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Facilitating at a Pop up Maker space

Before I joined Science Centre as an intern/temporary staff, words like “maker” and “tinkering” were at the bottom of my word bank. An Arts student like me  saw the beauty of Science through simple activities like “Paper circuits” and “Bristle bolts”. I saw the pure Physics that I painstakingly studied in secondary 4 come alive.

Barely 3 weeks into work and I feel that if I had been introduced to ‘Making’ since young, I would have been a more creative person who thinks out of the box.  The life of kids these days revolves around academics and the computer. They are given very minimal opportunities to hone their thinking skills but these are the kind of workshops which create innovative people.

Basic Paper Circuit

Basic Paper Circuit

While explaining to me what paper circuits are and how to make them, Dr Kiruthika made the paper circuit above. How many of us know that aluminium foil and aluminium tapes are alternatives of wires, because they conduct electricity? There is a huge gap between practical and theory.

Students who attended the Pop up Maker space at Poi Ching Primary School used that simple concept of electricity and made interesting things with it.

Another maker, Priyanka Gupta – founder of Just Love Crafts, came down to Tampines to teach the bursary award recipients quilling. Making is just so beautiful, it really feeds one’s soul. Moreover, quilling is not only for relaxation purposes ,it is useful as anything from decorative items to jewelry can be made using paper. Yes, you read it correctly, PAPER.

LEDs was incorporated into a quilled flower

LED was incorporated into a quilled flower

I saw the joy in children, parents and grandparents when they made items by themselves.

Grandmother qilled her own  butterfly

Grandmother quilled her own butterfly

Mother and children taking the idea of a basic ciruit and making intersting things

Mother and children taking the idea of a basic circuits and making interesting things

Look at the smiles on their faces! Making makes one happy indeed!

Look at the smiles on their faces! ‘Making’ makes people happy indeed

It was my pleasure to see people’s face light up upon making their own items and learning things which are not in their textbooks.

The pop up makerspace at Poi Ching Primary school was a real eye opener for me.

Interview with Shaun and Mantej

Last December, over 1500 people came together at Science Centre to participate in HourofCodeSG. The week long coding event was facilitated almost completely by volunteers and members of the Maker community. We are glad to share Lianhe Zaobao’s coverage of the event, as well as two student makers – Shaun and Mantej- who showcased their coding/ robotic creations at the HourofCodeSG.

14 Jan 15_Lianhe Zaobao_Page 8_From hacker to coding expert (2)

Summarised translation of the article:

In order to be better than others at computer games, Shaun Chua, picked up the skills for cracking online games, and inadvertently became interested in coding. The Higher Nitec student now no longer plays online games, but sends his free time coding to create electric toy cars and intelligent sensing system.

Shaun recently participated in Science Centre Singapore’s Hour of Code. He and 40 other volunteers demonstrated self-created robots and games, to interest children in coding. The event, attracted 1,500 children and parents.

15-year-old Mantej Singh was also a guide at Hour of Code, where he showcased his own robots. The ACS (Independent) student developed an interest in robotics after watching Terminator. At the age of 12, he was able to create robots using Lego toys that are controlled by computers.

About the Hour of Code, Mantej Singh said, “I participated in Hour of Code to share my knowledge with young ones, and showcased simple robotics apparatus to encourage them to explore the fun of coding.”

Making in Art Workshop in Feb

 

Join us on Feb 14th to make Drawing machines, Fish bone sculptures, Polymer clay art, Scrap metal art, Paper circuits etc and learn new skills such as Wood work, clay crafting, circuit design, and combining Arts, Science and Tech.

Register at https://www.regonline.sg/makerworkshop5

Making in Art Poster Final

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.

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

(Sponsor’s Blog) Evernote Maker Series: Building a Half Pipe Skateboard Ramp

(Cross-posted from Evernote Blog)

In celebration of our participation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, this week we’ll be publishing a series of blog post telling awesome Maker stories building and making stuff using Evernote.

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Ever since his parents put up a ramp for he and his brother to skate on when they were just kids, Troy Malone, General Manager for Evernote in APAC has always tried to make sure he had a small half pipe wherever he lived. A half pipe was more than a place where Troy skated and had fun. It was a place that has captured the memories of many wonderful afternoons.

Now that he can skate with all three of his kids, it’s even more of a blast as he sees them learn and get better. Building a half pipe from scratch is definitely not an easy task. From doing research to the actual making, lots of time and effort is needed.

Follow Troy’s journey below to see how he uses Evernote to simplify the making process.

No-Fuss Researching

Clip Away

Researching for a project as huge as this is not an easy feat. There is information scattered everywhere on the web; articles ranging from just a paragraph to pages long, different methods with various difficulty levels and material lists with all sorts of tools he has never heard of. At times, it is tough for Troy to just look through all the web materials, let alone decide on the best method and material list. Troy uses the Evernote Web Clipper to clip online articles for a later read when time allows. Besides, with the smart search function, Troy is able to search within documents, articles and pictures to quickly pull out articles he has previously clipped when needed.

Bringing Your Shopping Lists with You

Troy uses Evernote to store the list of materials that is needed and pulls them out whenever he needs to refer to it. He is able to type the list up on his computer when he is home, and then access it from his phone when he is at the store. This allows him the flexibilty to pick up materials from wherever he is or whenever he passes by a hardware store.

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Checked!

Since the materials cannot be found in a central area, Troy visits many places to source for materials, and this cannot be done in a single day. Troy creates a check-list to ensure that he never misses out any tools or accidentally purchase two of the same item. This helps Troy clear his head as he no longer needs to rack his brains to think of what he has bought or has missed.

Building of the Half Pipe

Saving Blueprints

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Troy saves all his blueprints and plans on his computer and syncs them for easy access from his phone. He follows instructions from the materials he finds online to make the correct transitions. He checks off each step on his list when completed to determine his progress.

Remembering Everything

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Troy also enjoys taking photos, from the beginning till the end of the project. He captures most of his pictures on his phone and then saves them into Evernote to be synced to his computer. This helps Troy ensure that the memories of building the half pipe with his children are never lost.

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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)

“Fix it, Give it” – A project by the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES)

Good Karma ToyThe Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) will be embarking on a “Fix It, Give It” project to collect unwanted toys and work with volunteers to give the toys a new lease of life. The toys will be donated to one of the children’s home in Singapore.

A collection box will be set up at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC (at the registration booth). If you have mechanical or electronic toys which are spoiled and you would like to contribute them towards this meaningful cause, SAYES would like to appeal to you to bring them down to us this weekend. A very big THANK YOU to you in advance!

If you have any enquiries about the project, please email to sayes@science.edu.sg.