For this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire we are excited to be collaborating with Eric Schlaepfer and Ken Shirriff. We’ll be bringing decapped chips like the MOS 6502, the 555 timer and 741 op-amp along with microscopes to let visitors see what’s inside of famous and interesting integrated circuits. We’ll also be bringing large scale reference models, including the MOnSter 6502.
Maker Faire is May 18-20 at the San Mateo Expo Center. If you’re looking for us at Maker Faire, our exhibitor number is 65553 and our project name is Uncovering the Silicon. We look forward to seeing lots of you there!
Spend your Presidents Day with us! We’re bringing you even more hands-on science fun than usual. You’ll build straw rockets and design colorful climbing robots. We’re also teaming up with Kickstarter to give you a sneak peek at some new tech.
The hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and we’ll be bringing the MOnSter 6502 and demonstrating how microprocessors work with our giant version of the classic MOS 6502.
Last year while attending FIRST robotics competitions with the Firebots, I had the privilege of serving as a judge at both the Central Valley Regional and the Sacramento Regional. Judging gives an opportunity to get to know the folks involved in the competition, whether they’re students, mentors, or other volunteers like you. I’ve judged and volunteered at a few events now, and one of the great things to see is the way that the community builds and nurtures itself.
One of the students I met in past years, Callie, had graduated from her team, but keeps coming back as a volunteer. Callie was refereeing at both events, and shines brightly as a role model. Literally. She built an LED tiara and programmed it to light in the event colors of red, white, and blue.
She’s a student at UC Davis, and is a truly wonderful role model for the high school students at the events. While you don’t necessarily need an LED tiara to shine as a role model, Adafruit does have a tutorial so that you can make one, too.
JR has been volunteering in a high school programming class and wrote up a thoughtful post about his experiences using the WaterColorBot in the classroom. He wrote a Python library that allows users to directly control a WaterColorBot by writing Python code.
To be honest, this library is a pretty insane way to control the bot. It’s needlessly low-level: you’re manually controlling the brush’s position, you’ve got to remember to wash and re-ink the brush every so often, etc. If your main goal is to just get the bot to paint a pretty picture, there are lots of better ways to go about it.
As a teaching aid, though, it’s been a total success, because it lets students flex their burgeoning Python skills and actually make a real thing in the process! We’ve been blown away by the stuff our students have created.
Seamus B. sent in this picture of building Interactive Game of Life kits with kids. After they finished he sent in the video below of it working. We always love to see progress photos, especially when kids are getting into electronics and soldering.