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What useful stuff has come out of your space?

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What useful stuff has come out of your space?

What sorts of tools have been developed in your space? I ask because my personal MO is to Make With Purpose, and that is currently manifest in my job as program director of Geeks Without Bounds. We'll be doing a panel at Maker Faire Detroit on tools that link people to their communitities (local food, reporting potholes), to incoming help (first responders in disaster, crisis mapping, radiation detection), and to information resources (Knowledge As Power, tool libraries, etc). Tools can be hardware, software, meta, tangible, etc.

So... What have you worked on or seen at your spaces or in your communitites?

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#1

About 1.5y ago, we began participating in a program called Bright Futures. Bright Futures is an afterschool educational program sponsored by grants out of Eastern Michigan University aimed at economically depressed areas of the Detroit metro land. With this, we began doing hands-on techy DIY with elementary and middle schoolers in Wayne and Westland. We did everything from simple circuits to DIY rocketry to duct tape wallets, trying to teach that they can remake their world as throroughly as anyone else with just the materials at hand. Recently, we wrapped up a big Arduino-powered line-following-robot session with them. Josh Williams has really dug himself into this and ran with it, and now we do Bright Futures at 5 different schools every week. Bright Futures pays for the teachers' time to be there, so it has offered a very substantial way for a lot of AHA members to supplement their income while spreading the joy of making. This has also played into several of our members working for Brain Monkeys or Rocks and Robots, both local hands-on tech education utilizing Lego Mindstorms robotics and hardware hacking, respectively.

This isn't all a phyiscal tool, per se, but it has added greatly to AHA's knowledge base of how to teach effectively and deeply to children across a wide range of backgrounds, and it is our hope that in doing this we are teaching the next generation of makers and hackers just how badass they already are.

#2

A talk was given at the http://hackerspaces.org/skins/monobook/external.png?2011-02-22T21:38:20Z); background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">24th Chaos Communication Congress (2007) on the topic of creating and running a hackerspace and it was built on the framework of http://hackerspaces.org/skins/monobook/external.png?2011-02-22T21:38:20Z); background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">Design Patterns.

C4 gave this Hackerspace Design Patterns as a reminder of the reoccurring issues that come up at hackerspaces. 

While the text only isn't as good as the actual live presentation, it's worth a look over.

http://hackerspaces.org/images/8/8e/Hacker-Space-Design-Patterns.pdf

http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Design_Patterns 

Enjoy. 

#3

I think the most useful thing to come out of the sapce is arguably the space itself. More importantly, the networking that has happened between the members. Knowing you have an army of geeks at your back is probably the most powerful and empowering tooI I've ever had on any project. We still have a long way to go through, before we're 'stable' enough to start thinking about heavy outreach. I think, therefore, one of the most useful things we can do short-term is expand, and bring more people into the fold of this network. There are still many skillsets/fields we don't have a knowledgebase in, and more people needed to spread the administrative overhead over.

I would also love to see this network extend to the high-school age crowd, too. It would be  invauable in helping people find their passions early on to really impact what they choose to do and how they end up doing it. I'm in contact with a few teachers, but the whole under-age thing needs to be figure out, first, and the space manned during those after-school hours, maybe even a formal 'program' or project.

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