September 02, 2017

When children build for real clients: A summer filled with collaboration, creativity and community

  Moonlighter-Urban Hacking

By Tom Pupo and Daisy Nodal

Each Summer, we host our Summer S.T.E.A.M. maker camps that engage kids in hands-on projects exploring Design Thinking, Electronics, Sustainable Design, and more. But this Summer, to make the impact even greater, we partnered with various organizations and local small businesses to provide real-world challenges that the kids would design and build solutions for. It was uncharted territory for many involved, but it ended up being an incredibly rewarding experience! These two projects put the power of community transformation in the hands of children— of course, with the help of a committed team of local makers!

 Urban Hacking Camp

We partnered with Learn 01, Mano Americas and Codella to create the ultimate maker camp experience: a real-world sustainability project, built in our community, incorporating both physical and digital skills, and inclusive to all kids using fund-raised scholarships.

There were 5 project categories that the kids could chose to join. The groups were tasked to collaborate, design, develop, and build their own visions for improving the Smartbites Community Garden + Cafe. They learned how to use power tools, design software, and digital fabrication technologies to build corn hole games, outdoor tables that grow spices and herbs, art pieces made of recycled plastics, sensors that monitor moisture levels in the soil, two vertical farming systems, and more!

It was a transformative experience, for both the kids, the staff, and the team of MDCPS high school Summer interns who were also learning and assisting during the whole process. They learned by doing, by manipulating materials, looking things up online for reference, and testing their ideas with prototypes. These are the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century. You can see their incredible work by visiting SmartBites.


The Mobile Reading Pod

Our Design Thinking camps usually use imaginary characters as clients. But this year, thanks to The New Tropic, the camp had a real client — The Miami Book Fair! Their task was to design an installation that would travel to different neighborhoods, provide a nice place to sit and read, dispense free books, and promote literature. The kids dreamed up all sorts of fantastical technologies like giant drones that deliver books, autonomous library vehicles, etc. but the panel of judges chose one winner —  The Mobile Reading Pod by 9-year old Allen Hasbun.

With the help of his family and our staff, Allen spent the next month at Moonlighter refining his design and building his creation in full scale!  He learned how to use the various software and fabrication equipment in the space and actively took part in every step of the process, never shying away from the work involved to realize his vision.

It debuted at The Wynwood Yard and will travel to the Miami Book Fair in November. Allen also intends to open source his design. When given the tools, skills, and resources to build, you’ll be surprised what kids are capable of building — and of the impact they can have on their community. By empowering future generations, we can build an innovative maker city!

*For the full article and photo essay, visit www.moonlighter.camp

Tom Pupo and Daisy Nodal are co-founders of Moonlighter Makerspace in Wynwood.  

Moonlighter-Reading Pod

April 08, 2017

Drones, robots and a carnival of creativity delight kids of all ages at Maker Faire Miami

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

“It’s a work in progress.” You hear that a lot at the Maker Faire — and it is kind of the point.

On Saturday, scores of artisans, engineers, entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers of all stripes delighted future makers of all ages with flying drones, self-driving cars, robots and the latest in virtual reality and gaming technologies at the Maker Faire Miami at Miami Dade College. There were some crashes, power failures and misfires, but that is all part of the experience at this family-friendly weekend event that turned the Wolfson Campus into a carnival of creativity.

The FPV Micro Racing Drone exhibit was a hit with kids — and their parents. Flying the miniature drones through an obstacle course of hoops and tunnels was harder than it looked. Some of the kids got up close and personal with the drone technology by viewing it through immersive goggles.

Many of the “makes” on display are still being tested and tweaked. Take SkillCourt, for example. Gudmundur “Gummi” Traustason, a soccer coach, is developing a company around his work in progress — an integrated soccer training system. Kick the ball against a series of backboards, and his creation delivers analytics to track an athlete’s progress and technique. If all goes according to plan, SkillCourt will offer online tutorials and other skill-building content to complement the real-time data and live action fun. Traustason was part of the huge Florida International University tent at one end of the Faire, which also showcased many other technologies and projects."

Jose Muguira and other Miami Dade College honor students pulled an all-nighter — building the MDC Culinary Institute with Legos. That’s because the students were involved in Miami Dade College’s Lego 305 exhibit and the big shipment of construction material — the Legos — didn’t arrive from Denmark until about 6 p.m. Friday night. Throughout the weekend, the MDC master builders will be at work constructing other MDC buildings as the start of what will later be used in a virtual Magic City, and Faire goers can watch the project going up. Families, don’t worry, there is a big Lego play area, too — which attracted as many adults as kids.

Everything about the Maker Faire is about being hands-on and getting to know the creators. Many got a taste, quite literally, of Miami’s growing culinary innovation ecosystem. With so many exhibitors competing for attention, some held contests and giveaways to attract people to their booths. Maker Mario Cruz promised selfies with a storm trooper at his Retro Pie booth featuring retro games.

Artisans let fairgoers try their hand at weaving at the FabTextiles exhibit that originated in Barcelona, while others fingered a display of fabrics, some laser cut or laser engraved, some made from bioplastics and others from sustainable “leather” made from kombucha tea. The FabLab, a global network of makers, brought in 20 makers from the Americas and Spain.

Like the maker movement in South Florida, Miami’s Maker Faire, co-produced by MDC and the nonprofit maker organization MANO, has been growing every year. It began as a Mini Maker Faire in 2013 with a few dozen exhibitors and about 1,700 attendees at The LAB Miami in Wynwood, continued there and doubled attendance in 2014, and last year the two-day event grew to 120 makers and moved to YoungArts.

This year, the event shed the “Mini,” growing to 150-plus makers and more than 5,000 attendees and becoming one of just 30 Maker Faires around the world this year. The Great Miami Makeathon and other activities took place in the run-up to this event.

The Faire continues Sunday with all the exhibits, plus StarBot will be back for a second day of fun with robotics, but this time its BattleBots will be in the ring. Maker talks will include MIT Professor Sertac Karaman on self-driving car technology, another on making chocolate sustainably, and a masterclass with DJ Kid Koala. Something for everyone.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

SEE A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE MAKER FAIRE HERE

Read more about how the  Maker Faire came together here.

 

February 28, 2017

Save the dates: Join Great Miami Makeathon March 31-April 2

MANO is announcing the Great Miami Makeathon, a three-day design and prototype challenge to propel Miami’s maker community, taking place on the weekend of March 31 through April 2, 2017.

Co-organized by The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and Moonlighter, and with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and StartUp FIU, the Great Miami Makeathon encourages participants to develop functional prototypes that address the real-world needs of three of Miami’s hottest new learning and recreational spaces: the Miami Science Barge, Wynwood Yard, and the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora. Selected designs and prototypes are expected to center around technology, sustainability and education. Winners will receive a cash prize, the opportunity to work with partner venues to turn their prototypes into reality, and prominent placement at the upcoming Maker Faire Miami on April 8 and 9, 2017 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus.

The Great Miami Makeathon is open to the public and its organizers encourage anyone interested in participating in the design and prototype challenge to pull together a team of no less than two and no more than five people and register via Eventbrite (link here).  

Prior to the Great Miami Makeathon, organizers will host a series of free educational workshops on design thinking, 3D printing, laser cutting, woodworking, and electronics to equip challenge participants with skills and practices required for the design and prototype process.

“Great Miami Makeathon seeks to show how the creative power of our incredible maker community can be harnessed to help local businesses and nonprofits innovate. With this event, our partner venues, whom we affectionately refer to as “the Barge, the Yard and the Cuban,” will crowdsource solutions from local makers to enhance their spaces and create more engaging and innovative user experiences for their patrons while conserving resources,” said Ric Herrero, co-founder of MANO.

MANO is a Miami-based non-profit organization dedicated to fostering inclusive, problem-solving communities through educational programs and initiatives. For more information about Great Miami Makeathon, and to register for our launch event at The Idea Center at Miami Dade College on March 27, please visit miamimakeathon.com, and follow us on Twitter via @MiamiMakeathon.

Submitted by MANO

 

 

 

 

January 20, 2017

Why the Maker Movement can help bridge the social, economic and digital divides of our community

Makerfaire
Pablo Ricatti watches a 3D printer demonstration during the last Miami Mini Maker Faire, held at Young Arts Plaza. AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

By RIC HERRERO and DALE DOUGHERTY

Herrero%20(2)Makers are a global community of talented innovators — designers, fabricators, artists, engineers, educators, entrepreneurs and civic leaders — driven by personal passions and a spirit of lifelong learning and creative hacking.

You will find them from Silicon Valley start-up founders and Burning Man artisans to Havana’s cuentapropistas and Barcelona’s urban hackers. They see objects and systems not as finished things, but as collections of components that can be remixed, repurposed and reimagined to shape worlds around them.

Some are entrepreneurs like Rodolfo Saccoman. He develops innovative products in Miami Beach such as the MATRIX Creator, an Internet-of-Things development board that enables software developers to build hardware applications regardless of their skill level. Others are educators like Willie Avendano and Nelson Milian of the 01 education lab in Wynwood. They foster a sense of agency and creative confidence in young students through hands-on STEAM-based learning.

DaleOthers are using tools for social good. For instance, architects Tony Garcia and Sherryl Muriente’s wonderful Biscayne Green public space project has shown us the power of urban prototyping and open collaboration to promote public transit and strengthen communal bonds in Downtown Miami.

The act of making is rooted in play, collaboration and curiosity. It develops a mindset that enables us to see ourselves as more than just consumers, but as creators with a bias toward action. Makers love to tinker with hardware and technology, but mostly see these as a means to an end. They combine domain expertise and traditional craftsmanship with modern tools such as digital fabrication, micro-controllers and data analytics to innovate solutions for themselves and their communities.

The maker mindset helps people better bridge the social, economic and digital divides in an era of technological acceleration and dislocation. When so many of today’s jobs are expected to disappear in coming years because of advances in artificial intelligence and automation, few skills become as important as collaboration, resourcefulness, communication and creative problem-solving. The maker movement helps nurture those skills, letting us look closely at the things around us, explore their complexity and identify opportunities to add value.

For makers to prosper in a community, they require physical spaces with access to tools and expertise that foster local productivity. In Miami, the Moonlighter makerspace makes fabrication tools available to people of all ages. The Discovery Lab at FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences has introduced vertically integrated programs to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration. And Miami Dade College hosts the Design for Miami and Make1 programs through its Idea Center, which teach students how to apply design thinking and prototyping practices to solve problems, along with Maker Faire Miami, the region’s largest showcase of maker talent and one of almost 200 such Maker Faires around the globe.

But that’s not all cities need to be productive. They also require community organizers who can leverage resources among the city’s schools and universities, libraries, museums and large and small businesses, in order to build a well-connected ecosystem of creative and learning environments where makers can thrive. They require business associations that recognize the need for vocational programs that prepare the local labor force for the current and future job market. They require city officials who embrace open data and work with civic hacking groups like Code for Miami to improve municipal services and address challenges such as affordable housing, homelessness and adapting to climate change. Finally, they need planning and zoning boards that minimize red tape and create more favorable conditions for urban production and entrepreneurship to flourish.

We want to grow the Maker Movement to include everyone, helping them become innovators in their own lives and communities. We also seek to expand the opportunities that makers have to innovate, defining shared missions that makers can join. We’re happy to see Miami off to such a promising start and are eager to help all who want to see it go further.

Today (Jan. 20) at 4 pm: Join Make: Magazine founder Dale Dougherty and the international network of Maker Faire producers at Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus to explore how the maker mindset is revitalizing our cities. Co-hosted by MANO, Miami Dade College and Maker Faire with the support of Knight Foundation, this event is open to the public and tickets are available via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/making-the-maker-city-opening-plenary-for-the-2017-maker-faire-global-summit-registration-30470654548

Ric Herrero is the co-founder and president of MANO Americas; reach him at ric@manaamericas.org. Dale Dougherty is the founder of Maker Faire and author of “Free to Make”; reach him @dalepd. This column was first published on the Miami Herald op-ed page Friday. 

Read past coverage of Miami Mini Maker Faire here.

 

 

September 10, 2016

How I became a Maker (again) -- and you can, too

  Moonlighter1

Join the movement. Let's make Miami a Maker town!

 

@MarioCruz

I often get asked by people what a maker or maker space is. A maker is someone who likes to DIY by repairing or creating electronic devices, building models, creating cosplay or 3D printing items, but in reality anyone who creates things can be considered a maker.

I was the kid who liked taking things apart and putting them back together. This was not always a successful process, but I got better and better. I eventually started to repair broken instruments, games, stereos and other electronic devices for my friends and me. The deal was when I repaired things for my friends, I charged a low price with the disclaimer that whatever I was repairing might end up as a pile of parts inside a Ziplock bag.

Additionally, I was interested in computers, which became an increasingly inexpensive way to create and invent because there was no need to purchase materials, no delay while waiting on mail orders, and no special tools were needed. My hardware career was short lived and my days of replacing broken screens or modifying gadgets were over as I got more and more into software and networking.

Last year the universe conspired to get me back into becoming a maker. First, Moonlighter Miami opened up and once again gave me access to all the things I had as the son of a mechanic: an awesome workshop and even new digital tools only available to real fabricators. Second, I took a job at Watsco Ventures and started working on extremely cool projects that required building prototypes using Raspberry Pi and Arduino. This made me spend even more time at Moonlighter tinkering and learning for my day job and as a curious maker.

Over the last year I have built lots of “stuff,” most of which is work related to be shown at a later date. However, I have made some things that have been shown off, including the Moonlighter photo booth that was built with a broken laptop’s monitor and a Raspberry PI, the modified PiGRRL 3 used for Moonlighter summer camp, and the poetry printer for the O'Miami poetry festival (See photo below). These are just some of the “stuff” that I have created as a maker, not to mention the bounty of projects I have in store for the future.

I have also helped on countless projects for others and have received help on my own projects. It's one thing to build something alone at home, but another thing entirely if you do it while surrounded by other makers. The communal experience of sharing thoughts and know-how, as well as having access to digital fabrication prototyping and manufacturing tools has made me more involved in the community. The teamwork and togetherness at Moonlighter this past year have not only been experienced by me, but also by my own young children, as they’ve created their own projects and received help and feedback from the community.

The barriers to becoming a maker have shrunk significantly with the cost of kits decreasing and with increasing availability of access to memberships to places like Moonlighter. These barriers that previously prohibited people from inventing, making prototypes or simply creating are a thing of the past. All you need today to become a “maker” is to use free tools like TinkerCad or Google Draw to make this into a reality.

The shop classes we all participated in when we were in school are nearly extinct, and there are little to no digital fabrication classes to take their place. Moonlighter and Learn01 have added summer camps, workshops, after-school classes  and events to fill the gap, but we have a long way to go before 3D printing and Raspberry Pi become household names.

Join the movement, mentor a future maker, and allow making to be something you do and share. Let's make Miami a Maker town!

Mario Cruz is a director at Watsco Ventures, an entrepreneur, a mentor and a drummer. He is not an investor in Moonlighter, but is a proud Moonlighter member and Maker Dad. 

Moonlighter3

Photos taken at Moonlighter provided by Mario Cruz.

June 05, 2016

Q&A with EcoTech Visions’ Pandwe Gibson: Going green from ground up

Etv1

EcoTech Visions team, from left: Tamara Wendt, director of sales and manufacturing, Pandwe Gibson, CEO, executive director and Justin Knight, director of marketing, at their new facility, 670 NW 113th St. in Miami, for green manufacturing companies that is still under construction. PEDRO PORTAL 

 

When Pandwe Gibson set out to build EcoTech Visions, an incubator for green manufacturing businesses, she had no team, no funding and no space. Three years ago it was only a big vision that lived on her iPad, which she shared with anyone she could get to listen.

What was the vision? EcoTech would help “ecopreneurs” in its incubator launch and grow, including connecting them with grants and other resources. EcoTech would also hold programming such as coding courses, green internship programs and fellowships to help prepare the workforce in underserved communities to transition from blue collar to “green collar” jobs.

Gibson wasted no time bringing her big idea to life.

By the end of 2014, and after knocking on many doors and winning initial Miami-Dade County and Community Redevelopment Agency funding, Gibson moved EcoTech into its first location, a small space west of Interstate 95 with communal office space and a community garden, and with a handful of incubator companies she had already begun working with. Although the building had no space for manufacturing, a key goal of Gibson’s, it served as a minimal viable product. A few months later, EcoTech secured some additional office and classroom space in another Liberty City building, which allowed the company to expand its programming. The EcoTech team began forming, and EcoTech began attracting more green companies.

Last month, EcoTech Visions began partially moving into its new Miami headquarters space it leased to own at 670 NW 113th St., in the newly designated “green corridor.” Upon buildout, plans call for the building to provide 24,000 to 25,000 square feet of multilevel co-working space, offices, event space, maker space and manufacturing facilities. EcoTech will also use its Liberty City space during buildout.

Today, 26 companies are members of EcoTech (ecotechvisions.com), and the EcoTech team now numbers seven.

EcoTech Visions recently announced the launch of Digital Citizen, a technology boot camp that aims to provide real-world technology programs and entrepreneurship training to local underserved communities, funded by $200,000 from the Knight Foundation. The first cohort will begin June 20 and will run for eight weeks in the evenings at D.A. Dorsey Technical College in Liberty City. Applications for the boot camp are being accepted at etvfoundation.org/digitalcitizen.

“This program is desperately needed not only to fill the tech staffing gap but also to combat the economic hardships and growing income gap in inner-city Miami,” Gibson, CEO "of EcoTech, said in announcing the launch and funding. “We all succeed when the best and most diverse solutions are brought to the table.”

Since its founding, EcoTech has created 15 new jobs and more than 300 students graduated from EcoTech Visions workshops and certification programs, Gibson said. It has secured $10,000 start"up prototyping grants for nine incubator companies and assisted in securing seed loans for three of its ecopreneurs, Gibson said. It was named 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Beacon Council, among other honors.

By the end of the year, Gibson hopes to see buildout of its headquarters get under way and be completed in one year. Plans include an urban vertical garden across the entire front of the warehouse-style building, space for creating prototypes and light manufacturing as well as co-working and a rooftop cafe.

Appropriately, the building is planned to be entirely powered by solar energy.

“Our goal is to have a net-zero-energy building,” said Tamara Wendt, EcoTech’s director of sales and manufacturing, explaining that there is currently only one other much smaller net-zero building in Miami. “Presently, we have on-site office space and will be holding events here. We expect to have our injection-molding equipment installed by early July and will move into production, warehousing and fulfillment.”

The Miami Herald toured the new EcoTech location last month and sat down with Pandwe Gibson to discuss EcoTech Visions and what’s ahead for the company.

Q: What’s your mission for EcoTech?

A: Our mission is to create opportunities for businesses to grow and to bring green manufacturing jobs to Miami.

Q: What does success look like to you?

A: In the next two years, to have at least five breakout companies. That sounds very ambitious, doesn’t it? But we already have some companies pursuing multimillion-dollar contracts, and when we start seeing the production actually occurring from here, that is very exciting.

The first year [in this building], we will be in massive construction, but we are starting with injection molding and I think we can make a lot of progress in the beginning with that one vertical. We provide the equipment, and there are a lot of businesses that have different molds and prototypes we can help. We plan to have two different machines.

Q: How are you funding all this?

A: We have private funding and public funding. We just completed a seed round of half a million dollars. We have public funding from Miami-Dade County and the CRA totaling about half a million and are pursuing more grants from the county. We recently found out we received a grant from the Knight Foundation. It’s a combination.

Q: Is EcoTech a for-profit or a nonprofit?

A: We have two arms. The for-profit is the maker space, the physical space that you are in, and the services associated with the production equipment. … The nonprofit really focuses on helping to facilitate training, the programs we administer.

Some of those programs are coding education boot camps and a green manufacturing internship program. These programs help prepare the community and workforce for careers in green manufacturing.

Q: Tell me about a few of your incubator companies.

A: Geeks Global is an internet services provider and sustainability-focused technology consultant. Darrell Russell and his team help greenify businesses by using technology like LED lighting, windmill-powered Wi-Fi towers and other innovations. Make The Homeless Smile Miami is an organization started and led by powerhouse community activist Valencia Gunder. They transition homeless Miami residents off the streets and into self-sustained lives. HBCNS LLC, run by Dawn Davis, is a distributor of water-based, biodegradable, protective coatings including the nation’s only non-slip coating. It’s main product is called Strong Seal. (All three entrepreneurs are pictured below with Gibson)

Earthware, led by Michael Caballero, is a producer of compostable cutlery, cups and containers for a better world. The company is committed to the restoration and preservation of our planet by replacing landfill-destined products with 100 percent compostable, tree-free products.

Etv3

Q: What do you do for member companies?

A: You can do prototyping here, you can have office space here, you can hold events here, you can run your company here, prototyping and distribution — it’s a one-stop shop and it is sorely needed in Miami.

Q: Explain what the “green corridor” designation is and what it can do for the neighborhood where EcoTech is?

A: The Green Corridor was created by proclamation by the Miami-Dade County Commission and stretches along Northwest Seventh Avenue from 79th Street to 119th Street. It is the first green corridor of its kind in the United States created with the purpose of establishing a citywide, countywide, statewide and regional hub of sustainable and environmentally friendly businesses. The Green Corridor and EcoTech Visions promote economic opportunity for the community where they sit and far beyond.

Q: Where do you see EcoTech in five years?

A: In five years, we want to start multiplying. We want to be in other communities, such as Los Angeles. When you look at the two markets, Miami and L.A., there are a lot of similarities. We are already forging relationships there. California is probably the largest green-tech community in the country. Connecting the two will help infuse vitality and innovation into Miami and help move us as a country into a really great space in green technology.

Q: What is your vision for the vertical garden covering the front of the building?

A: Ted Caplow, of CappSci and Miami Science Barge, is designing a game-changing vertical farm based on work by his company, BrightFarms Inc., which creates hydroponic farms for Whole Foods amongst other clients. The vertical farm will be a hydroponic system to grow organic produce inside a glass and screened-in enclosure on the façade of EcoTech Visions’ new building located at 670 NW 113th St. Installation and ongoing maintenance and production will be managed by Urban Green Works working with marginalized resources including women recently exiting incarceration. In addition, an aquaponics system will be incorporated by Fruit of Life Organics, one of our incubator companies, to grow organic fish and produce in one system that recreates the natural water cycle.

Q: There are even plans for a rooftop café?

A: Yes, and we will serve food from our vertical garden.

Q: What’s next for EcoTech?

A: We’re taking applications to fill out our pipeline of companies, educating people on the opportunities in green technology, and educating entrepreneurs on what is available in terms of funding so they can succeed by being clean and green.

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

Read more entrepreneurship Q&As on this blog by going to the Q&A category.

Etv2

from left, EcoTech Visions'  staff Carlos Vazquez, Kenyona Pierre, Marisabel Lavastida, CEO Pandwe Gibson, Tamara Wendt and Justin Knight, at their new facility, 670 NW 113th St. in Miami, under construction. PEDRO PORTAL pportal@miamiherald.com



 

March 09, 2016

Miami joins White House TechHire initiative

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Miami has joined the White House’s TechHire initiative, with 14 community partners and more than 140 companies committing to work together to train and place nearly 2,500 candidates into well-paying technology jobs by the end of 2020, the White House is expected to announce Wednesday.

TechHire, launched one year ago by President Barack Obama, is a multi-sector national initiative to create a pipeline of Americans with technology skills via universities and community colleges, as well as coding boot camps and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job.

The Miami area is one of 15 U.S. communities joining Wednesday and is now part of a network of 50 communities. It’s the first such initiative in Florida.

CareerSource South Florida and LaunchCode, both nonprofit groups dedicated to placing place "job-seekers in tech jobs, are leading Miami’s efforts to train and place 1,190 individuals into tech jobs by the end of 2017 and 2,415 individuals by the end of 2020. The TechHire initiative comes with no federal dollars attached, but grant programs are available, said Jacob Leibenluft, deputy director of the National Economic Council. “We see it as an opportunity to bring together partners and provide tools,” Leibenluft said on Tuesday. “Part of the goal of this program is that communities learn from each other. As the network grows, we will see returns to scale.”

Miami currently has 140 companies committed to interviewing qualified candidates that graduate from Miami TechHire’s training partners, including the Idea Center at Miami Dade College, Wyncode, Code Fever Miami, New Horizons, Florida Vocational Institute, the Academy of South Florida and Ironhack. The Beacon Council, along with Miami-Dade County, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and e-Merge Americas, will lead efforts to ensure that employers’ commitments to the community of Miami are fulfilled, the White House said.

In addition to the new TechHire partners, the White House will also announce new rules that aim to extend the time international students graduating from U.S. universities with STEM degrees can stay in the U.S. The White House also said the U.S. Department of Education will also be holding a “makeover challenge” to encourage more maker spaces in high schools and that the White House plans a “Week of Making” June 17-23 to feature makers across the country.

February 20, 2016

Miami Mini Maker Faire: Where all ages come out to learn, play

 


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article61534607.html#storylink=cpy

DSC_0317

Gabriel Streeter, Shekeyna Walker, Amauri Stratford, Kenya Burnes, Kaniya Smith, Jennifer Jean-Jacques have been working with aquaponics in their school and participated in a booth at the Miami Mini Maker Faire. Photo by Steve Viti

  Parade
After a fashion show by DesignLab Miami students, instructor Jazmyn Leininger with Rowan Windham Burke, Zoe Goldemberg, Maria Mercenari, Isa Burguera and Naomi Gomez. Photo by Steve Viti


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article61534607.html#storylink=cpy

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Under a big white canopy at the center of the Miami Mini Maker Faire, kids drew animations frame by frame, which could be turned into their own movie. Another group of youngsters was learning about growing lettuce with aquaponics. At another set of tables, some were trying their hand at sewing, while others were contributing “wishes” for an art piece.

This Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science display was just one of many such canopies, each becoming magnets for makers of all ages at the Maker Faire, which opened Saturday and continues through Sunday. More than 3,000 tickets have been sold to the fair, which turned the YoungArts campus in Miami into a festival-like celebration of the “maker movement,” or the do-it-yourselfers among us in technology, industrial arts, science, arts and crafts, music and more.

“You’d be surprised how excited kids get about aquaponics — sometimes a little too excited, like trying to skip class to work on their projects,” said Marc Gauthier, a math-science coach at Holmes Elementary who also owns Fruit of Life Organics. He was demonstrating to a family how students at Holmes grow large healthy heads of lettuce in just 3 1/2 weeks, with fish and their environment providing the nutrients and water to grow the vegetables.

The nearby StarBot display was also a huge draw, with kids surrounding a pen and directing their robots within it. Nola Garcia, president of StarBot, said her organization works with 120 youngsters from 47 different schools and offers a 34-week introduction to engineering series of interactive projects. For finishing the series, the reward is a sleepover under a Saturn 5 Rocket at Cape Canaveral.

“These kids are amazing, they are so fertile when you put them in the right environment where anything is possible,” said Garcia, whose organization partners with Frost Science, Breakthrough Miami and the Children’s Trust. “I tell them the most important question to ask is ‘what if?’<TH>”

Saturday afternoon about 40 students, ages 6 to 15, of DesignLab Miami turned a stage into a fashion runway. But the fashions they were wearing were their own creations, from concept to the final stitches.

The theme of the fashion show was cartoon animation, and like all the Design Lab students, friends Isa Burguera, 12, and Rowan Windham Burke, 13, drew their own characters on their fashions. “I’m a fan of Project Runway and I’m a dancer. I am working on a [fashion] line for dancers,” said Rowan, after the show.

That mix of passion and innovation was on display at booth after booth — there was even an ice cream maker powered by a “human hamster wheel” — and there was plenty for adults to enjoy, including 3D printing demonstrations and mini-talks on topics from “design thinking” to drones. Craig A. Hamilton was representing Waking Hearts, a group of artists in Wynwood that “create art that soothes the soul,” he said. His group’s pop-up shop at the Faire was a way to bring art to the community.

Ric Herrero is the founder of MIAMade, the organization producing the fair with partners including the Knight Foundation. He said the show — just like the maker community — has grown so much since the first event in 2013, then held in the LAB Miami in Wynwood, that next year the Miami Mini Maker Faire might finally lose the word “Mini.” Now it’s a two-day festival with live music, maker talks and food trucks. For the first time the organization flew in 11 makers from Cuba for the event; the artists are members of Fabrica de Arte Cubano, an acclaimed mixed-use creative space in Havana. Fabrica de Arte Cubano co-founder X Alonso, a pioneer of Cuba’s hip-hop and afro-rock scene, was scheduled to perform at the fair Saturday evening.

Indeed, this year four local makerspaces participated as well as a number of startups, nonprofits, artist groups and companies such as Microsoft, Herrero said. No one could miss the Moonlighter Makerspace’s area with an artful room made from PVC piping beckoning folks to come inside. Nearby, several startups and nonprofits affiliated with the Moonlighter space displayed their creations, some of which were for sale.

Technologist Mario Cruz was checking out the Maker Faire on Saturday, sans kids. “Last time my kids had a great time but I didn’t get to see what I wanted to see. So this year I decided to see it first today, and bring them tomorrow.”

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

See related story about Fabrica de Arte Cubano here.

IF YOU GO: MIAMI MINI MAKER FAIRE

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the National YoungArts Foundation Campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Fair admission is $12 at makerfairemiami.com and at the door; kids under 5 are free.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article61534607.html#storylink=cpy

 

0506 Miami Mini Maker Faire

Emilee McDonald, 9, walks inside the "Be the Hamster" wheel as she makes a flavored frozen ice cone during the Miami Mini Maker Faire at YoungArts Plaza on Saturday, February 20, 2016. AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

0511 Miami Mini Maker Faire

Abby Rose, 6, jumps next to a tall blue robot on display during the Miami Mini Maker Faire at YoungArts Plaza on Saturday, February 20, 2016. AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article61534607.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article61534607.html#storylink=cpy

 

October 01, 2015

Miami Make Week unveils event schedule

Miami Make Week logo

Save the dates: Events are planned from Wynwood to Sweetwater to North Dade

Ric Herrero and the MIAMade team have announced an impressive lineup for its inaugural Miami Make Week Nov. 6th through 15th. MIAMade is also the producer of the Miami Mini Maker Faire and Wynwood Maker Camp.. Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami Make Week is a celebration of creative co-working and makerspaces throughout the Greater Miami area.

 “Miami Make Week provides an opportunity to showcase how much creative making is really taking place in Miami,” said Herrero, MIAMade co-founder. “In the past few years, we have seen the maker space landscape nearly triple in size. This is a genuine opportunity for our homegrown innovators to connect with the larger maker community and the general public.”

For more information about Miami Make Week, and to purchase tickets to the launch event on Nov. 6 at The LAB Miami, visit miamimakeweek.com.

The events span Wynwood to Little River to Sweetwater to North Dade. See the schedule of events below from MIAMade and save the dates:

FRIDAY, November 6th: A launch party at The LAB Miami will kick-off the 10-day series of events. Registration for all design and prototype challenge teams will open at this event. (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th Street)

SATURDAY, November 7thDesign Thinking Miami will host a design strategy workshop open to all challenge teams and the public, at The LAB Miami. Registration for all challenge teams will close at the end of this event. (2 p.m to 4 p.m. at The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th Street)

SUNDAY, November 8thMoonlighter Makerspace will host Upcycled Illuminations. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., makers will learn how to convert 2D vector drawings for laser cutting, develop a simple circuit to create an energy efficient LED light with switch and assemble the final product (11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Moonlighter Makerspace, 2041 NW 1 Place). DesignLab Miami will host Light'in Up Your Day, a workshop on using textiles to create special light technologies. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at DesignLab Miami, 2248 NE 123rd Street)

MONDAY, November 9th: Miami's only green incubator, EcoTech Visions challenges makers to rethink and reuse everyday products with two congruent prototype projects. From Tires to Tech encourages makers to roll out new ideas for old, worn tires scattered throughout the city, while Digitization Project, similarly asks participants to improve the usefulness of a non-digital, everyday product in need of a tech upgrade. (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at EcoTech Visions, 667 NW 90th Street)

TUESDAY, November 10th: Little River’s Miami Industrial Arts will host an introduction to the basics of mold-making. Including demonstrations for slip-casting ceramics and rubber molds for plastics, Molding Your Vision invites competition participants to learn and use the space’s facilities to make small run molds of their prototype and test market their creations. (7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Miami Industrial Arts, 300 NW 73rd Street)

WEDNESDAY, November 11th: South Florida’s largest 3D printer, 1-Click 3D Print gives participants a chance to optimize their designs and discuss best practices. Experts will cover the basics of the core 3D printing technologies and explain how to get products to market fast and efficiently. A printing class will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. the same evening. (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1-Click 3D Print, 203 NW 36 Street)

THURSDAY, November 12th: At the FIU Tech Station an all-day, self-paced open house allows participants to stop by and learn how to code, build a simple Arduino project and how to solder by building a simple circuit you can take home. Each workshop lasts about an hour. (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at FIU Tech Shop, 11200 SW 8th Street). Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the North Dade Regional Library and YOUmedia Miami will host a digital logo design workshop with a professional graphic designer on hand to guide the workshop answer questions and assist in the creative process. The library will also be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a general open house. (workshop from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at North Dade Regional Library, 2455 NW 183 Street)

FRIDAY, November 13th: Stamp Stomp: A Re-Newable Way to Make Your Mark takes place at MADE at the Citadel. Challengers will be guided on a step-by-step process on how to carve and shape custom stamp designs out of repurposed common household items. (6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at MADE at the Citadel, 8325 NE 2nd Avenue)

SATURDAY, November 14th: Miami Beach’s PRINTshop @ ArtCenter / South Florida hosts Music Maker, a printmaking workshop using vintage vinyl with Loren Abbate and accompanied by DJ Lazaro Amaral. (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at ArtCenter / South Florida, 924 Lincoln Road)

SUNDAY, November 15st: Miami Make Week comes to a conclusion with the event’s highly anticipated pitch competition and closing ceremony at Venture Hive. Each registered team will pitch their prototypes to a panel of local product experts. (Time TBD, at Venture Hive, 1010 NE 2nd Ave.)

 

September 09, 2015

Miami Make Week to link co-working, makerspaces for 10 days of workshops, networking and a competition

A month after wrapping up another successful summer session of Wynwood Maker Camp, and a week after announcing the return of Miami Mini Maker Faire, MIAMade is unveiling its latest initiative to propel Miami’s maker movement: the first annual Miami Make Week Nov. 6-15.

Sponsored by the Knight Foundation, Miami Make Week is  a 10-day celebration of creative co-working and maker spaces in the Greater Miami area. Miami Make Week will include educational workshops, networking opportunities and other public events held at participating co-working and maker spaces throughout the county, all anchored around a design and prototyping competition. 

On Nov. 6, MIAMade will kick off Miami Make Week with a launch party at The LAB Miami, where anyone up to the task can register a team to participate in the design and prototyping competition. For the next eight days, registered teams will enjoy complimentary access to  participating spaces to develop their prototypes. On Nov. 15, each registered team will pitch their prototypes to a panel of local product experts and a chance to win prizes at Miami Make Week’s closing event at Venture Hive.

Along with The LAB Miami and Venture Hive, participating spaces include EcoTech Visions, FIU Tech Station, MADE at the Citadel, Miami Industrial Arts, Moonlighter, 1-Click 3D Print, PRINTshop @ ArtCenter/South Florida, and Miami-Dade Public Library System's YOUmedia Miami at North Dade Regional Library. "Through Miami Make Week we want to showcase these spaces, foster a greater connection between them and the general public, and highlight how much creative making is taking place in Miami,” said MIAMade Co-founder, Ric Herrero.

For more information about Miami Make Week and to purchase tickets: miamimakeweek.com.