The 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire is over, and Hacker Scouts had a great time! Word on the street was that 120,000 tickets were sold (could not confirm this at the time of writing), and we certainly saw a lot of those families come by our booth!
The Bay Area Maker Faire is coming up on May 18-19th at the San Mateo County Events Center and Hacker Scouts will be there! Come visit our booth, see some of the projects our Scouts have done, meet the founders and the families dedicated to the Hacker Scouts mission, and learn how to make a plastic mold with embedded LEDs!
When we started Hacker Scouts, we envisioned a program where kids could learn real, relevant skills in order to achieve the greatest inventions of their imaginations. A program that honored their developmental process and supported their autonomy. A program that was fun and filled with activities that showed kids the intersect between making, technology, function, and aesthetics. It all started with Open Lab.
Please join us for these exciting upcoming events at our new partner and host space, Tech Shop San Jose!
Information Night for Guild 002 is Thursday, May 2nd at 7pm
TechShop San Jose - Conference Room
300 South 2nd Street, San Jose, CA 95113
(corner of 2nd St. and San Carlos St.)
The meeting started out with the individual crews breaking out and working on their Crew Patch designs. Many honed in on what was essential in their designs and we saw some great drawing. We had a name change with one of the groups, they felt Techno Gods was not quite what they wanted, so they are now the Technomancers.
Hacker Scouts for Saturday March 23, 2013 -
Today we had a large group of 8-12 year old boys, and of course a 8 year old girl who absolutly loved programming in Scratch on the XO Laptops http://one.laptop.org/
Dear Maker Families,
It is with great enthusiasm that I announce an addition to our programming. At Hacker Scouts, our mission has always been very clear to us. While our Guild must maintain an age limit to encourage and support complex concepts and skill building at a developmentally appropriate level, Open Lab has always remained all ages. We really try in Open Lab to always have at least one or two activities that can be modified for our younger Makers and engage whole families.
We hear fairly regularly, however, from parents who would like to have a more consistent experience like Guild for their younger children. When we joined the fiscal umbrella of the School Factory, we merged with Maker Scouts but kept our name. We are now pleased to announce that Maker Scouts lives on! A fully developed program that meets weekly, Maker Scout Guilds will focus on STEAM concepts and activities, and build confidence in our youngest makers. It will also give them a solid foundation for when they are old enough to graduate into a Hacker Scouts Guild.We are pleased to be able to offer a complete program for all ages, abilities, and interest!
Open Lab: Open Lab is an all ages program based on how children learn through various developmental and educational theories as well as a desire we see in the Maker culture for community and family inclusiveness. The idea is this: Twice a month we hold Open Labs where we have experts/mentors available to help kids with any project they bring in. There is also a featured project that a whole workshop is built around that specifically targets skill building. In addition, there is always a menu of other kits/activities that are available for kids that focus on a variety of interests, skills, and ways of learning. The structure has a method- it creates consistency and the opportunity for mentoring and improvement, the provided activities and featured workshops are designed to teach to multiple learning styles, the format supports autonomy and independence, and the program is inclusive and adaptable. Kids can earn badges or not for their skill building, and they can come every week or once in a while. The result is exceptional and exciting- families have come and learned, shared, hacked and formed community in our hackerspace while thriving on the opportunity to learn new skills, reinforce knowledge, and benefit from mentoring to explore their own interests and achieve their unique goals.
Maker Scouts Guild: The Maker Scouts Guild is a weekly scouting program for younger children (4-8) who are ready and interested in basic skill building and concepts. Our Maker Scouts program gives young Makers experience in STEAM education through four 12 week sessions, each of which focus on critical thinking, design, and building with hand-on activities. Activities are designed to help the youngest makers become safe, proficient users of making tools and materials on their way to discovering their passion and language of self expression. The program also provides young people learning opportunities that foster the core values of the Innovator Mindset– embracing failure, frustration tolerance, communication, collaboration, creativity and empathy.With each skill explored, Maker Scouts will receive a specially designed badge that they will be able to collect on their Maker Scout coverall. Badges are provided for not only making skills but for demonstrating Innovator Mindset skills like Collaborating, Flexible Thinking and Sharing. Maker Scouts is aligned closely with our Hacker Scouts program, providing a relevant and solid foundation which prepares them to transition into a Hacker Scouts Guild.
Hacker Scouts Guild: The Hacker Scouts Guild is a weekly scouting program for older children (8 and up) who are ready for more complex skill building and a focus on their individual goals while building relationships within a community. The program is designed to balance between structure and autonomy, uniquely addressing the developmental, intellectual, and social needs of this age group. Every Guild begins with the Hackerling Circuit project, which is an Arduino Shield (circuit board) that gives all of our scouts a well rounded education in STEAM concepts and exposing them to the fundamentals of skills, resources, and ideas. Topics covered include circuit and hardware science and function, soldering, LEDs, sewing, design, laser cutting, and more.Not only does this project give our kids a strong foundation to work from, but it also allows them the opportunity to make autonomous decisions around their own interests and what badges they may want to pursue later on. Every meeting also includes a short activity that provokes thought and discussion on one of our core values. Once members complete the Hackerling Circuit Badge requirements, members split into smaller crews to pursue Badges in the areas of their own interest. Meeting also include group projects and field trips that offer an opportunity to try new skills and explore ideas.
I also want to introduce two newer members of our team: Jarick Cammarato joined us from Maker Scouts as our Director of Youth Outcomes,and is the Guild 003 leader in Charleston SC. Jean Kaneko from the Exploratory in Los Angeles joins us as Director of Maker Scouts. She and her team have an extensive background in early childhood education and Making, and we will be working closely to consistently align the two programs. Finally, we are migrating to new websites: hacker-scouts.org and makerscouts.org up and almost complete! Thanks for your patience as we get all the information posted. If you have any questions or interest in any of our programs, please contact us! Warmly, Samantha Cook Executive Director, Hacker Scouts
Dear Maker Families, It is with great enthusiasm that I announce an addition to our programming. At Hacker Scouts, our mission has always been very clear to us. While our Guild must maintain an age limit to encourage and support complex concepts and skill building at a developmentally appropriate level, Open Lab has always remained all ages. We really try in Open Lab to always have at least one or two activities that can be modified for our younger Makers and engage whole families.
Featured project: Folding Wing Gliders! This is not your average balsa wood airplane. Originally designed by Jim Walker in the late 1930s, this glider has wings that fold back, allowing it to become more streamlined. This unique twist enables the glider to rocket 60 to 70 feet into the air using the included rubber band. At the peak of the climb the wings fold back out, allowing the glider to soar over long distances.
Featured project: Folding Wing Gliders!
This is not your average balsa wood airplane. Originally designed by Jim Walker in the late 1930s, this glider has wings that fold back, allowing it to become more streamlined. This unique twist enables the glider to rocket 60 to 70 feet into the air using the included rubber band. At the peak of the climb the wings fold back out, allowing the glider to soar over long distances. There will be a group going to Golden Gate Playground a few blocks away (at San Pablo and 62nd St) towards the end of Open Lab, where there is a big field to let the gliders fly! ($10 material fee) Limit: 25 kids
Tesla Coils with CamDAX
CamDAX is going to bring his Audio Modulated Tesla Coil, to play some awesome music, and shock him self as well as any willing victims. Also there will be a piano and electric guitar, so you can play your own tune on the coil. (Free)
These bookmaking kits contain 72 sheets of deckle edge paper, plus the spine and cover boards needed to complete a lovely handmade book. Choose your own decorative paper as your cover. Makes a fantastic journal, photo album, or sketchbook! ($8 material fee)
DIY Laser Cut Art:
Many of you have express interest in designing something yourself to create on the Laser Cutter. Well, now you can! You can find the instructions on how to prepare your design here. We will be charging $0.50 per minute to use the Laser Cutter for your own designs, slightly more if you do not bring your own materials to cut. Please send your file to hackerscouts@acemonstertoys BEFORE Open Lab so we can make sure they will print. If you have any questions, email us!
Assorted Soldering Kits:
We reordered all the sold-out new kits as well as some other favorites and are well-stocked again!
Prices vary ($9-$22)
See you on Sunday 2/17/13, from 2-5pm at AMT!
Cameron is one of our amazing Hacker Scouts and he has big plans for the Maker Faire this year!
He is a 17 year old, homeschooled guy that paints, plays with lightning, makes electronic mechanical contraptions, writes computer programs, and builds/fixes computers.
TARDIS Tesla is an electric performance/game involving two large tesla coils, a replica TARDIS, and sonic screwdriver TV remotes. The way it works is there are two players each with a sonic screwdriver that they use to play a game of Bulls and Cows These sonic screwdrivers have accelerometers in them that detects movement like up, down, left, right, ect. The players move their screwdriver to input a sequence of commands assigned to each movement. Each screwdriver has a corresponding coil it controls via a computer program and arduinos. The Two Players (or companions) demonstrate their ability to use a sonic screwdriver to gain access to the TARDIS. Whenever they enter in part of the combo, their corresponding coil fires a bolt of lightning at the TARDIS. If it’s correct, the bolt sounds like a sonic screwdriver and if it’s incorrect sounds like an error beep. Who ever wins gets to pick a song to play on the coils.
From the Hacker Scouts Team:
We are proud to be helping Cam reach his Maker Faire goal. As a member of our Hacker Scouts Guild 001 in Oakland, we have the privledge of seeing him work on a variety of projects with precision, ingenuity and passion. He also mentors the younger members of the Guild with compassion and a cool ability to share knowledge. Between the Hacker Scouts mentors and his mentors at Arc Attack, he has the support to achieve his dream. We believe in him and his TARDIS Tesla, and ask you to contribute to his campaign.
Click here to donate or find out more!
We have some big news. Because of the way in which Hacker Scouts is resonating and growing with so many, we have made some organizational changes. Hacker Scouts is joining the School Factory under their fiscal umbrella. They are an organization that shares our core values and our dedication to STEAM education and skill building. This has resulted in two specific benefits (among many!). First, it preserves our eligibility for a grant we are in the final process of securing (woohoo!). Second, it created a merger!
We have some big news. Because of the way in which Hacker Scouts is resonating and growing with so many, we have made some organizational changes. Hacker Scouts is joining the School Factory under their fiscal umbrella. They are an organization that shares our core values and our dedication to STEAM education and skill building. This has resulted in two specific benefits (among many!). First, it preserves our eligibility for a grant we are in the final process of securing (woohoo!). Second, it created a merger! The School Factory had volunteers working on a similar idea for a while called “Maker Scouts.” While they had plenty of ideas and planning well thought out and documented for a national program, they were not actively running any live events. Instead of running parallel programs, we have folded Maker Scouts into the Hacker Scouts organization, including some of their talented Makers who wanted to continue this work that we all feel so strongly about. We are very excited and grateful that our vision is being realized! We will maintain our partnership with AMT, so meetings and Open Labs will remain there.
During the meetings around how we would blend the two programs, a big question we had to face was in the name. There was some concern that using the word “Hacker” instead of “Maker” would be a controversial choice. That perhaps we would be knowingly isolating many communities who still see “hacker” and think “bad guys” and therefore would not want to associate with us. Now, living in the Bay Area we have never run into this problem, but our new team members, who live in the Midwest and the South have seen it firsthand, and so we took the discussion seriously. The last thing we want to do is alienate or offend anyone, but in the end, we are sticking with our original decision and this is why:
Hacker Scouts was named intentionally. We have built our reputation on our name. We believe in it’s meaning. As we have on our FAQ’s page:
The term “hacking” has a bad rap. Unfortunately, there are some who associate the term with illegal activity. Hacking is simply taking something- like an object or idea- and changing it to fit one’s own need. Hacking is the improvement and modification of technology. Hacking has revolutionized medicine, science, education, art, and many other disciplines. Hacking is how we progress.
At Hacker Scouts, making isn’t enough. We are hacking what education can look like. We are hacking activities so that families get the most information and skills out of them. We are hacking new thing out old things because it not only changes the way kids see the process of how things are built and used, but it changes their world view towards conservation and sustainability. We are taking back the word “Hacking”!The term is powerful. It provokes us into conversation. It challenges technology and preconceived ideas about what is possible. It exemplifies what we are trying to do with STEAM education. We are trying to completely change the way in which learning and skill building happens for kids, making it real and relevant. As Sir Ken Robinson says, a revolution is happening in education and technology right now, and it starts from the ground up. So perhaps there will be some negative reactions to our name, but we see them as an opportunity to educate. Because that’s what we do. Here at Hacker Scouts, we are going to keep focusing on our mission, utilizing the amazing resources and talents of a dynamic- and now national- staff, and continue in our dedication to our kids and their experience. We feel that while others can debate the power of words, we would rather prove our point through the power of action.