Countdown: 4 months!

The Kent State Mini Maker Faire is exactly 4 months away! We cannot wait. Are you excited as we are? If you or anyone you know is a tinkerer, crafter, or tech enthusiast in the area, then save the date for April 10, 2015!

The Akron Mini Maker Faire recently took place on October 18. With over 1500 attendees, it sounded like a great success! Check out photos from their event:

“Photos, we got photos!”

For those on our Kent State campuses, we wish you good luck on the rest of your finals! Just think … by this time next week, all papers, projects and exams will be complete and you will finally have time for that maker project that you have been anxiously waiting to tackle. Happy Finals Week!

Maker Faire Pennant Flags

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship WeekBlackstone Launchpad at Kent State is offering a variety of free events in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which starts today and runs through Friday (November 17-21, 2014).

As quoted on the organization’s site, Global Entrepreneurship Week is:

the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

“Global Entrepreneurship Week is an annual focus on promoting entrepreneurial activities and engagement,” says Zach Mikrut, senior marketing manager for the Blackstone LaunchPad program at Kent State. “This year, we are fortunate to partner with several Kent State departments and regional organizations to provide a rich offering of events to the Kent community.”

One such department is the Fashion School’s TechStyleLab, who is sponsoring and coordinating the event, “Cece Couture: The Startup Process for Independent Clothing Retailers”. Taking place tonight from 6-7 p.m. in room 302 of Rockwell Hall, attendees will hear Cecelia Haren talk about her experiences in starting up a business during her college career. Other notable events such as “Learn to Pitch for your Arts-Based Business”, “#GirlPower Pitch Night” and “Road Trip to TinyCircuits” require advanced registration, so sign up if interested!

All Kent State Global Entrepreneurship Week events are free and open to the public. For the full schedule of events and links to registration, visit the Global Entrepreneurship Week event page. Note: the last Kent State Maker Meet Up networking event of the semester takes place this Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the TechStyleLAB (302 Rockwell Hall). We hope that you can make it!

Maker Project Inspiration

3D printer demo - Jason Potts

Jason Potts demonstrates 3D printing at the first annual Kent State Mini Maker Faire

The 2nd annual Kent State Mini Maker Faire is exactly 5 months away! Are you excited? We cannot wait.

If you are hoping to exhibit as a maker at our event but do not have an idea together yet, now is the time to start planning! Need inspiration? Check out this great article from the Young Makers program (a Maker Education Initiative) entitled “Finding a Project Vision”. While the program itself targets a young audience the strategies outlined in the article can be applicable to any maker. They are as follows:

  • See what’s out there – look at as many examples as possible of what other people have done
  • Figure out what you want to learn – whether it’s a new skill you would like to acquire or new material with which you would like to explore
  • Play with something new – just experimenting with a new material could stimulate an idea
  • Do what you love – base a project idea around a hobby or interest, such as creating props or decorations for your favorite holiday

For the full read check out “Finding a Project Vision”. Need input on your concept? Consider attending the next Maker Meet Up networking event that takes place on Thursday, November 20 from 6 – 8 p.m. in Kent State University’s TechStyleLab (Room 302, Rockwell Hall). It is free to attend and is the perfect way to chat up fellow maker enthusiasts! Mark your calendar – we hope to see you there!

Innov8athon III: #bestcardever!

Innov8aton III: #BestCardEverBlackstone Launchpad at Kent State University is holding their 3rd annual Innov8athon on Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. This year’s hackathon is presented by American Greetings and challenges contestants in a range of skills – from illustrators to programmers and musicians – to collaborate on creating the #bestcardever! Check out the Innov8athon website for details and to register for the free event.

A workshop to prepare contestants for the hackathon will take place on Wednesday, November 5 from 7 – 9 p.m. on the 4th floor of the Kent State University Library. If you are thinking about competing in the Innov8athon you should make plans to attend! Visit the workshop registration page to sign up.

Good luck to the contestants! We look forward to seeing the winning creation.

Kent Hack Enough

Kent Hack EnoughTomorrow is the start of Kent State’s annual hackathon on campus, Kent Hack Enough. Run by student organization Hacksu, this weekend-long event is free to enter and is open to college students not only at Kent State University but across the state of Ohio. Winners receive prizes and exposure to major companies in the area.

The innovations created throughout the weekend are inspiring! If you’re not a hacker but are intrigued, consider attending the Expo on Sunday to check out the entries and witness student creativity. You will be amazed! The Expo will take place on the 4th floor of the University Library from 11 a.m. – noon and is open to the public.

For details about the hackathon, visit the Kent Hack Enough website. You can also find the latest updates on their Twitter feed @KentHackEnough. Good luck to all of the contestants! We can’t wait to see what you invent!

October Maker Meet Up

Kent State Maker Meet Up networking event

The next Maker Meet Up networking event has been rescheduled from this coming Thursday, October 23, to the following Thursday, October 30, 2014. The free event, hosted by Kent State University Fashion School’s TechStyleLab, is open to all Kent State makers! It is a great way to meet fellow tinkering enthusiasts and chat about what you’re working on. This is also the perfect opportunity to talk with organizers of our upcoming Mini Maker Faire and share any project ideas that you might have.

So mark your calendars! The Meet Up on October 30 takes place from 6 – 8 p.m. in the TechStyleLab, located on the 3rd floor of Rockwell Hall. We hope that you can make it!

Akron’s Mini Maker Faire

Next Saturday is the 2014 Akron Mini Maker Faire! The free event takes place on October 18 at the Akron-Summit County Public Library from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. If you have never been to a Maker Faire before and are looking for inspiration in own tinkering project, make plans to attend! We know that next Saturday is also Kent State’s homecoming. Don’t worry – there is time for both!

We are all about the Maker Movement in Northeast Ohio and supporting our fellow Maker Faires. Have an idea for your own maker project? Make plans to participate in our 2015 Kent State Mini Maker Faire!

Maker Faire Pennant Flags

Netflix documentary: “Print the Legend”

If you’re like us, you may geek out about this. There is a new documentary out about 3D printing and it’s available for streaming on Netflix! Entitled, “Print the Legend”, this film covers the industry in its most recent years of 3D printing, following the steps of Makerbot and Form1Labs as they help take what their predecessors had developed in the technology and bring it to the masses. In doing so, the documentary also gives viewers a peek into the entrepreneurial side of the industry.

View the trailer:

For more information, visit the official website for “Print the Legend”. If you have a subscription to Netflix, it’s available to watch right now! Otherwise, stay tuned … we may bring a special screening of the film to campus soon!

Cleveland’s IngenuityFest

In case you have not heard, Cleveland’s 10th annual IngenuityFest takes place this weekend! The free event is an innovative collision of art and technology that showcases some of the exciting projects happening around Northeast Ohio. If you have been considering participating in the Kent State Mini Maker Faire and are looking for inspiration, this festival should not be missed! IngenuityFest runs from 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Friday, noon – 1 a.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is held again this year on Dock 32, north of First Energy Stadium on Cleveland’s lakefront. Visit the IngenuityFest’s website for more information.

Be sure to stop by the technology art installation by Brian Peters, assistant professor for Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Brian’s Solar Bytes Pavilion consists of 3D printed, solar-powered bricks. Check out the photo from his test installation on the Kent State campus this week!

Solar Bytes Pavilion by Brian Peters

The Solar Bytes Pavilion installation, created by Kent State Professor Brian Peters (photo credit: John Popple)

Maker Meet Up event

Kent State Maker Meet Up networking event

Kent State University Fashion School’s TechStyleLAB will be holding the first of a series of campus networking events called Maker Meet Ups to promote the maker community on the Kent State campus. This event is designed to be open to all and provide a platform to show and tell what students, faculty, and staff are working on (with a little food thrown in).

The first Meet Up takes place tomorrow (Thursday, September 25) from 6 – 8 p.m. in the TechStyleLab – room 302 of Rockwell Hall. We hope to see you there!