were playing with the animations so much they figured others would enjoy them as well. Read more

Take a Kitables survey!

Have you ever seen an awesome project you wanted to do and then looked at the parts list and just thought “NOPE!”

Our friends at one of our favorite local start-ups, Kitables are trying to solve that problem by providing kits for projects you love right to your door. No more wasting time and money sourcing parts, thank goodness, that stuff takes for-ev-er and can be cray expensive.

But they need our help…

They are trying to make their products better for makers and would greatly appreciate it if you took a minute of your time to fill out this quick 9 question survey!

If you do you will be entered to win a Kitables Kit! (we’ve taken the survey 43 times already… just kidding, they won’t let us.)

Also if you would like to reach out to them directly with questions, suggestions, or just want to say hi email them at info@kitables.co

Got Law? If You’re an Entrepreneur, Talk to Modus

Law is a Rube Goldberg machine, designed to do seemingly simple tasks in the most complex and inefficient ways imaginable. This can be especially frustrating for entrepreneurs. You want to draw up your founding papers, write a contract, protect or divvy up intellectual property? It seems like it’s going to take 52 steps filled with fans blowing beach balls across ramps, which trips a mousetrap, which launches a paper airplane, which frightens a cat, which somehow magically means that your legal ducks are in a row.

That is, unless you head into the Spruce Street office for a chat with the people at Modus Law.

Read more