Author Archives: kramanathan

Making: The Power to Create. Down memory Lane 2014

2014 has been a year where the Maker community in Singapore has grown by leaps and bounds. It was a wonderful year for the Maker Faire team as well, as we were more and more involved in the community events this year, with the aim of promoting Making in Education and families.

We started the year a Senja Cashew community club, where we supported the Hackidemia sessions at the Senja cashew Bursary awards.

Hackidemia session at the Senja Cashew community club

With more communities being interested in Making and learning, we moved on to the Tampines central community club in March, where we held our very first pop-up Makerspace, collaborating with Simplify 3D, Kids Parade, the Curious Design network, and the Ground up Initiative

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3D printing showcase by Simplify 3D at the community pop-up makerspace – Tampines central community club

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Maker Priyanka Datta teaches families about the joy of paper Quilling

 

We also began to bring the Maker movement into our own walls. We had the great pleasure of hosting several visiting Makers and inviting them to share, both with the Science Centre staff, as well as the visitors in Science Centre.

Andrew Quitmeyer and Marc Dusseiller facilitated a pop up Biotinkering space

 

Sakar, from Karkhana, sharing on the Make Break Innovate idea with the Science Centre staff

We also began to do Maker workshops for families – which have now become our signature learn thru Making workshops

Families tinker together in our regular Maker workshops. Kids learn basic Maker skills and learn how to use tools

April saw us in Shenzhen, learning from the Maker Faire Shenzhen. I must say that we were completely blown over by the scale and seriousness of the Chinese Makers.

A direct result of the Shenzhen visit was the family workshop by Karkhana – Make break, Innovate. Dipeshwor and colleagues, who were passing through Singapore on their way back from Hackteria in Yogyakarta, stopped to share their experiences, as well as conduct a short workshop on cardboard games.

Dipeshwor from Karkhana, with a family proudly displaying their cardboard game

 

When I say short, it often means that the workshop lasts way longer than planned, as participants usually continue to tinker and often do not want to leave the Maker workshop. Thats a very good thing, though I have now started to bring along cookies to the facilitator de-brief that happens after the workshops.

Two projects, which were the highlights of this year, were the Maker Faire bookbinding day and the Yarnbomb SG project. Both the projects were completely owned and organized by the community, and were excellent learning opportunities in how very creative projects can come out in a bottom-up manner.

Agatha Lee, one of the lead community Makers behind the YangbombSG project signs the yarnbombed pillar at SMMF’14

 

A teaser to bookbinding

 

 

After the warmth and generous support of the community through these projects, we launched the Hangouts initiative, a programme that allows the community to propose year round initiatives at the Science Centre, with the aim of reaching out to the public through tinkering and Making.

The Singapore Quillers meetup – held at Science Centre this December

 

In July, we held the biggest Singapore Mini Maker Faire  so far. Combined with the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education day, which was held just a week prior, the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 saw a gathering of over 250 makers with more than 150 maker exhibits, booths and workshops.

Kids light up the yarnbombed cardboard T-rex

 

Held at Senja Cashew community club, this was also the first time that the Maker Faire went to the heartlands in Singapore. The effect was awesome as we saw grandparents and grandchildren working, learning and Making together.

Repair Cafe at SMMF ’14

 

 

After a short break, the team came together again in October, to begin the Maker workshops for families. These workshops were an opportunity for kids and parents to experience learning with very loose structure and mostly experience the activities rather than learn about them. Facilitated by community Makers and volunteers, we also decided to make the workshops themed, so as to illustrate that Making is both interdisciplinary and widely applied. Watch out for the next Maker workshop in February, where we will be doing Making in Art on 14th February , 10am.

Families work together to make banana Pianos using Makey Makey

Family members work side by side to create marble machines out of everyday materials

Another highlight of this year was our visit to Maker Faire Japan. Invited by self proclaimed “Crazy Japanese Maker” Mazakasu Takasu, we spent a week in Tokyo immersing ourselves in the creative culture in Japan. We were astounded by the smooth way in which the Japanese transitioned from what could be considered as Japanese cultural crafts to stuff like Laser cutting and 3D printing – which are kind of the cornerstones of today’s Maker movement. This integration of the old with the new was almost seamless in Maker Faire Tokyo, leaving us completely open mouthed with amazement.

Laser engraved Japanese wood – the japanese style engraving was supposedly from EEG signals.

 

We also had the opportunity to discuss the burgeoning Maker Movement in Singapore and the Maker movement in Japan in an impromptu discussion with Nico Nico Beta – the Japanese equivalent of TEDx.

We ended the year on two high events. In order to raise awareness of coding as we move towards the Smart Nation campaign, we ran the Hour of Code from 8-14 March. at the Science Centre. With tech showcases from John O Brien, Henry Wong and several other Makers supplementing the online and offline coding activities, the event reached out to almost 2000 people. It was heartening to see kids as young as five years old grit their teeth as they worked out the higher levels of Lightbot – a gaming interface that taught children the basics of computer programming.

Families and kids programming at the Scientist for a Day. John Lim, in the foreground, shares how everyone can make a robot in less than half an hour by ‘hacking’ a remote control car

 

 

We also ran our first ever Maker Immersion camp in December –  a programme where we collaborated with local Makers to impart the idea of Making to children. Around 30 children took part in the Maker immersion camp, where they went through sessions on design thinking, fabric hacking, electronics and coding, interspersed with talks on the Maker culture and Making.

Kids and facilitators working on paper circuits during the Maker immersion camp

 

It was a very busy 2014 and 2015 looks even more busy and happening. We do hope that we can reach out to enable more families to embrace the process of Making as part of their daily lives. Watch this space for more stories and happenings  from the Maker Faire team.

Maker Immersion Camp 2014

Thirty one children took part in our first ever Maker Immersion Camp. For three days, the children were exposed to tools such as the hot glue gun, drills, screw drivers, pliers etc. They also learnt basic maker skills like taking things apart, wood working, fabric hacking sewing, and basic electronic circuits.

It was a fantastic experience organizing the camp, the enthusiasm of the children was great. The camp would not have been possible without the collaboration of local and Overseas Makers: Green Issues by Agy, The Bunglin Tinker, The Renaissance Engineering Club, Hackidemia, and The Curious Design Network. Here are some of the reflections from the camp as well as a compendium of resources for parents to follow up where necessary

The camp began with an introduction and icebreakers session, followed by Design Thinking for Makers by Elda Webb.  The children learnt about Empathy and the importance of communication for good design. Something different was that kids were required to design something for their partner, as opposed to themselves.

After lunch, the participants worked on their first project – Fabric Hacking – conducted by Susan Ong from The Bunglin Tinker

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Susan also spoke to the children about the need for upcycling and the environmental impact of garbage.

STEAM advocate Liyana spoke to the kids on what it means to be a Maker. Liyana’s slides are here: Makercamp-talk

On the Second Day of camp, Makers from the Renaissance Engineering Programme took over to introduce the campers to Electronics and Coding.  Details on the activities conducted are here

Playing with Paper Circuts

 

Set up of materials

Making the car

 

 

Learning about programming

On the 12th, We welcomed Agatha Lee of Green Issues by Agy who taught the campers how to sew electronics to fabric

Campers learnt to sew using conductive thread

In the afternoon, there was woodworking, where the kids learnt to drill and make a plant press. Photos to come.

The camp ended with an inspiring talk by Stefania Druga from Hackidemia, who shared with the children the many projects done by children around the world.

We asked the kids after the camp what they would like to learn next. Here are some of the responses.

How to dismantle a chain saw
I would like to learn how to make a robot
I would want to learn how to do kitchen Science
I would want to learn to make toys
How to build a musical room?
I would like to learn how to make a hover board
I would like to design a game
I want to build a motor hover craft
How to make an incubator
I would like to learn programming with arduino
Designing
How to make a robot with laser eyes
How to do different types of Java
How to make a living robot
How to make a phone

And those, I believe, gives us enough material for several more camps. Keep learning an Keep Making!

Hour of Code SG

hour of code banner

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a week ago that Singapore students should be taught to “code, prototype and build things, to fail fast and learn quickly.” Hour of Code SG aims to teach children how to begin coding in an easy and interactive manner.

The Hour of Code  was launched in the US in 2013 as an online campaign to introduce coding to the public in a friendly and interactive manner. The Hour of code campaign introduces kids aged 5 and up into programming. This year, we are bringing the Hour of code to Singapore through a series of interactive activities. Activities are free, no pre registration is required. Admission to Science Centre applies to non members.

Activities at a glance. AM sessions are from 10am to 12.30pm and PM sessions are from 2.30pm to 5.00pm

Station Activities 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th December AM and PM, 13th December PM only

Coding with Scratch
Coding with Blockly
Lightbot
Turtleart

Coding Unplugged
Pixels to pictures
Codes and Cryptography

Tech Showcases

8th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmers: Students of ITE college East with Arthur Pedida

How to build a robot car: This Robot car can be autonomous using sensors to avoid obstructions and find his ways. Additionally, it can be modified & equipped with Bluetooth module in order to communicate and be controlled by Smartphone.

8th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmers: Cadaq

Raspberry Pi Camera

8th December and 9th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmers: Mantej Singh

Lego NXT robots

9th and 10th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmer: Melvin Zhang

Play a game which has artificial intelligence: I got interested in Computer Science at an early age when playing against a chess program and wondering how a machine could play better than a person. Through this project, I got to go back to my favorite topic in Computer Science and had the opportunity to interact with users and developers from around the world as we worked together to improve the software.

9th December. 10.00AM-12.30PM: Programmer: Kiruthika

What lives inside a computer?  Join in a tear down session where we will take apart an old computer and peripherals to understand what are the components that make up the machines that we use everyday.

11th and 12th December. 10.00AM-12.30PM: Programmer: Andy Giger

Illustrations of the usefulness of coding : I have a few processing sketches, ranging from complex scientific simulations to simple quick sketches, that I could showcase as illustrations of the usefulness of coding. A possible example: http://andygiger.com/science/e-coriolis/.

13th and 14th December, 2.30pm to 5.00pm: Programmer: John O Brien

Respberry Pi Beerbot: Steer a home-made remote controlled robot with Beer (or Coke) can grabbing capability over wifi! See what the robot sees using a Raspberry Pi camera! Drive and activate the can grabbing claw over an SSH connection! Ask insightful questions! Find out More about John at http://jweoblog.com/

From now till Maker Faire 2015

Upcoming maker workshops and maker camp

Register for Making Things Move: Maker workshop on 18th October 2014

Register for Making Music: Maker workshop on 15th November 2014

Register for the Maker Camp 2014

The Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 may be over, but we have a series of very exciting Maker events planned for both Makers and public starting October 2014. Details will be up very soon, so watch this space.

Are you a Maker? Get in touch to facilitate  in our workshops and Maker camp

A big thank you!

Its been just over two weeks since the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 and we are completely overwhelmed by the number of articles that have made their way into the online and traditional media about the Maker’s movement and the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. Thanks are in order to the Makers and the many groups whose support made the Singapore Mini Maker Faire such a huge success.

Sponsors
The Singapore Mini Maker Faire was part of the Singapore Science Festival and we would like to thank the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A-Star) for supporting all the events of the Singapore Science Festival. We would also like to thank the following sponsors
Autodesk Asia Pte Ltd
Intel Mobile Communications South East Asia Pte Ltd

Evernote
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore for their co-organization of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day 2014.
Also a big thanks to Make Magazine for their licensing and support in the organization of Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014.

Press coverage of Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014.

Live in the City: FM 93.8 interview on the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014, 26th July 2014
Yahoo News: Think Singapore Lacks Creativity? The growing maker movement here will surprise you
Experience the Power to Create at National Engineers Day and Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014
Asia One News: Look! a scarf for Dino
Lianhe Zaobao interview with Pan Yew, Guangyan, Nishant and Bart
Sculptor creates figurines from clay: Interview with Sze Sze

Arduino for you ?

Come and find out what the Arduino is, what it can do, why is it so popular and much more.
In a sentence, the Arduino is a programmable controller that lets you control electronic devices (like LEDs) to perform tasks (like turning on the lights when someone is present).

Schools use Arduino to teach science, programming and electronics in a fun way. Tertiary students use it for their final year projects to show-case concepts. People leverage on its readily available resources to build their own electronic gadgets.
SGduino
We will be showing Arduino projects that you can build, as well as different types and sizes of Arduino that you may want to consider using for your own projects. We will also be showcasing the SGuino, the First Arduino designed and produced in Singapore targeted at Young Makers.

You may want to check out the article at the following link which gives a brief introduction to the Arduino. (http://blog.3egadgets.com/?p=309)

Programme for the Makers only Nite on 26th July

We will be closing the doors of Singapore Mini Maker Faire to the public at 7pm on Saturday, 26th July 2014. From 7-9, after dinner, there will be a networking session, where Makers will be able to visit each other’s booth. Some presentations will also be made, including the 3D design challenge that was conducted as part of SMMF ’14 as well as exciting happenings and opportunities that makers can look forward to in the later part of this year.

The Singapore Mini Maker Faire 3D Design challenge
26th July 2014, 7.30pm
The inaugural SMMF 3D Design challenge was sponsored by Autodesk Singapore. A wide variety of participants took part in the training sessions.

Upcoming events for Makers
26th July 2014, 7.45pm-8.45pm
Some exciting announcements on Maker events from Science Centre Singapore and Art Science Museum

Presentations on 27th July

Light magic by Kiki Tay, 11.00am

How to make Education by Technology and Art, Masakasu Takasu, 12.00nn

Technology and arts can making a lot of fun. Fun is most important for children growth. It is not only fun, but also Kickstart to growth of children! Let an use technology and art for education. Yes,We Can!

Tatting by Joyce Lim, 1.00pm

Bio printing by Fan MingWei, Bio3D technologies, 2.00pm
Introducing 3D printing and bio-printing, and why they matter.

Leaves with memories, a clay demonstration Davy Young, 2.45pm
A short demo on ceramic leaf making

Design thinking for Makers, Elda Webb, 3.30pm

Using Evernote to Make, Evernote, 4.15pm
Evernote is helping the world remember everything by building innovative products and services that allow individuals to capture, find and interact with their memories. Evernote apps are available on all major computer, web, mobile, and tablet platforms. For more information, please visit: http://www.evernote.com Register to find out more

 

Presentations on 26th July 2014

 The circus Show, by Rhys Thomas, 11.00am

Nico Nico Gakkai Style presentation by Makers, by Masakasu Takasu and various makers – 11.30am
Join Maker Masakasu Takasu and our Makers in Singapore in this presentation, where Makers who create in several different domains come together to share their work in 3 minutes.

Tiny Electronics by Gabriel Perumal, 12.40pm

3D Design, by Badari Hidayur, Autodesk , 1.15pm

Crowdpricing for Makers by HaystackT, 1.50pm

Tesla Coils – How to Make Lightning at Home, by GuangYan, 2.20pm

Gao Guangyan shares his projects and experience as a maker and engineer, known for his crazy home projects and Musical Tesla Coils. Follow his journey and learn how he makes lightning at home with an introduction to Tesla Coils, and view up close the inner workings and see hair-raising live-demos of some new Musical Tesla Coils he has built including a new large one in the Science Centre Singapore

Zen Glove, by Gaurav Gupta, 3.00pm

PCDuino by Jingfeng Liu, 3.35pm

Tatting by Joyce Lim, 4.10pm

Bioprinting by Fan MingWei, Bio 3D Technologies, 4.45pm
Introducing 3D printing and bio-printing, and why they matter.

Making for social change by Veerappan Swaminathan, 5.20pm
How can Making and Social Change go together? In this presentation, we will be sharing come of the cool Social Innovation projects of Sustainable Living Lab, Singapore’s first Makerspace. Veera is the Kampung Tinkerer and co-founder at the Sustainable Living Lab. Trained officially as a mechanical engineer, he spent his formative years being a general nightmare around the house by taking apart (and not always putting together) all kinds of stuff and starting new organizations in LAN gaming, credit card marketing, competition planning, tinkering and sports. He is listed on several biomedical device patents and has built solar cars, wind turbines, EEG headsets and agricultural drying equipment. Being in land-strapped Singapore but wishing to have a garage like all inventors seemed to have in movies, led him to start the Sustainable Living Lab which is Singapore’s first and only Makerspace focused on social innovation, sustainability and technology.

Juggling by Choo Zheng Hao, 6.25pm
Juggling: a physically and intellectually demanding skill which happens to be strangely addictive too. Learn how juggling as a hobby has evolved over the last few decades with the pervasive reach of the Internet. Take a look how social media has radically changed this obscure hobby into a global interactive community.

Presentations at SMMF ’14

An exciting programme awaits participants at SMMF ’14. In addition to the booths and workshops, we are also happy that there are presenters who will share their work with us. There will be (almost) continuous presentations during SMMF 14, right in the sports hall at Senja Cashew CC where stories will be told and lessons shared. Here is a quick summary of the presentation schedule

Saturday, 26th July 2014

Sunday, 27th July 2014

Makers Nite on 26th July 2014, 7.00pm