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Daily Camera Video of Boulder Mini Maker Faire!

How could we possibly express our gratitude to everyone who helped make this weekend’s Boulder Mini Maker Faire possible? The volunteers were astounding! And so were the makers, adult adventurers of the mind, parents and kids. Want to see what it was all about (or recap a FUN weekend?)? Check out this video from the Boulder Daily Camera!

Boulder Mini Maker Faire Day 1

Thank you SO MUCH to everybody who made Day 1 of the Boulder Mini Maker Faire so astoundingly great! We saw some really special things today, from a child who learned to use a cordless drill while building junk catapults with Mackintosh Academy, to strangers standing in line for a food truck who found they’re both doing ed-tech startups and decided to collaborate, to teachers who coded for the first time at Sparkfun’s Digital Sandbox workshop at the Innovation in Education Summit. What a day! And we can’t wait to see you all tomorrow (don’t worry, you’ll be home waaay before kickoff…)

Get Your Boulder Mini Maker Faire Program Here!

OMG, OMG, it’s really happening! Click the link to download your printable program for the Boulder Mini Maker Faire, 2015, or scroll and squint to discover all the goodies the Faire has to offer!

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Maker Mania #5: Seed.io, Boulder Public Library, Douglas County Schools, Zander Lander, Project Daffodil

The Faire is upon us, dear Boulderites, Boulderinos and various surrounding Boulderphillics! Or at least it will be upon us come Jan 31 – Feb 1 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. And that means MAKERS galore! Join us here in the next few weeks as we preview the awesomeness that will be at the core of the Faire.

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Build With 10,000 Keva Planks at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire!

Keva.CastleKeva planks seem simple: they’re 1/4-inch by 3/4-inch by 4 1/2-inch wooden blocks. But like Lego, from these unassuming pieces, wondrous creations arise. For example, take a look at Keva founder Ken Schel building this structure for Dreamworks to resemble the Shrek Castle. Look even closer and you’ll see that every piece is a simple, rectangular plank. There’s not a lot of complex rules here, just, “No glue, no connectors,” says Schel.

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Dancing LEDs Promise Merriment at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire!

Imagine with us the following holiday utopia – call it a holopia: You hang LED holiday lights on your house or tree or mother-in-law. You snap a picture with your phone. An app recognizes the distribution of bulbs. And now you can map anything you want onto this imperfect LED grid, from sound sync that pulses along with your thumping holiday tunes, to groovy smooth fades through the rainbow, to scrolling holiday messages, to – be still my beating heart! – a never-ending repeat of Nyan Cat!

That’s the promise of Jarrod Eliason’s Dancing LEDs. Among other projects, Jarrod programmed his home tree to sing along in Santa face to his family’s recording of “We wish you a maker Christmas and a hacker New Year” (above). In fact, this is more than a utopia — at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire, Jan 31-Feb 1 Jarrod will be in Colorado making this utopia a reality. Seriously: stop by the Dancing LEDs booth, download the free app, and you too can drive strings of LEDs as they and you make merriment for all.

“What we’re doing is taking any video or animated GIF, running it through a Windows program to turn it into a light sequence, and then remapping it from the video onto lights,” Eliason says.

He says the current prototype is based on a triangular display, because he didn’t have a good rectangular space on the side of his house. Eliason imagines cities leaving the displays up year-round and changing the colors based on the season. And plugging in a floor display of Dancing LEDs still in their boxes – customers download a free app and right there in the store can interact with the LEDs or project a picture of their face onto the display. And businesses using them to replace existing, four-sided LED displays.

For now, “It’s kind of in the beginning stages,” Eliason says. “I’ve got prototypes on my desk, developers working on the app. But we expect to have things to put in people’s hands in the next week.”

Eliason runs it with a Teensy board and once he gets schematics and code, he plans to open-source the whole thing. And he’s looking for comments, suggestions, tweaks and hacks. In other words: Makers needed!

 

Boulder Mini Maker Faire T-Shirt Design Contest!

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Maker Boulder T-shirt? Check. Boulder Mini Maker Faire T-shirt? HELP!

It’s time to unleash your inner maker, let your creative juices flow, and put pen to paper for the Maker Boulder T-Shirt Design Contest! We’ve got a Maker Boulder T-shirt (as modeled by MB’s own Mary Anne here), but we are immaculately devoid of a T-shirt for the upcoming Boulder Mini Maker Faire. You can help us change that. Are you a professional designer looking to feather your cap and get your name out there in the Boulder community? Or a mini maker with a penchant for penning? Or a concerned citizen affronted by the lack of maker imagery in Pearl Street fashion? Send us your design (see below)! The winning entry will be printed, indelibly inking your awesomeness for all to see, and we will use the full reach of our social media to spam the Boulder area with news of the winning designer.

Here’s the 411:

1. Use one color to draw something super cool that somehow includes the following information: Boulder Mini Maker Faire, Jan 31-Feb 1, 2015 @ Boulder County Fairgrounds. Don’t forget to sign your design and/or include your website (in a small, tasteful way…)!

2. Bring your design into the digital age by snapping a pic, scanning or otherwise compter-izing it.

3. Tweet the picture and tag @MakerBoulder in your message.

4. Let us know you entered by using the cool little giveaway interface by local Boulder, CO startup, Rafflecopter, below! Just paste in the URL of your tweet to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway