To round out my first and final day at Maker Faire, there were two presentations on teaching children computer programming.
Raspberry Pi + Education
Both Clive Beale, Director of Education for the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Carrie Anne Philbin, educator, creator of the Geek Gurl Diaries, and a recent addition to the Raspberry Pi team, presented.
My first visit to the Bay Area Maker Faire. The size of this was overwhelming, and two days would definitely be recommended to take it all in. After reading reports on the Maker Faire from such sites as Evil Mad Scientist, I realized how much I missed. Unlike the smaller Detroit Maker Faire, there were five or so stages spread across the San Mateo fairgrounds with concurrent talks, so I chose a half dozen from the Maker Ed tent and a few from Make: Electronics to attend. I’ll start with a couple talks on Maker Ed.
On Friday, I had the opportunity to visit the Exploratorium, an amazing convergence of art, science and technology, in order to gather more information on their workshop on scientific inquiry. I went up early to browse the piers before the onslaught of the crowds, and while waiting for the meeting to start, I happened to walk next to an open door in the building next to the Exploratorium, only to find a seven foot tall Strandbeest facing me.
With Thursday being my only free day, I decided to explore just a few of the museums in the area.After a trip by train, subway and bus, I finally reached the California Institute of Science by mid-morning, where they were already inundated with school groups. Every student I saw saw loved this place, and so did I.
Programming Connected Devices, Michael McCool at Intel
During lunch we were entertained by Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of Eepy Bird, AKA the Coke and Mentos guys. They presented what was called the 1/10/100 method to unlock creativity, with the notion that everyone is creative, it just takes hammering away at an idea over and over again to reach the point where you can unleash it on the world. Their message was don’t try to be brilliant – do it one step at a time, by the time you reach 100 you have something that appears brilliant. I heard some developers discussing this as it relates to their personal projects, and realizing they were trying to be brilliant right off the bat – it just doesn’t work that way.
The second day of MakerCon is about to start in the Oracle conference room. Sitting at one table waiting for keynotes to start is:
- Oracle VP of Social/Community Marketing – mentioned Embedded Java Challenge and Survival Research Labs (remote controlled construction vehicles)
- GoPro Product Designer
- Two ARM engineers
- Engineering consultants
After a cancelled flight, delayed flight, then arriving at San Francisco by way of Newark, NJ, I arrived at the Oracle campus in Redwood City around 6:00 PM, just in time to catch the Innovation Showcase, presented as a mini-Maker Faire in a small parking lot behind the conference center.
Program or Be Programmed was recommended by by a coworker who deals with technology much of his working day. It’s a quick, worthy read although like many of these books presented as possessing great insight into the Next Big Thing or What Society is Doing Wrong and How To Embrace It, I found elements of hyperbole or self-evident points among the thought-provoking ideas. It’s written by Douglas Rushkoff, a self-described media specialist who coined the terms “social currency” and “screenagers”, i.e. phrases I have never used.