Tag Archives: STEM

SHEbots

When:  Sunday, November 13th, 10:30am – 10:50am

Where: Maker Exhibit Hall Stage at the George R. Brown Convention Center

Description:  Dancing SHEBot !  Demonstrating how EV3 can be use to do super fun project during your hang out time with friends!  Talking about how to play like a girl that likes STEM !

Tech / Craft / Mindset:  Robotics, Women in STEM

Speaker(s): Jane Taylor and Pop Panel

About the Speaker:

Jane Taylor is the Founder and President of Bot Shop LLC. Bot Shop is an innovative one-stop shop specializing in integrating Robotics and Energy Education into K-12 public janetaylorschools, informal education, non-profits and outreach programs. As a full-service consulting firm, Bot Shop provides turnkey solutions for effectively engaging youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through making. We support robots in education from the classroom to competition.

Jane Taylor began teaching middle school science in HISD in 2000 after graduating from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and joining Teach for Americas-Houston. She used robotics as an instructional tool in her science class in 2001 after securing a community grant which purchased LEGO Mindstorms RCX robots and registration fees for First LEGO League. In response to the amazing reaction from students to this new technology, Jane created a course name Project Based: STEM in 2004 and established one of the first robotics elective courses in Houston Independent School Districts. She went on to successful designed, developed and implemented grassroots robotics competitions, after school programs, and course curriculums throughout Greater Houston and Harris County areas.

Jane currently serves as advisory and game designer to the 4H SET AgriBotics Robotics Challenge, as the chairman for the SHEbot Initiatives for GIRLS in STEM, and has been recognized as the Teach for America “Energy in Education” and numerous National Teacher of the Year. She has studied educational robotics at Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy and is a certified LEGO Education Academy Master trainer. Jane has been involved in the Houston’s competitive robotics community for over 14 years as a coach, mentor, and sponsor and has been instrumental in the growth of the regional robotics community. Jane has presented at SXSWedu, TCEA, ISTE and NSTA conferences on STEM Education topics.

Makerspaces: Where Magic Happens

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maker-spaceMakerspaces are those amazing new places where you can get together and share knowledge, tools and projects — and build community! Lot’s of things are happening in makerspaces all around the Greater Houston Area, and supporting businesses are emerging to help you 20160915_201540tackle anything from learning how to code and 3D print — to building products that can actually go to market. Makerspaces are now appearing in libraries around Houston, and many schools are beginning to implement makerspace-based education including some elements of makerspaces right within the school. Makerspaces are great places to see and experience the “joy of kingwoodlibraryteensmaking” all year round, and many are involved in outstanding community-service activities you’ll want to know about. Learn about all this and more at Houston Mini Maker Faire! Exhibits include:

  • Children’s Museum of Houston:  The Chevron-Houston Texans Maker Annex is a place for children to invent, construct and showcase their work, with access to a wide range of tools and education experiences.
  • Creativity Shell: a brand new makerspace in Kingwood, Creativity Shell focuses on sewing and community service. A special focus is projects for girls.
  • Creatorspace: a busy hive of maker activity for the NASA area, this community is always ready to help you get started.
  • DaVinci Maker Labs: a new makerspace coming soon to Alvin.
  • Evelyn Meador Library (HCPL), Seabrook: a great library where you can 3D print.
  • Fort Bend County Libraries: you can 3D print at many of these friendly facilities!
  • HCC West Houston Institute: representing a bold vision of leading-edge service to students and the community, this amazing facility will open in Spring 2017. If you’re a maker, inventor, artisan, engineer or entrepreneur, you’ll want to know about this large well-equipped makerspace.
  • Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab at HCPL Freeman Branch Library: located in the NASA JSC area, this facility is the prototype for makerspaces in community libraries.
  • Katy Makerspace: great capability, great community, convenient access, west side — need we say more?
  • MakerBarn: a great place to mix real-world making with country spirit — lot’s of great things happen here!
  • MakerHealth at UTMB Health: this is the first makerspace in a hospital in the US! A brilliant combination of capability and opportunity capture for primary-care givers, it represents real innovation in health tech and part of the MakerHealth family of programs.
  • MakrU Bus: this fun well-equipped rolling makerspace can come to you! Teachers and educators seeking a quick start to the maker education experience should get to know the MakrU Bus.
  • Neighborhood Centers: the largest community service organization in Houston sees the potential of the Maker Movement too. Come talk with them about their plans.
  • Proto Makerspace: another one of the excellent community-based makerspaces around the Houston area, this one serves the North side, especially around Spring and The Woodlands. A special focus is projects for kids and girls.
  • Techno Chaos: if you want to design a makerspace for a school, library or community organization, Techno Chaos has the maker education experience to help you succeed!
  • TX-RX Labs: the largest hackerspace (aka “makerspace”) in Texas and the oldest in Houston, TX-RX has an abundance of tools, resources and community to help you get started on just about anything
  • Various Schools: many schools around the Greater Houston Area have internal makerspaces for use by students and teachers. Several will be proudly showing examples at Maker Faire!

Tech & Inventions

arduphotoTech (technology) has incredible capabilities today — and is predicted to continue to grow in power very quickly. If you’re wondering about things like 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, IoT (Internet of Things), voice control, remote control, robotics — or any of those many similar advertised capabilities of advanced tech — Maker Faire is the place for you! We’re the only exhibition where you ocurhythmcan talk at length with people developing real projects using the latest tech. Come and stay for a while!

  • 3D Distributed shows advanced 3D Printing Technologies. [Pavilion]
  • 20150523_101006713maker.com shows a large selection of items we have helped other makers produce with our 3D printers and CNC mills to finish their projects. We showcase these at our booth along with a number of the heavily customized 3D printers we use with the parts we have made for them. [Pavilion]
  • AE Machines has developed a web-based software platform that enables non-technical users to program and reprogram microcontrollers for automated systems, without needing prior knowledge of how to code. On top of that, we guide the user through the hardware selection and purchase process. We aim to be a one stop shop for a user with an idea who needs help executing.
  • American Business Television: We would like to become the media partner of start-ups and businesses that are looking to promote themselves and to get in front of investors.
  • Arovia Spontaneous Pop-Up Display: Come play with the world’s first collapsible screen: SPUD. A high resolution, 24 inch display that collapses to the size of a book. If you really like SPUD be one of the first to get it by buying on Kickstarter!
  • Barnes & Noble Pop-Up Shop featuring product demonstrations and check out the latest Make: Magazine, products, and books. [Items for sale.]
  • Bright Water Bottle: A device designed to help increase your safety and keep you connected.
  • BuildYourCNC (a Houston-based leader in CNC maker tools) is showcasing their newest machine — a CNC machine constructed of metal that has interchangeable heads for different applications. [Pavilion]
  • Bunibox – Animated Selfie Booth: Come take part in an animated photo experience to prove to everyone you were at the Maker Faire. Then get the photo delivered strait to your phone so you can post online, because you know the saying…”It didn’t happen if there aren’t pictures to prove it.”
  • “Cloak” by KIPP Sunnyside AceTech: “We will allow people to see and test invisibility”.
  • Comp. Sci. DIY: The three exhibitors will be showing off a number of electronics items that can be built at home and are fun for the whole family. Items on display will include an arcade machine, programmed pumpkin lights, and much more!
  • Cosine Additive: Large format, industrial grade 3d printing on the Cosine AM1. This 3d printer is ready for business! They do service bureau work too. [Pavilion]
  • creatorspace! will be showcasing member projects. Electronics projects. Coffee projects. Music projects. RC. toys 3d printers. metal work projects. other 3d printers. robots. some clothes. laser cutter stuff. drones.
  • Electronic Parts Outlet is a great local source of parts and info for your tech ideas and projects. Items for sale. [Pavilion]
  • eNABLE Chapter at the University of Houston seeks to acquaint more people with the noble cause that eNABLE is devoted to. They plan to demonstrate assembling a prosthetic hand and possibly engaging attendees in the process, along with displaying a fully assembled prosthetic hand or two.
  • FilaCube proudly produces 3D print filaments in Houston, TX. We will provide 3D pens for kids to test our filaments for free. [Pavilion]
  • Fort Bend County Libraries will soon offer the ability for patrons to 3D print in many of their locations.
  • GDD Boombox- A Suitcase with Speakers! re-purposes vintage suitcases into portable sound systems. Each suitcase is outfitted with electric and audio equipment, battery and charger. Just connect your music and go!
  • “Gokart” by KIPP Sunnyside High School.
  • GRIND Basketball creates a portable, more affordable basketball rebounding machine that automatically collects and returns basketballs while a player practices. This team puts an interesting spin on the intersection of innovation, sports, performance management, engineering and robotics — check it out at Maker Faire!
  • Grubout: A seamless and easy way for restaurants and customers to interact.
  • Haptigo is a navigational vest that guides pedestrians through the use of vibro-tactile sensors and a smartphone application.
  • Harmony Public Schools “DIY Education by STEM SOS Model” is a rigorous, interdisciplinary, standards-focused, and engaging STEM teaching approach that is teacher-facilitated, student-centered and directed through sets of project- and inquiry-based maker projects. STEM SOS Model embraces Maker Movement and incorporates Maker Culture into its educational approach. We will be sharing our experiences starting maker spaces in schools and demonstrate example DIY projects hoping to inspire like-minded educators, parents and community members.
  • Harmony Public Schools “SHECO 2017” Car: We are a high school team participating in the Shell Eco Marathon and our main objective is to build the most fuel efficient car in North America. Tools, methods and materials used for the design and construction of this car will be exhibited.
  • Harris County Public Libraries (incl. Freeman Branch): they started the “makerspace-in-a-library” strategy in Houston, and are a leader in helping you get started as makers!
  • HDesign – Product, Design, Development, and Introduction: We provide product design, development, and consultancy to innovative and the creative minds of Houston and akin demand(ers)/ mindcepts. “We make forms a functional part of life”, through “Ideation” ™.
  • Houston Community College (HCC) will show the largest exhibit we’ve ever had in Houston, with abundant information, insight and inspiration! Check out the IDEAS Pitch Competition, the many showcases of HCC capability, and the wide variety of fascinating student projects.
  • Houston Vintage Radio Association shows what it was like when radio was the “hottest” tech around! Come see some great examples of equipment from the pre-TV days, and talk to people who were (literally) on the front lines of the radio technology revolution. Their tube-based equipment is cool again — and they’re the experts!
  • ITC VR Village showcases local Virtual Reality startups and developers as well as community groups dedicated to VR and AR technology. And check out the Immersive Technology Conference (11/14-16 @ UH) for an even-deeper business-oriented dive into VR and AR.
  • Lange Industries is a local inventor who will demonstrate his “No More Clog” solution.
  • MacroFab: high-capability automated electronics assembly right here in Houston! [Pavilion]
  • Makeblock (at the Techno Chaos booth): come play with these low-cost rugged programmable robots! A good exhibit for teachers, parents and children wanting to learn more about educational robotics.
  • MakeCrate: Come build a circuit with MakeCrate. Learn how to power LEDs and buzzers using Arduino and our step-by-step, teacher designed instructions.
  • MakerHealth is dedicated to providing tools and democratized access to medical fabrication across the globe. At the MakerHealth exhibit, you’ll build custom telehealth systems powered by Raspberry Pi boards and create a smart inhaler using MakerHealth Kits! Learn about diagnostics, prosthetics, hospital maker spaces, MakerNurses and Arduinos in the clinic!
  • Makerspaces are those amazing new places where you can get together and share knowledge, tools and projects — and build community! Click here for a full overview of what is available across the Greater Houston Area.
  • myFunSeat is a fun-filled inflatable sofa for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Neosensory is a Houston-based wearable technology startup that is working on a product that allows deaf and hard of hearing people to perceive sound using their sense of touch.
  • Northworks Automation sells professional 3D printers aimed at production environments. Designed and built in Houston from CNC-machined parts, our printers are simple to use, fast, reliable and robust – perfect for maker environments. [Pavilion]
  • OcuRhythm has developed glasses that use light therapy to correct your circadian rhythm (which controls your sleep patterns)! They will be showcasing the different prototypes we have build for our startup.
  • PCs for Me is run by 13 year old entrepreneur and maker, Ethan Saadia. He designs and sells kits and accessories for the Raspberry Pi, a powerful computer the size of a credit card. We encourage both kids and adults to become makers and learn computer science as well as provide those already maker-savvy with additional tools to build exciting projects. [Items for sale.]
  • PicoWear: we make #wearable tech for the #family that reduce the risk of #children getting #sunburn.
  • Polymorphic Labs is a Houston startup that makes life digital. Using our hardware platforms, developers can easily incorporate real world data into their apps. Come by our booth to play a game with our bluetooth sensors, check out the hardware, and learn about our SDK. The rumor is they’ll have some cool automated NERF gun hacks too….
  • PolyPrinter 3D Printers is a demonstration of 3D printers manufactured in Texas. [Pavilion]
  • Puzzometry – The Hardest Puzzle You’ll Never Solve shows laser-cut acrylic puzzles. Originally funded on Kickstarter. Locally made. [Items for sale]
  • re:3D will demonstrate Gigabot, their affordable made-in-Texas large format 3D printer, and connecting with potential partners and customers in the Houston area. [Pavilion]
  • RPM Defense Solutions: Personal protection inventions.
  • Run My Robot: Ever wanted to teleport to some far away location? This is pretty close. Control telepresence robots from anywhere via the internet.
  • San Jacinto College – South Campus: the Engineering Design Graphics Department will demonstrate how their education programs can help you develop core skills for innovation and design.
  • Station Houston: come see how this leading startup coworking space can help your project or team succeed.
  • That’s Me 3D: Custom life-like 3D Keepsakes of you, your kids and your pets. We also make 3D obj files for game programmers! [Items for sale]
  • TMC Innovation Institute (TMCx) offers companies access to the resources and expertise of the largest medical center in the world to drive health and life science advancements. By uniting promising innovators with the best minds in academia, science and medicine, TMC helps companies streamline the development of therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device and digital health breakthroughs.
  • TX-RX Labs will display many member tech projects, and will host the soldering hands-on activity. If you want to invent with electronics and tech, soldering is an essential skill — drop by and take this next step in maker skills.
  • University of Houston Industrial Design Labs will exhibit several projects that show the power of design that has enabled them to be a global leader in this area.
  • Usbourne Books & More sells children’s Books by Usborne Books and Kane/Miller. Many styles of books (board books, picture books, educational, etc.) for all age ranges – from newborn thru teen years
  • Woodcraft of Houston Southwest will bring a Sawstop and do demos all day of this important safety technology.

Education

20150523_101006We can all imagine a world in the future full of technical marvels and improvements to quality of life. But who will design and build that future? Preparing our youth to be the creators of an amazing future is the focus of many education strategies, including STEM, STEAM, 21st century skills, computational thinking and technical literacy, project-based learning, and vr-gaming-625x350makerspace education.

Clearly, there’s a lot going on in education today! While some may see some of this as fads that come and go, we believe things are moving quickly and t5421861fd1ba8hat tremendous and important opportunities are emerging. That’s why we focus on elements of STEM and STEAM education each year, and offer Houston Mini Maker Faire as the best showcase of makerspace education available in Texas. Our goal is to provide educators 20160728_130814with important new information and experiences that you can adapt and adopt into your classrooms to meet your objectives for education enrichment.

Please consider these planned exhibits throughout Houston Mini Maker Faire — these are just a few of the highlights available at this event:

  • Virtual Reality (VR): this is a new fast-developing area and it’s not all hype. Get real hands-on experience in our VR exhibits, especially the demo of Google Expeditions VR for education.
  • Health Tech is very important for the Houston economy and is the focus of extensive innovation, sometimes from surprising sources. This area will continue to be important for decades, and is therefore a great topic for student education, experience and development. At Houston Mini Maker Faire you can learn more about these opportunities from real experts and startups in the field. Some of your most-brilliant students will go into this field — learn how to help them begin innovating now.
  • Power Up Houston Hackathon models an excellent event structure to build student energy and participation in creative problem-solving and solution development, while developing 21st century skills and technical literacy. There’s still time for you and your students to enroll in the Hackathon event at Houston Mini Maker Faire; click here to learn more.
  • Robotics: competitive educational robotics programs are the tried-and-true standard for highly-engaging project-based learning. Houston Mini Maker Faire offers you the opportunity to gain deep insights into the widest variety of robotics programs of any event in Texas. And did you know the largest robotics competition in the world — nearly on the scale of the Super Bowl — will be in Houston in April 2017? Learn how you and your students can get fully involved as preparations begin for this inspirational event!
  • Makerspaces are one of the “hottest” trends for schools and libraries right now. Learn what teachers and students are really doing there, what their successes and challenges have been, and how to get started effectively — including how to spend those precious education funds wisely. Real people who have actually done the work are there to talk to at length.
  • Creativity is core to STEAM education models, and Maker Faire is designed to be a showcase of creativity! For further investigation here we recommend the many Arts & Crafts exhibitors and Creativity Shell, a new sewing makerspace in Houston.
  • Urban Agriculture is literally a hotbed of innovation right now — and fertile ground for new investigations and projects with students.
  • The IDEAS Pitch Competition (with HCC) is a model of how to get students thinking about real-world opportunities and problems and make solutions happen. There will be follow-up opportunities with HCC.
  • Drones: yes, they’re great for STEM education too!
  • Design Thinking will be everywhere as it’s demonstrated by applied projects across too many categories to list here. Prominent displays will be in the exhibits of the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, and the huge area presenting the capabilities and projects of Houston Community College.

Additional specific exhibits with education components include:

  • Barnes & Noble Pop-Up Shop featuring product demonstrations and check out the latest Make: Magazine, products, and books. [Items for sale.]
  • Bechtel “Engineers Without Borders” explores how engineering is applied in practical ways to make the world a better place.
  • ChickTech (at the Proto Makerspace booth): tech project and robotics teams for girls.
  • Children’s Museum of Houston:  The Chevron-Houston Texans Maker Annex is a place for children to invent, construct and showcase their work, with access to a wide range of tools and education experiences. Several maker learning activities will be available at Maker Faire.
  • Creativity Shell: Interactive Sewing Station and projects for girls.
  • Electrical Circuits Hands-On Learning (by David Sproles, retired engineer)
  • eNABLE Chapter at the University of Houston seeks to acquaint more people with the noble cause that eNABLE is devoted to. They plan to demonstrate assembling a prosthetic hand and possibly engaging attendees in the process, along with displaying a fully assembled prosthetic hand or two.
  • FilaCube will proudly produce 3D print filaments in Houston, TX. We will provide 3D pens for kids to test our filaments for free.
  • FIRST in Texas: FIRST is a hands-on, mentor-based program by design that allows for a safe environment to explore engineering, design, fabrication, programming (technical), as well as the business side of developing a start-up (business models/plans, marketing plans, presentations, communication, outreach) – the soft skills. Learn about the FIRST Robotics Championship (April 2017, in Houston) and how to get involved.
  • Fort Bend County Libraries will soon offer the ability for patrons to 3D print in many of their locations.
  • Harmony Public Schools “DIY Education by STEM SOS Model” is a rigorous, interdisciplinary, standards-focused, and engaging STEM teaching approach that is teacher-facilitated, student-centered and directed through sets of project- and inquiry-based maker projects. STEM SOS Model embraces Maker Movement and incorporates Maker Culture into its educational approach. We will be sharing our experiences starting maker spaces in schools and demonstrate example DIY projects hoping to inspire like-minded educators, parents and community members.
  • Harris County Public Libraries (incl. Freeman Branch): they started the “makerspace-in-a-library” strategy in Houston, and are a leader in helping you get started as makers!
  • Houston Community College (HCC) will show the largest exhibit we’ve ever had in Houston, with abundant information, insight and inspiration! Check out the IDEAS Pitch Competition, the many showcases of HCC capability, and the wide variety of fascinating student projects.
  • Houston Public Library: We will display one of our DIY activities (makey makey, paper circuits or Little Bits).
  • IdeaLab Kids
  • IDEAS Pitch Competition (at the HCC area) has many proposed projects in the education space.
  • Makeblock (at the Techno Chaos booth): come play with these low-cost rugged programmable robots! Makeblock products represent a new peak in value of price-performance. A good exhibit for teachers, parents and children wanting to learn more about educational robotics.
  • MakeCrate: Come build a circuit with MakeCrate. Learn how to power LEDs and buzzers using Arduino and our step-by-step, teacher designed instructions.
  • MakerHealth is dedicated to providing tools and democratized access to medical fabrication across the globe. At the MakerHealth exhibit, you’ll build custom telehealth systems powered by Raspberry Pi boards and create a smart inhaler using MakerHealth Kits! Learn about diagnostics, prosthetics, hospital maker spaces, MakerNurses and Arduinos in the clinic!
  • MakerHealth at UTMB Health: this is the first makerspace in a hospital in the US! A brilliant combination of capability and opportunity capture for primary-care givers, it represents real innovation in health tech and part of the MakerHealth family of programs.
  • Maker Maven will have a makerspace inside of the booth featuring hands on activities and information on makerspace kits, activities, and more!
  • PCs for Me is run by 13 year old entrepreneur and maker, Ethan Saadia. He designs and sells kits and accessories for the Raspberry Pi, a powerful computer the size of a credit card. We encourage both kids and adults to become makers and learn computer science as well as provide those already maker-savvy with additional tools to build exciting projects. [Items for sale.]
  • PolyPrinter 3D Printers is a demonstration of 3D printers manufactured in Texas that are very popular with schools and libraries.
  • Protein Bracelets by Science ACES: Come learn the basics of how proteins are made while making a fun bracelet you can use to teach others about all that proteins do!
  • Robotics Education & Competition Foundation will show both static and interactive VEX and VEX IQ robots.
  • Robot Mastery LLC: Elementary School, Middle School, High School. It’s never too early to take an interest in robotics! Come see how one high school student has gathered many like minded peers and parents to create wonderful opportunities for robotics education.
  • Sabine Pass ISD: In our booth, we will show off our 3D printing, drones, Raspberry Pi, Arduinos, Makey Makeys, and other things we have used in our class. We will have things that people can look at as well as some hands on demonstrations.
  • San Jacinto College – South Campus: the Engineering Design Graphics Department will demonstrate how their education programs can help you develop core skills for innovation and design.
  • SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Education Development) is Schlumberger’s education outreach program. Join us for hands on activities building brush bots and paper circuits!
  • Sustainable Water: learn about the daily challenges of gaining access to clean water in many parts of the world, and how the ingenuity and “can do” of Houston can bring relief.
  • Techno Chaos: if you want to design a makerspace or a maker education program for a school, library or community organization, Techno Chaos has the maker education experience to help you succeed!
  • University of Houston Industrial Design Labs will exhibit several projects that show the power of design that has enabled them to be a global leader in this area.
  • Usbourne Books & More sells children’s Books by Usborne Books and Kane/Miller. Many styles of books (board books, picture books, educational, etc.) for all age ranges – from newborn thru teen years
  • Wee Warhols art classes will help children develop fine motor skills, expand creativity, introduce many different mediums, and promote self esteem.

Health Tech

kits2Medicine and health are very big in Houston and essential to the local economy! With all this interest, focus and capability you’d expect to see innovation happening — and indeed it is, sometimes in surprising places. Visit this large new set of exhibits to see how maker technology and innovators are helping build a future of better health.

Planned exhibits currently include (note: we anticipate additions, so please check back for updates):

  • eNABLE Chapter at University of Houston: eNABLE is that amazing nonprofit foundation that is 5421861fd1ba8using 3D technology, open design and a web-based infrastructure to deliver more affordable, quality, sustainable prosthetic rehabilitative care to underserved populations of enable-the-future-3d-printedindividuals. Get upclose insight into how this work is done and the 3D-printed prosthetic hands are built at this exhibit. The Innovation Lab at the HCPL Freeman Branch Library exhibit has been helping this new eNABLE chapter get started and will have additional insights. And PolyPrinter (also an exhibitor) is loaning them a 3D printer so they can demonstrate project build activities. (Note for teachers: eNABLE projects are an excellent way to get students directly involved in how health tech innovation is happening today.)
  • Haptigo will show a navigational vest that guides pedestrians through the use of vibro-tactile sensors and a smartphone application.
  • arduphotoThe MakerHealth exhibit will include examples of health making from the MakerHealth network (hospitals and agencies across the country), which includes nursing, clinicians, patients, and caregivers. This exhibit is led by Jose Gomez-Marquez, who leads the Little Devices Lab at MIT and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in medical technologies. He will demonstrate the use of MakerHealth prototyping kits (tip to teachers and students: this is a fantastic education opportunity!) and will also discuss the MakerNurse curriculum.
  • makernurseMakerHealth Space at UTMB (Galveston) is the first makerspace in a hospital in the US! A brilliant combination of capability and opportunity capture for primary-care givers, it neosensory-macrofab-1represents real innovation in health tech and is part of the MakerHealth family of programs.
  • Neosensory (co-founded by Houston neuroscientist David Eagleman) is a wearable technology startup that is working on a product that allows deaf and hard of hearing people to perceive sound using their sense of touch through ocurhythm“sensory augmentation”.
  • OcuRhythm has  developed glasses that use light therapy to correct your circadian rhythm (which controls your sleep patterns)!
  • picowearPicowear: innovative convenient small wearable monitor to protect you and your children from overexposure to the sun.
  • The TMC Innovation Institute (aka “TMCx”) offers companies access to the resources and expertise of the largest 920x920medical center in the world to drive health and life science advancements. By uniting promising innovators with the best minds in academia, science and medicine, TMC helps companies streamline the development of therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device and digital health breakthroughs. TMCx will showcase several of its current startup projects with ideas and examples that can keep you busy for hours!

Robotics

So much is happening in robotics in Houston! Once again, Houston Mini Maker Faire the presents the largest and most-varied exhibition of robotics in Texas, for STEM education, development and hobbies. Visit these exhibits to gather important insights into how robotics education programs increase the power of STEM in school and at home.

  • A large number of competitive educational robotics teams will be at Maker Faire to proudly demonstrate and discuss their great robots. Many are designed for a specific competition category like FRC, VEX, FTC, FLL and even MATE underwater robotics. Many of these teams are past and present regional and international champions, but others are for fun and engineering challenge. You could easily spend all day in this area alone if you want to learn more about robot design and engineering. These projects are good for students in grades 3-12, so we recommend this area to teachers, students and parents.
  • FIRST in Texas: did you know the largest educational robotics competition in the world will be in Houston in April 2017? Yes, the FIRST Championship will be in Houston on April 19-22, 2017, and will span the GRB, Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park! This is HUGE! This is an outstanding opportunity for local teachers and students to get involved and have an amazing life-changing experience. To learn more, come to Maker Faire and talk to the many educational robotics teams that will be actively exhibiting their robots, and visit the FIRST in Texas booth to find out how to get involved as a mentor, coach, volunteer or competitive team.
  • Makeblock offers the most cost-effective complete programmable robot kits, designed by makers and using the Arduino electronics foundation. They’re built to be capable and durable — and they are the first in this class to be fully programmable from a smartphone or tablet! Come try them out at the Techno Chaos booth and see what a great robotics learning kit this is!
  • Proto Makerspace has great programs for girls to get involved in robotics teams with ChickTech.
  • Techno Chaos can help your school, library or community organization get started in robotics with its makerspace education programs. Techno Chaos has the widest range of real-world experience with educational robotics of any group in Texas! The exhibit will include a Makeblock robot demo, some small combat robots (“battlebots”) and the 6′ tall Minecraft Creeper robot!

Urban Agriculture

20160924_163326There is abundant innovation in food and farming in Houston, and we’ll all be healthier for it!

Some “food for thought”: What are the benefits of hyper-local (i.e., grown right in your community) food sourcing? How is it being done successfully in Houston? How 20160424_160729can you participate, either by doing-it-yourself at home, or by lending a helping hand to urban gardens around Houston?

Our planned exhibitors will cover a wide range of topics and knowledge, ranging from organics, hydroponics, aquaponics (both large-scale and do-it-yourself backyard), micro-economics, charitable causes and much more. You might find this is easier and more accessible than you thought!

20160924_161718Teachers and educators will find a lot of information here for use in a broad range of topics back at school — plus some great field-trip ideas!

Planned exhibits include:

  • “Ace Tech”: a robot waters the garden at KIPP Sunnyside High School
  • Backyard Aquaponics: check out this maker’s real-world experience with scalable aquaponics that can easily be adapted to a corner of your backyard, or even just part of your deck.
  • Last Organic Outpost: the largest urban agriculture venture inside the loop, their operation and experience covers everything from organic waste recycling to enhance soil nutrients to large-scale aquaponics. Education outreach is offered.
  • Small Places LLC is pioneering “accessible agriculture” within the 610 Loop. Starting with their operational Finca Tres Robles farm, they have a complete set of concepts that demonstrate how urban farming can be a community-changing venture.
  • “So You Think You Can Farm?”: an inventive device by KIPP Sunnyside that helps maintain and cultivate crops
  • Tiny House: there will be a “tiny house” in the house! A real fully-build example, and you can talk to the builders. (While not actually in the Urban Agriculture theme, it’s a nice fit with the alternative options for the city this category represents so we’re listing it here.)

Drones’R’Amazing!

drone_medicineDrones are more than just a hobby or flying machines — they sit at an incredible intersection of technology, creativity, innovation and business opportunity! Come see the amazing innovation and capability first-hand, and talk to people who design, build and fly drones right here in Houston. Jump in to one of the most amazing “VR” experiences around, drone_ringand learn why flyers are so passionate about this sport. Explore how drones can be used to create real “buzz” in STEM education. And talk to people who are starting drones-based businesses — some with global ambitions — here in Houston! Planned exhibits include:

  • drone_raceDrone Parks Worldwide: this startup business, based right here in Houston, plans to make drone flying for fun and sport possible around the world! Visit them to see what’s actually happening in drones and see a wide variety of demonstrations — and talk to people who live, breathe and fly drones….
  • Drone Flying Zone: yes, this is real! In collaboration with Drone Parks Worldwide, you can actually fly a small fully-equipped drone in this special area — perhaps even take on a flying drone1challenge or race! This area will also be fun to just visit and watch, as all the “professional” drone flying exhibitions will happen here too.
  • AceTech Drone plans to showcase some cool drone technology. We can’t wait to see it!
  • 2014052520209Creatorspace: this makerspace in the NASA area is a hotbed of drone building and engineering. Visit them and learn how a makerspace can help you make something amazing!
  • Sabine Pass ISD: this school is using a wide variety of hands-on projects to strengthen STEM education, including drones. Visit them to see great student projects and learn from their experiences.
  • TX-RX Labs: many drone flyers from around Houston build and improve their flying contraptions at TX-RX, the largest makerspace in Texas. Drop by and visit them to get more insight into what makerspaces make possible for you.

Building The Future Of STEM Education

We can all imagine a world in the future full of technical marvels and improvements to quality of life. But who will design and build that future? Preparing our youth to be the creators of an amazing future is the focus of many education strategies, including:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math): emphasis on knowledge, problem solving, engineering disciplines and process
  • STEAM (STEM + “Arts”): STEM, with additional focus on creativity, design and exploration
  • 21st Century Skills: core competencies for the modern workforce, especially creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving
  • Computational thinking, digital literacy, technical literacy: preparing students to be able to use current and future technology to solve real-world problems
  • Project-based learning: adding hands-on projects to STEM curriculum to increase effectiveness and engagement
  • Makerspace education: hands-on creative experiential learning to build functional technical literacy on top of a STEAM base

Clearly, there’s a lot going on in education today! While some may see some of this as fads that come and go, we believe things are moving quickly and that tremendous and important opportunities are emerging. That’s why we focus on elements of STEM and STEAM education each year, and offer Houston Mini Maker Faire as the best showcase of makerspace education available in Texas.

Think of Maker Faire as a smorgasbord or buffet, full of interesting options and choices. The information and experiences at Houston Mini Maker Faire can give you better insight into what to invest your valuable time and money into, to achieve your objectives for education. This is useful both for parents who are confronted with so many options for kits, after-school classes, camps and so on — and for teachers, librarians and administrators trying to make informed decisions about how to best set up a makerspace or similar at their facility, and what programs and experiences to use to increase the impact of STEM education.

And what’s really impressive about Houston Mini Maker Faire is the scale and variety of exhibits. Here are just a few examples (click here for more info):

  • Learn about drones. What’s their potential for STEM education?
  • Are there practical applications of VR for education? We will have real-world examples of VR that you may not have even heard of yet, but need to know about. (Stay tuned for the big announcements here.)
  • Robotics: we continue our “tradition” of exhibiting the widest variety of robotics in Texas, with many new examples and kits you can learn about. Find out how to get involved as a teacher or a parent, and learn about the huge things happening in educational robotics in Texas.
  • New topical areas, such as Health Tech and Urban Gardening/Hyperlocal Food Sourcing/Aquaponics will be there, with many interesting opportunities for education content and activities.
  • IDEAS startup pitch competition: how do we help students act on their ideas to create new businesses and make the world a better place? This real event by HCC will model how to make this happen (sign up now to get involved).
  • Power Up Houston Hackathon: a hackathon is a great way to get students active and focused on real-world creativity and solutions. Participate, or observe and see the magic happen live!
  • Learn about tech and creativity components you can add into curriculum to promote technical literacy, STEM and STEAM: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, IoT (Internet of Things), wearables, sewing, new science demos, kits, crafts, e-textiles, and more. In many cases you can try them out, right at Maker Faire!

One thing that’s very unique about Maker Faire is that it’s more about showing and sharing than selling. Yes, there are a few quality vendors there that you can purchase items from if desired, but you never have to worry about “arm twisting” and high-pressure sales tactics. In most cases, you can talk to the expert — the person who actually did the work — right there at the event! And of course, Houston Mini Maker Faire is about much more than STEM education — you could easily find great highly-useful ideas built by an artist or innovator who wasn’t even thinking about education impact at the time! So put your “explorer hat” on and come out and see how all these bright minds have put together examples of creativity, education and inspiration!

Building The Future Of STEM Education

20150523_101006We can all imagine a world in the future full of technical marvels and improvements to quality of life. But who will design and build that future? Preparing our youth to be the creators of that amazing future is the focus of many education strategies, including STEM, STEAM, computational thinking / technical literacy, and makerspace education. Clearly there’s a lot going on in education today! That’s why we focus on important elements of STEM and STEAM education each year, and offer Houston Mini Maker Faire as the best showcase of makerspace education available in Texas. Read the full blog on this topic here to gain deeper insight into our plans for Maker Faire.

dsc_2907Think of Maker Faire as a smorgasbord or buffet, full of interesting options and choices. The information and experiences at Houston Mini Maker Faire can give you better insight into what to invest your valuable time and money into, to achieve your objectives for education. This is useful both for parents who are confronted with so many options for kits, after-school classes, camps and so on — and for teachers, librarians and administrators trying to make informed decisions about how to best set up a makerspace or similar at their facility, and what programs and experiences to use to increase the impact of STEM education.

dsc_2779And what’s really impressive about Houston Mini Maker Faire is the scale and variety of exhibits (read the full blog to get insights into the many new topic areas planned for this year’s event!) In many cases you can try the examples out, right at Maker Faire! Another thing that’s very unique about Maker Faire is that it’s more about showing and sharing than selling. You don’t have to worry about being pursued by vendors; instead, in most cases, you can talk directly with the expert — the person who actually did the work — right there at the event! And of course, Houston Mini Maker Faire is about much more than STEM education — you could easily find great highly-useful ideas built by an artist or innovator who wasn’t even thinking about education impact at the time! So put your “explorer hat” on and come out and see how all these bright minds have put together examples of creativity, education and inspiration!