MakerDays is a conference where teachers and leaders in education are given to learn and share knowledge about maker culture and technologies as educational materials. The conference was held in 2015, 2016 and 2017. I helped organize it, build the webpage and led workshops and activities throughout the conferences.

2017 edition, and finale

There we go, MakerDays 2017 is over. It was a good event from the perspective of the conference. For my part, I held a really fun workshop on the micro controller Arduino and a crash course in component based electronics. This worked out just fine, I had prepared (and even gotten my girl friend to help me out) several kits from our buckets of components as well as some good exercises. Now, this is probably the most challenging workshop we have been giving on the conference, so simplicity is core. I think I managed fairly well, after all I had several groups which I in turn split up into several groups and I got all of them to create little blinking and sensing machines in one hour and thirty minutes. My participants were teachers, so many of them had barley or never even programmed before.

I also took the opportunity to promote the energy efficient behavior project I’m working on, TRIBE 2020. I pretty much had zero material and time to prepare it, so I worked during the night between the two conference days on remaking a roll-up into a TRIBE one. It looked really trashy, but I managed to blame it on being “maker themed”. At least I got the bright idea of projecting the game from TRIBE on the roll-up using a pico projector, with a bit more preparation it could have been awesome. :)

We are going to discuss whether we’ll have a 2018 MakerDays, the general feeling is not though. We feel that we, and other initiatives, have come through to the teachers and educational system in Sweden. We might try new approaches on the subject, and already are touring across the country to motivate teachers ahead of new requirements due to a national curriculum update where programming is required. However, we’ll probably do some other conference or such next year.

Teaching teachers 3D!

Second installment of MakerDays is over. While it’s been a stressful period in general, things may have calmed down temporarily and the workshop I held was super chill. First of, we were two, me and a colleague who is really good with the subject. Secondly, we had a very solid setup and many of the things we brought to our space were show and tell props which sold themselves, like an HTC Vive rig, an Ultimaker 3D printer and a structure sensor 3D scanner. The rest of the workshop was us talking about 3D as a material from many aspects including tools and technology. We also showed them how to use the simplistic, online CADing tool TinkerCAD. Good times, back to reality, waiting for the next opportunity to wear my olive green suit! :)

Pressure off

I turns out I won’t have to do much administrative work at all on the webpage this year. A colleague is taking over organizational tasks as well as updating the contents of the webpage. I have walked her through my solution and it seems to be useful, which makes me happy. For an interaction designer, usefulness i determined by the user and not the creator. Another colleague is taking the lead on graphical design, so I don’t have to worry about that neither!

2016 Iteration

Just wanted to take a moment to sit down and write something for myself. Recently I have been quite stressed out with writing formal reports. I lost half of the Swedish summer days (which are not very common) being the one to prematurely stay on the ship as the rest of the world went on vacation to attend some pressing deadlines. The result is that I did some work that I’m not very proud of, felt stressed all the time (even during the occasional beach & beer sessions) and did no game developing what so ever. That’s why it feels kind of good to do a little bit of brain breezing web development, iterating on an old project.

We are launching the next issue of the MakerDays conference, and the website requires updating. I like this project, because it’s all about the minimalist design, keeping it neat but simple, less is more and all that. At one point I was hoping that I would have gotten so far with my zTinker tool at this point that I could have used it to make the new webpage. I haven’t, however, the underlying design is sort of there. Only issue with the content management is that it appears scary to anyone I’m supposed to work with in order to update the content (it’s old school HTML and such). Anyway, feels good to have written something. I submitted the most stressing reports today, so now there is only everything else to attend to… Here is a link to the webpage again, because why not:

Conference web: MakerDays

Teaching teachers some programming

MakedDays, the conference where teachers learn about maker culture and technology as a material has come to an end. I made the conference web, but I also held workshops in how to program using the MIT developed block programming environment Scratch. It was super fun, but it’s always nice to take a little break after having led a series of workshops. Super happy with the event, we’ll see if we organize it next year as well. :)

A video made by one of the collaborators: MakerDays 2015

I made a conference page

So I made this webpage for a conference called MakerDays that we are arranging at the institute. There are some flaws, but in general I like my design, both visually and functionally. The design was of course iterated with the help of colleagues as referees and testers.

Here is the link: