Author Archives: megadolen

Hands-on activities for the month of June!

Like the idea of family bonding over hands-on fun with clay, electronics, paper circuits or other activities to “wow” your children?

Leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 26 & 27 July at Senja-Cashew CC, Science Centre Singapore has organised a series of hands-on activities since the beginning of the year. Bring your child to join us on 7 June (Saturday), 10am – 1pm, and immerse into a morning of creativity.

Interested? Sign up at https://www.regonline.sg/makerworkshop2

June SMMF

About DIY Biohacker Malthe Borch and Labitat

A group of about 15 Science Centre Singapore staff came together for a sharing session by a DIY biohacker Malthe Borch from Copenhagen on 30 April 2014.

Malthen Borch

It was interesting to learn why Malthe had chosen to be an independent biohacker to conduct his own biology experiments using materials which could be bought from supermarkets, about the DIY hackerspace, Labitat that he co-founded and works in at Copenhagen.

We were shown plenty of photographs in the sharing session, giving us some ideas of the kind of DIY laboratory equipments that were used and how they incorporated technology such as Arduinos in their biohacking, and the ethics and humanity issue his group faces when they carry out their biology experiments.

Besides sharing about the biohacking scene in Copenhagen, Malthe also talked about his experience working at the Hackterialab at Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

During the Q&A session, there were further discussion on the practical issues of running a biohackerspace, funding etc, and Malthe also offered some suggestions on the kind of biohacking projects that we can consider here in Singapore.

It was an interesting hour of sharing and discussion, and it certainly gave us some insights for biohackers-wannabes here! If you are interested to find out more about the Malthe and Labitat, check out their website here at https://labitat.dk/

Introducing our Makers – Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014

Just earlier this month, we held a family workshop as a lead up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 that will take place at Senja-Cashew Community Club on 26 & 27 July. We would like to showcase some of the makers from that workshop who have contributed their time, effort and other resources to share their making knowledge with members of public, and who will be joining us at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 itself.

The first maker that we would like to introduce is Mr Ng Pan Yew.

Activity booth at 5 April family workshop

DSC_0010If you were with us during the family workshop, you will likely remember Mr Ng Pan Yew’s busy activity booth where you can solder your own wireframe models. Mr Ng expressed his initial concern about the participants’ interest in his station activity, but his worry was soon allayed when the young participants and their parents slowly streamed to his station. In fact, he observed that some parents were even more excited than their children!

This was when Mr Ng realised that activities which allow participants to be involved will tend to draw the crowd. He commented that this would guide him for future workshops.

Yes, Mr Ng had intended to return for another round of workshop leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. Do look out for it!

Here is a showcase of the wireframe models.

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About Mr Ng Pan Yew

Mr Ng Pan Yew, a 52-year-old research assistant, is new to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and had only heard about it at the beginning of this year through his ex-colleague. With background in communications and electronics, Mr Ng enjoys hands-on activities and experiments. He described himself as hardworking but not smart, and as someone who will persevere to complete a project. Mr Ng should probably also add on “humour” to his self-description, as he described how indulging in these electronic hobbies had made him feel like 25 years old instead.

The SMMF14 showcase

Mr Ng shared his fascination with the vibrancy and attractiveness of Marina Bay’s cityscape, and his view that the iconic buildings and landmarks had overtaken Sentosa as Singapore’s main place of interest. Hence, that inspired him to make a mini Marina Bay acrylic model (the Merlion, Singapore Flyer and Esplanade, etc) to be placed at home. To inject life to the acrylic model, he added LED lighting and programme them to operate in sync with your choice of music.

When asked about the project, Mr Ng shared that although he had tried to look for people to build the model together, he couldn’t find any. He opined that it was hard to find like-minded people who likes hands-on hobbies. Well, I am guessing Mr Ng might probably be surprised when he meet these like-minded people at the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire! If you are one, do remember to look out for him!

The interview with Mr Ng reminded me that there might be many more makers and hobbyists who have not heard of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and the opportunities that exist to showcase what they can do. We hope that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire can continue to be that platform and allow more like-minded hobbyists and makers to get to know each other, work together and come up with more marvellous projects.

Want to see a preview of Mr Ng’s mini-LED light display of Marina Bay area? Check out this video that he has done up, together with his daughter who aided in the sub-titles.

Be a Maker: Lets make a carnival game

Experimentation, collaboration, and play are the cornerstones of Karkhana, a Nepal maker group. They believe in breaking new grounds and nurturing a new generation of makers.

There is now an opportunity for children aged 6 – 12 years old to attend a workshop on 3 May (Saturday), 10am – 12pm at Science Centre Singapore to make a carnival game. Through this workshop, the participants will learn about the Design Cycle TMPI (Think, Make Play, Improve).

Interested? Sign up at http://makerworkshop1.peatix.com/

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From traditional printing press to blinky circuits

Were you here with us at the Marquee, Science Centre Singapore for our first lead-up family workshop for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire last Saturday? It was an amazing array of activities and we hope you had managed to cover everything if you were here.

Check out some of the station activities that were arranged!
LED activities/ Using DIY remote buttons for Scratch software
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Learn about simple circuits by making a blingtastic circuit

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Sciencey games: Kendama
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Amaker3D: Open source 3D printing
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3D modelling and design with Henry Wong and Darren See
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Quilling and paper crafting with Priyanka Datta
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Solder your own wireframe models by Pan Yew
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Colour Me – by artist Richard Kearns
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Communicate your Science: a “Be a writer” talent hunt and children’s talk show, by Sindu Sreebhavan of Kids Parade Magazine
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If you had missed this workshop, no worries, there will be other opportunities. Do watch this space or follow us on our Singapore Mini Maker Faire Facebook Page! Remember to block your calendar for our actual Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 which will happen on 26 & 27 July 2014 at Senja-Cashew Community Club.

“Colour me” and Discovery @ L’Observatoire

It is always interesting to check out tinkerspaces of our makers.

On Wednesday, part of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire team made a trip to “L’Observatorie in Singapore”, an art and science space set up by Isabelle Desjeux for learning and sharing.

Isabelle is not new to the team as she took part in the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire two years ago and conducted a portable handphone microscope workshop. Her tinkerspace is tucked in a quaint corner at Turf Club Road and is located within a kindergarten building (The Blue House International School). A perfect setting to inspire tinkerers and makers.

Print made by an etch press

Print made by an etch press

What awaited us was a painting session as part of “Colour Me”, an investigative and participative project by Richard Kearns, L’Observatoire’s Artist-in-Residence from January till March.

Richard showed us a huge etch press which is used for printmaking. He also explained how the prints were solar etched onto photopolymer plates and demonstrated how the printing was done.

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Isabelle’s Etch Press @ L’Observatoire

It was fun to try our hands on the painting which was limited by the 4 colours available for each print, and it was exciting to see a traditional etch press at work. It has certainly inspired me to start exploring printmaking using a press!

L’Observatoire has a lot of interesting gadgets, such as pinhole cameras, DIY weaving loom and its own darkroom! Check out some of these photos!

Camera and the inverted image from the beautiful skyscape outside the studio

Camera and the inverted image from the beautiful skyscape outside the studio

Inspired to make something like that for yourself?

Inspired to make something like that for yourself?

Reminded me of my own exact letter stamp set!

Reminded me of my own exact letter stamp set!

If you are interested in the “Colour Me” project by Richard Kearns, check out the event details at the “Colour Me” Facebook Page. The sessions he is conducting at L’Observatoire will end this Sunday (30 Mar). Look out for future projects that Isabelle and Richard would be embarking soon for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014!

 

Biotinkering? What’s that?

Taking apart the webcam

Taking apart the webcam

It started with just a handful of students who readily took up the hands-on challenge to build their own microscope by hacking a webcam.

In a short while, the two tables that were full of gadgets gradually drew attention, until a point that we can hardly view what was happening at Marc Dusseiller’s pop-up biotinkering space.

Wondered what else were done at the pop-up makerspace held at Science Centre Singapore on 13 Mar 2014?

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Using the glue gun to fix the camera to the base

Within the short 2 hours, the impromptu participants tried their hands at taking things apart, and putting them together again, and experimented with different items that they could view using their DIY microscope, including a live spider and a cotton stainer!

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Lots of spontaneous efforts were also put in into ensure the live insects are viewable on the DIY microscope, amusing the crowd watching the demonstration.

Cotton Stainer

Cotton Stainer

Marc also brought along plenty of interesting gadgets which captured our attention.

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Check out the two suitcases he brought his stuffs in! One of them is a “Lab in a suitcase” while the other contains stuffs that he made. Inspiring, isn’t it? Seems like some people will start packing their own maker suitcase/bag soon!

Marc's lab in a suitcase!

Marc’s lab in a suitcase!

Maker tools in a suitcase!

Maker tools in a suitcase!

If you are looking forward to some tinkering and making, check out the next pop-up event on 22 March at Tampines Central Community Club.

Kids can hack and make too!

Students who went to the Senja-Cashew Community Club on 4th and 5th January for their Edusave Merit Bursary Awards were pleasantly surprised to walk into a hall full of activities – and very unusual activities too.

Hackidemia (4-5 Jan 14)In one corner, 3D printers were humming, printing what kids doodled on the app – doodle 3D. Kids were walking around with 3D printed flowers, butterflies and even their names. Other children took their first foray into making with electronics as they tried out Hackidemia SG’s classic offerings – Vibrobots, Zombie Signalizers and Little Bits.

Parents stood back and watched, proud and at the same time apprehensive, as kids as young as 4 tried wielding a saw and mallet at the woodworking station. Makers from different parts of Singapore and different walks of life came together with a singular goal – to instill the value of hands-on making to parents and the empowerment it gives to young children who delight in the simple pleasure of seeing and loving what they have made with their own hands.

Check out the video uploaded at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Facebook Page!

The maker roadshow at Senja Cashew Community Club was jointly organized by Science Centre Singapore, Singapore Mini Maker Faire, Hackidemia Singapore, Silicon Straits, Simplify3D, Sustainable living Lab and Senja-Cashew Community Club, leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 later on this year.

This blog entry has been contributed by Dr Kiruthika Ramanathan, Science Centre Singapore.

Quill your own fancy jewellery

Dohadwala Rashida Taher will be conducting a workshop on the use of paper strips and quilling to make eco-friendly jewellery on 28 July, 2.45pm – 3.30pm at *SCAPE Workshop, Situation Room (Level 5).

Rashida shared that her inspiration for quilling came from a book which she saw 8 years ago, and it gained traction over the years. Her inspiration for projects come from many sources ranging from the colourful flowers at the Sentosa Spring Festival to the beauty of a peacock’s plumage to the popular “Angry Birds”. She shared that once the quilling fever sets in, everything around her seems to inspire a quilling project. She has made gift tags, envelopes, photo frames, paper jewellery, magnets, candle holders, greeting cards and even incorporated quilling into decorative watches!

ready products for workshopIn her workshop, she will share the original quilling technique where participants will make a colourful pendant which will be attached with a leather string to form a necklace, and the project will be suitable for any children aged 7 and above. The finished creations can be brought home by the participants. The quilled items can be made water resistant but this process requires multiple coats with a drying period of about 2 -3 days and cannot be completed during the workshop. Hence, Rashida is offering participants of the workshop to waterproof their end products and collect from her separately at centrally located MRT stations on either 1st or 2nd August.

If you are interested to learn how to quill and make your own fancy jewellery with it, do come to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 28 July and sign up for the workshop at the SMMF information counter. The fee is at $8 per participant. Places are limited, so come early to secure your places!

Make your own conductive inks!

A drawing done with conductive inks

A drawing done with conductive inks

Did you know that you can use a simple recipe to make your own conductive inks, and you can use these conductive inks to draw your own circuits? Yeo Wee Kiang, a fresh PhD graduate from the National University of Singapore shared how he discovered the joy of making your own conductive ink and how it could be applied for educational purposes.

About the maker and the workshop

Wee Kiang graduated just 2 weeks ago from the National University of Singapore with a PhD in Chemoinformatics. He shared that while waiting to go overseas for his post-doctoral training in January next year, he began to explore and tinker with several different things beyond his own discipline.  He dabbled with the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Squishy Circuits, discovered commercial conductive inks and finally came up with his own recipe of conductive ink that could be made out of non-toxic food-based ingredients. This is something he believed is simple enough for anyone interested to use it for educational usage, hence he decided to conduct an inaugural workshop at this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire to show how electrical circuits can be not made up of messy wires, embedded into creative drawings, very colourful and very safe. Wee Kiang shared that he has no plans to commercialise the idea and encourages all to make use of the idea and improvise it to add fun and creativity in the learning of electronics. Kudos to Wee Kiang’s generous maker spirit!

Involvement with the Singapore Mini Maker Faire

Like Chinmay (initiator of the “Learn to breadboard electronics” workshop), Wee Kiang is one of the first few followers of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. He recalled how he first heard about the Faire when William Hooi, part of our organising team, introduced it at Barcamp Singapore last year. He visited the Faire after that and found it to be very interesting. Wee Kiang expressed his views on how the maker culture here should not be limited only to a niche group of people. Indeed, we also hope to spread the maker spirit to as many as possible, and we hope that all the amazing makers at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire can inspire the uninitiated.

Do not miss this interesting workshop that is designed for children (6 years and above) as well as adults, happening on 28 July, 3.45pm – 5.15pm at Colony Room (Level 4), *SCAPE. There is a workshop fee of $6 which is payable at the SMMF counter at the Colony Room. Adults accompanying children can join in for free, while individual adults can join in at the same fee. Workshop places are available on a first-come-first-served basis.