A podcast from Make: founder, Dale Dougherty
exploring ideas, tools and people behind the maker movement

Community Shop Class: A Safe Place to Use Tools Safely

Chad Orcutt created Community Shop Class in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, California. What started out as the ADHD Inventor’s Club in his garage grew into a new space, unlike any makerspace you’ve seen. He saw it as way to help people, particularly neurodivergent people like himself, learn to use tools safely. He’s built a shop class for people who never had shop class.

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The Sneaky DIY of Cy Tymony

Cy Tymony is well known as the author of “Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things” and “Sneaky Math” and he’s written for Make Magazine as well. However, I didn’t know much about him and his life story. Cy has a wonderful DIY worldview that he shares through his many books and it comes across in the interview. He promises to reveal a secret world to you if you’re willing to be a little sneaky, something he’s learned from being so curious.

To Cy, sneaky means you learn about something that not everybody knows, the way a magician has learned to do a trick and then can amaze their friends.  Cy says his point is to encourage everyone to “discover the power and resources that you have,” which is some ways is the life story of Cy Tymony.

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Jenny Young and the story of Brooklyn Robot Foundry

Jenny Young is a mechanical engineer who founded Brooklyn Robot Factory thirteen years ago to bring hands-on learning experiences to kids in schools and afterschool programs. Her company has evolved from operating brick-and-mortar locations into a franchise business where they train and equip others to provide hands-on classes in schools and afterschool sites. Brooklyn Robot Foundry provides curriculum and kits in addition to training, and her franchisees go out into the community to find places where they can connect kids and robot kits. Jenny says: “I’m not selling kits; I’m selling a service.”

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Making as a Creative Practice

Matt Zigler is the author of a new book for educators titled “3 Modes of Making.” He talks about imitation, modification and innovation as three different modes of student projects, which develop different maker skills. Matt is an artist and educator who has been running the makerspace at Bullis, an independent school in the DC area. He brings a background in art and creative practice to the makerspace and his school. it’s not that every student is going to be an artist but every student should develop a creative practice, regardless of subject or area of interest.

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It's Time to Design for Repair

My guest on this episode is Jude Pullen, a creative technologist from the UK. “What’s really exciting, both about technology and creativity, is putting them side by side and seeing why we do things and considering what we can do given the capabilities of technology and our own imagination.”

Pullen’s curiosity about why he couldn’t easily replace the batteries in his headphones led him to explore the reasons why repair has become even more difficult over time.  He wrote a multi-part series called “The Fight For Repair” on Design Spark.  

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AI Robots For Kids

This episode features an interview with the authors of a new book titled “AI Robots.” which includes Reade Richard, Andy Forest, Brenda Shivanandan and Denzel Edwards. The book is designed to teach kids how to build AI-powered projects using hands-on activities and coding. The authors discuss the different sections of the book, which include physical build, electronics, coding with Micro:bit, and adding AI capabilities. They emphasize the importance of integrating different subjects, such as STEM, in a project-based way. The book aims to empower students and parents to explore AI technology and learn how to use it responsibly.

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The Challenges of Running a Community Makerspace

My guest on this episode of Make:cast is Jim Sweeney, the treasurer of NoVA Labs, a community makerspace in northern Virginia. Jim talks honestly about the challenges of growing a makerspace. With 700 members and many programs for young makers in the community, NoVA Labs has a bold vision of what a makerspace can be and Jim is determined to realize that vision in his community. NoVA Labs is thriving with plans to host a Maker Faire against next spring. 

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Tinkerer, Engineer, Mr. Mom, Maker, Teacher

Brian Wagner has worn many hats in his life and they all seem to fit. He is an engineer, a maker, and a teacher of making and coding. He’s also one of the co-founders of the LVL hackerspace in Louisville, Kentucky, and he remains a member, even though he now lives in Florida, where he teaches at IMG Academy. He got a degree in EE and Computer science and worked in industry but then he decided to stay at home as a Mr. Mom for several years. Next he went into teaching, which was a good fit for him. During COVID, one of Brian’s projects was to create an online course (Code with Mr. Wagner) to teach coding specifically how to learn Python to create video games. Brian has that maker mindset for learning by doing, and he tries to share his skills and his enthusiasm with students. I’m happy to share his story with you. 

Hack Club's Chris Walker and Castle Bravo

Chris Walker dropped out of Dartmouth and became a Thiel Fellow in 2013.  He had an idea for a math video game that was inspired by the TI 84 graphing calculator.  He tried creating an educational video game studio but it didn’t work out.  He joined Hack Club, a student-led educational intiative that started teaching coding but has branched out.  Hack Club’s founder, Zach Latta, was also a Thiel Fellow.  He worked with students to launch a new web version of the math video game called SineRider, which can be found at

Growing into the Future: The Makerspace at Moreno Valley College

Donnell Layne and Jason Kennedy developed the iMAKE Innovation Center  Makerspace at Moreno Valley College in Southern California, an Hispanic-serving community college. They talk about developing the space to meet the needs of students and faculty as well as the broader community. They also see it as a space that is growing into the future,  just like the students.

Trig - The Oldest Practical Math

My guests on this episode are the authors of Make Trigonometry, Build Your Way from Triangles to Analytic Geometry, Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron.  Make Trigonometry is the third math book that Joan and Rich have written with us, the previous books being Make Geometry and Make Calculus.

Joan calls herself a recovering rocket scientist. In that career, she worked on spacecraft headed to distant planents.  Her co-author, Rich, has a very different background as an open source developer who has been involved in 3D printing since its emergence in the maker community.  

Together they have come up with a way to teach math using 3D models that turn math into a hands-on learning experience for students. 

Making Creative Space

Assemble is a leading example of a community-oriented creative space focused on the needs of youth, providing summer and afterschool programming that is fun, expressive and personal. 
Nina Barbuto is the founder and director of Assemble, which serves youth and adults in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Starting and growing a community makerspace is hard, but Nina has persisted in building out this creative space and its programs since 2011.

Experiential Learning at NJIT

Daniel Brateris is Director of Experiential Learning at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey. We talk about the practice of hands on learning and its value to students in engineering.
Daniel was responsible for building out the manufacturing and makerspace facilities at NJIT. We talk about the social value of these spaces that bring students together to collaborate and also form friendships. Plus, he is seeing that the kinds of things you learn to do in a makerspace can make students stand out in the job market.

Authentic Learning and Making

Dale Dougherty talks to Michael Stone of the Public Education Foundation of Hamilton County in southeast Tennessee. Michael is responsible to developing a network of 34 Fab Labs in K-12 schools with more to come next year. In this conversation, Michael talks about making as authentic learning, involving real problems and solutions, and which leads to authentic assessment.

"I knew nurses were making because I did it myself"

Rose Hedges of UnityPoint Health in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Anna Young of Maker Health join me to talk about how a makerspace on the first floor of a hospital has created opportunities for nurses and other medical staff to prototype solutions to problems they encounter in their jobs. Rose is a nurse and manages the makerspace called Generate Lab. She is also organizing a Maker Faire at the hospital makerspace on May 17th. Anna and Rose provide insights into a bottom-up innovation process that is very different from the way the medical system normally works.
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People Passionate About Their Craft​

Galen Powers talks about finding talent in makerspaces and helping them find jobs — and he doesn’t quite understand why some makers aren’t interested in making money. He also has his own way of interviewing job candidates, asking them to bring and talk about a portfolio of their work as well as a hobby that is connected to their career. He’s accomplished quite a bit with 57 patents to his name but no college degree.

Joining the conversation is Jeff Johnson, who is with ChatLab in Chattanooga Tennesee and a friend of Galen’s. Together, they were part of the founding of LVL1 makerspace in Louisville Kentucky.

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The Return of RoboGames

Organizer David Calkins and Combat Robot Legend Ray Billings talk about the return of the RoboGames, which takes place at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton CA on April 6th through 9th, 2023. 
RoboGames is the world’s largest robot competition with over 54 different events – everything from tiny little Rubik’s cube-sized Sumo robots that act autonomously to humanoids that play soccer. The big thing is always the 250-pound robots in our 40 foot by 40 foot, 130,000 pound arena. 

The Story of Voron Design

Maks Zolin wanted to build a better, faster printer that was also quieter. He set out building the Voron printer in his garage but he ended up deciding that he didn’t want to run a 3D printer company. So, he open sourced his work and invited others to collaborate with him. That’s how Maks came to launch Voron Design, an innovation community pushing the limits of what 3D printers can do.

Obsessed with Colorful LED Orbs

Maker and educator, Debra Ansell is my guest on this episode of Make:cast. She is obsessed with orbs — colorful, LED orbs and she shows us how to build a brightly lit orb in the new issue of Make Magazine. Debra and I talk about the process of developing her orb project. She also talks about her LED pillows based on the Pixel Blaze controller, as well as an LED neck pendant, both of which have been featured in Make Magazine. She volunteers in schools, teaching kids to code using MicroBit. She is as bright as her many LED creations.

On Pulleys and Pirate Ships-Learning CAD

A lot of makers struggle to learn CAD. Why is this keystone piece of software such a challenge to learn? This is what I talk about with Jake Sugden and Josh Manley, who are the teachers of CAD Class at Jake and Josh met at Urban Workshop in Costa Mesa, California, a professional makerspace where they had a lot of opportunity to see people struggling to learn CAD. They have put together an online 12-week class for those who want to learn CAD along with others.

Customizing Adaptive Devices for People with Disabilities

Microsoft’s Bryce Johnson and John Helmes join Make: Editor Caleb Kraft to talk about creating adaptive devices that can be customized, hacked and modded easily by makers using 3D printers as well as the people with disabilities who use them.
Bryce Johnson works at the Inclusive Tech Lab at Microsoft who is one of the co-inventors of the Xbox Adaptive Controller and the Surface Adaptive Kit. John Helmes is an industrial designer at Microsoft who began creating and customizing devices for his daughter, Jara, who has cerebral palsy to help her interact with a PC. His work has led to Microsoft Adaptive Accessories, which allows users to adapt devices using 3D printed parts. Make: editor Caleb Kraft has his own side project, The Controller Project, that he and volunteers around the world 3D print accessories for free for people to be able to game. 

Santa Needs Maker Microfactories

The world needs more maker microfactories and I wonder if Santa might be interested in learning more about them from Tim Keller, the head of Inventopia in Davis CA, my guest on this episode.
A maker microfactory is a kind of makerspace that focuses on the needs of startups and individual entrepreneurs who are creating prototypes for a business. Tim Keller started Inventopia because he wanted such a space to work. Now, with his proximity to UC Davis, he offers space and equipment for all kinds of startups, particularly in bio-manufacturing for food and medicine.

If Kids Really Knew STEM with Jasmine Florentine

Jasmine Florentine‘s new book introduces making and STEM to middle-schoolers. The book, “Hex Allen and the Clanksmiths“, creates a fantasy world where real problems are solved by hands-on skills. Jasmine is driven to help young people understand STEM, not just as a field of study, but as an opportunity to apply their creativity as well as intelligence. She believes if more kids knew what STEM really was, they’d realize it offered something for everyone — a no-brainer.

Dorothy Jones-Davis Moves to KID Museum

Dorothy Jones-Davis has been Executive Director of Nation of Makers for six years. She recently announced that she is leaving to join the KID Museum in Bethesda Maryland as Chief Impact Officer. In this episode, we talk about how Nation of Makers got started, some of its accomplishments and where it might go. I also asked Dorothy how working in this role has changed her as a person as well as in her career.

Jason Pohl: From Designing Video Games to Orange County Choppers and Beyond

Jason Pohl calls himself a “pretengineer” because he’s self-taught. Trained as artist, his design work has taken him from creating video games to actually designing and fabricating parts for Orange County Choppers. Jason moved into CAD design and working with CNC machines. He has boundless energy and enthusiasm as someone who is doing what he always wanted to do — make things that are real. 

Winners of the Amazing Maker Awards 2022

Meet the winners of this year’s Amazing Maker Awards. Our top winners come from the US and Canada, Turkey, Japan, and Germany and they are as young as 14. Their projects represent social impact, art, technical achievement and education. This is an audio recording of our October 4 Live Showcase in which I talked to our top winners about their projects.

The Wherewithal to Change Things Through Making

I’d like you to meet Amy Zell – mother, librarian, grief counselor, and maker. In this episode, she talks about the power of making to change things, to change people. She credits Casey Shea, a Sonoma County maker educator with telling her about “maker empowerment” at the Fab Institute in Pittsburgh in 2018. She understood “maker empowerment” to mean the wherewithal to change things through making, and she applied it to her own life to move forward after suffering the loss of her son. Now she works with others who have experienced loss and trauma and she is weaving making into mental health practices.

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A Better Way to Learn Calculus

Author/Educators Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron join me to talk about their new book, Make: Calculus, which takes a different approach to teaching and learning calculus. This book, like their previous book, Make: Geometry, relies on creating visual models created with Legos or 3D printers to teach Calculus concepts that can be hard to grasp from equations alone.

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Finding Maker Town

Susie Frazier created the Maker Town platform for makers and artists working in Cleveland and Northern Ohio so that more people can find them and learn about what they make. Susie is a maker, creator and artist. Her own journey led her to Cleveland, Ohio, where she began developing her own functional and decorative art, working with stone and then organic materials. She hosted a TV show. Then she wrote a book called “Designing for Wellness.”

Humanmade SF

A refugee from TechShop in SF, Ryan Spurlock took what he learned there and applied it to a new makerspace called Humanmade, located in the design district of San Francisco. Two things stand out about this makerspace. One is how it was funded: a local developer whom the City required to set aside funding for community development worked with Ryan to locate a space and build it out. Second, Humanmade has worked with the City of San Francisco to establish a Next Generation Advanced Manufacturing training program.

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The Magic Never Died

Maker Faires are slowly coming back. After not happening for two years, Maker Faire Long Island took place in June at Port Jefferson Village’s Explorium. Everybody was happy to come back. said co-producers of Maker Faire Long Island, Angeline Judex and Lisa C. Rodriguez. Angeline is the Explorium’s Executive Director and Lisa is in digital media marketing for the science center. They share that with the makers back and families gathered, the magic was back.

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Wyoming's Maker Access Pass

Tyler Kerr runs the Innovation Wyrkshop, a makerspace at the University of Wyoming. During COVID, state officials saw the potential for makerspaces in vocational rehab and developing skills in local communities. And so they are funding the build out of a network of makerspaces throughout the state. Tyler and his students set out to build a safety pass, the Maker Access Pass that would allow students to be trained in one makerspace and work with machines in another makerspace.

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Playification - The Makey Makey Story

Makey Makey, a creative platform for children of all ages, turned 10 years old this month. In this episode, we talk with Jay Silver, the creative technologist behind the platform, and Jay Melican, formerly of Intel who runs the business. Jay Silver talks about creative play and learning, and the community that has grown up around Makey Makey.

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Shop Talk & Tips with Gareth Branwyn

DIY lifer Gareth Branwyn has compiled a new volume of his series, Tips and Tales of the Workshop, Volume 2.  He shares some of his favorite tips he has found. He talks about the aspirational quality of tips and how picking up an idea from someone can help us improve. Learn more about Frankenstein prototyping, that things aren’t perfect in the vaults of a Gothic Cathedral and that details layer one on top of another.

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Making is So Elementary

Julie Darling, author, educator, and, librarian, talks her book “Social-Emotional Learning Using Makerspaces and Passion Projects: Step by Step Projects and Resources for Grades 3-6“. She is a Media Specialist at A2 Steam in Ann Arbor, CA. We talk about getting fidgety kids engaged and excited. She explains that a Makerspace can be a creative place for students and an opportunity to develop social-emotional learning, which are both personal and social skills.

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Mike on Make:

Mike Senese has been the Executive Editor for Make: for almost nine years. He started on volume 36 and leaves now after wrapping up issue 81. Mike joins Dale Dougherty to talk about his experiences at Make: and Maker Faire, as well as working with the maker community. See ya soon, Mike Senese.

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Determination: Makers in Ukraine

Determination seems like the best word to describe the collective response of Ukrainians as they fight for their country, for their home and their freedom. One month ago, I spoke with Yuri Vlasyuk and Svitlana Bovkun who live in Kyiv. That was the day Russia invaded Ukraine. I knew them because they were producers of Maker Faire in Ukraine. I wanted to find out how they are doing and what the maker community was doing during the war. A month later, one month into the war, we talked again to find how determined they are to do anything they can to help others and resist the invasion.

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Fearless CNC

You might say that CNC is like a stepchild in the digital fabrication family, not the friendliest or easiest tool to get to know in the maker-space. Yet CNC is not something that most makers should be afraid of, especially as new software allows you to see in simulation what the CNC machine is going to do before you press go. In this episode, I’m joined by Anne Filson and Gary Rohrbacher, co-authors of Design for CNC.

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Share the Repair

My guest on this episode is Wayne Seltzer who is lifelong fixer himself. He started the U-Fix-It Clinic in Boulder, Colorado to help others learn to fix things. Wayne helped put the “you” in Fixit Clinics, making sure they empowered people to learn to do the repairs themselves rather than having an expert do it for them.

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Kiddy Copter - A Family Affair

Charles Helmholdt of Grand Rapids, Michigan designed and built a Kiddy Copter, based on the Bell 47 helicopter from the M.A.S.H TV series. In this episode of Make:cast, we talk about the how and why to build this ride for kids. What does stand out is that Charles likes to build things and he does it with and for his family. Kiddy Copter first appeared in Make: V76 in a Made on Earth article written by Mike Senese.

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Maker's Knowledge

William Gurstelle is the author of many popular technical books, including Backyard Ballistics and the three-volume Remaking History. He has been a contributor of projects to Make: Magazine, and currently writes the Remaking History column, which features a historical invention that you can recreate at home. The concept of maker’s knowledge comes the history of science and represents the idea that the maker of something comprehends how it works better than anyone else.

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Smaller is Big: Eben Upton of Raspberry pi

Over nine years ago, Raspberry PI was created by a small team, led by Eben Upton as a kind of academic side project. This single board computer was a PC without a keyboard, a monitor, any kind of enclosure, an inexpensive board that could be connected to power and other USB devices. For Volume 79 of Make: Magazine, our board’s issue, Executive Editor Mike Senese talked to Eben Upton of the Raspberry PI Foundation. They mostly talk about the technical details of the new Raspberry Pi’s.

Will We Be Better Prepared Next Time?

This preview of Respiracon II featured Robert Read of Public Invention and Leith Greenslade of the Every Breath Counts Coalition. They are starting a conversation around open source medical devices and how makers can work more productively when the next pandemic or other emergency happens.

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Leveraging Biology to Make Things

Julie Legault and Dr. Justin Pahara are the Canadian co-authors of “Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero,” a hands-on guide to biotech experiments for the classroom, home and makerspace. Justin, a Cree scientist-entrepreneur with a PhD in biotechnology from University of Cambridge, lives on a farm in southern Alberta. Julie is a graphic designer from Montreal and an entrepreneur with a degree from MIT Media Lab. Together they started AminoLabs and wrote this book on experimenting safely and ethically with genetic engineering.

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The World's Largest Makerspace in a Town of 10,000 or Less

FabLab ICC is located at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. It’s a small town of less than 10,000 people in southeast Kansas. Yet for a town of that size, FabLab ICC with 15,000 sq.ft. of space is large. Jim Correll is the Director of FabLab ICC and Tim Haynes is the Manager. In this episode she talks about how their FabLab serves not just students, but also the community at large. Two of their programs are the Food Fab Lab and a Guitar Fab Factory.

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Innovation as a Material Practice

Making stuff, engaging in some form of material practice, is essential for students who are to become innovators, says Dr. Ann-Louise Davidson. She is an Associate Professor of Education and Concordia University Research Chair in Maker Culture in Montréal, Canada. She is the Director of the Concordia University Innovation Lab. She is also Associate Director of the Milieux Institute for Arts, and Culture and Technology. Her work focuses on maker culture, social innovation, inclusion and innovating with advanced pedagogical approaches and digital technologies.

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Best Maker Schools - Kent State University

Kent State University, the Design Innovation Hub is a central resource on campus that provides makespace access and connects to the other makerspaces on campus. What is unique is its focus on fashion, design and art. In this episode, I talk to J.R. Campbell who is the Executive Director of the Design Innovation Initiative and Andrea Oleniczak who manages the hub. Campbell believes that a makerspace provides the on-ramps and off-ramps for a student to explore their interests outside of major. Oleniczak sees the opportunity to create an ecosystem that includes the larger community outside the school.

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Best Maker Schools University of Maryland College Park

Makerspaces are becoming a fixture on college campuses. In this episode. Rick Blanton manages Terrapin Works at the Clark School of Engineering. Dr. Bill Pugh is a retired professor of computer science who established the Singh Family Sandbox makerspace in a new computer science building, built with a donation from the founders of Oculus. Last year, a group of makerspace leaders on campus formed the Makerspace Initiative and began sharing knowledge and safety training protocols. They produced the 2021 Makerspace Impact report.

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Explaining Electronics with Charles Platt

Charles Platt, the bestselling author of Make: Electronics, talks about his background as a writer and how he wanted to explain electronics through hands-on demonstrations and full-color diagrams in his Make: Electronics book, which is coming out in a Third Edition. It’s a book he wished he’d had as a kid.

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The Making of A Scientist/Maker/Teacher

I met Dr. Steve M. Potter at Maker Faire Atlanta, which was hosted by Georgia Tech, where Dr. Potter was a professor of neuroengineering. His experience at Maker Faire led him to take a maker sabbatical and explore makerspaces around the world. He has written a book for educators, “How to Motivate Your Students to Love Learning“. The book emphasizes engaging students in real-world problems. In this conversation, we explore how Steve became a scientist, maker and teacher.

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Making A Customizable Tool Roll

A tool roll is a way to store all kinds of things that you might want to carry with you. Parker Thomas has created a customizable toll roll called the Tego Adventure Kit and it more kit than an end product. You can decide which kind of pouches or pockets suit you and what you want to carry with you. In this episode, Parker shares how this idea came to him, how he got it made and how he cultivated a community around it that added to his original idea and helped make the product better.

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A Better Way to Teach Geometry Using 3D Models

Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron, authors of Make: Geometry, explain how to use 3D models to teach geometry, which can help students visualize and grasp the basic shapes. Joan describes herself as a recovering rocket scientist who worked at JPL. Rich was an early RepRap 3D printer enthusiast. Together they have created a practical, hands-on approach to teaching geometry. Make: Books editor, Patrick DiJusto talks to Joan and Rich.

The 5% Solution For Right to Start

Victor Hwang organized the Right to Start movement that seeks to open doors for more people to become entrepreneurs and create an ecosystem in America that supports entrepreneurial activity. After many years of leading entrepreneurship efforts at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Victor started his own organization built around the belief that becoming an entrepreneur is a fundamental right that anyone can exercise. 

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Fixing Broken Machines From the Amazon Return Bin

Debra Daun’s superpower is fixing broken machines, such as 3D printers. She runs the MakerLab at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois. She has figured out that she can get used and abused machines that have been returned to Amazon. She bids for them at auction and then repairs them or adds the odd parts to her boneyard. She’s been able to add more machines that she uses to teach students 3D printing in the makerspace. 

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3D Modeling for Makers

Lydia Sloan Cline is the author of Fusion 360 for Makers, which is out in a new second edition. She teaches 3D design and fabrication at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, where she began as a drafting professor with a degree in Architecture. She talks about how 3D printing first came into the community college where she taught drafting and how it became an aid for students visualizing objects. 

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Emotion and Empathy Are Glue for Makers

In 2020, Dr. Andreea Gorbatai and two co-authors published a research paper in the journal Organization Science titled: “Making Space for Emotions: Empathy, Contagion, and Legitmacy’s Double-Edged Sword.” It’s about the maker movement and what holds it together. It turns out, it’s not skills and tools as much as it is emotions and empathy — they are the glue for community.

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Making and Thinking Big in Tulsa

In episode #22 of Make:cast, I learn about the new building for Fab Lab Tulsa from its Executive Director, Nathan Pritchett. The new building is under development and scheduled to open in 2022. The project had started well before COVID-19 but has stayed on track even during the pandemic. Overall, the future of Fab Lab Tulsa is bright. “I’m just really bullish on the future of fab labs and maker spaces,” said Nathan. Tulsa has a lot of talent in the community but the makerspace needed more resources to keep up.

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When An AI Nose Knows

Like many of us during Covid-19, Benjamin Cabé was baking sourdough bread at home in France. He wondered how he might tell if his dough was done proofing. He began working on an artificial nose that uses physical sensors to detect gas but also uses machine learning to identify the smell. His project is on the cover of Make Magazine, v 77. In this conversation, we talk about how his nose works, how it knows what it does and the limits of what it knows.

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The What, How and Why of CO2 Monitoring with Guido Burger

CO2 Tech Guru Guido Burger from Germany joins Dale Dougherty to explain his research into monitoring CO2 and show how to build his CO2 traffic light, which can warn if the level of CO2 is rising. We look at how CO2 sensors work as we go through the hardware and software that make up a CO2 device and graph the data it produces. These are devices that students can learn to build and create a full-featured Internet of Things application.

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You CAN Get Started 3D Printing

Make: books editor, Patrick DiJusto talks 3D Printing with the authors of Getting Started with 3D Printing, Liza Wallach Kloski and Nick Kloski. Liza and Nick run HoneyPoint3D, which started in 2012 as a small 3D printing shop in Northern California. Explaining 3D printing to many people was the motivation for them to write this book, whose first edition came out in 2016 and is just now updated in a second edition.

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Everything In Its Own Jar

Mark Zalme had an idea how to organize everything in clear jars that could be mounted on pegboard in his garage in Asheville, North Carolina. Over 3-4 years, he developed this idea into a product called WallWerx, a workspace organizing system. In this episode, we talk about Mark’s product but we also learn about the process he went through to prototype, manufacture, assemble and distribute that product. This process wasn’t easy, and a lot of what happened along the way was unexpected; a lot of trial and error. 

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Mister Rogers - a Maker and More

A new book out looks at the learning science that Fred Rogers used to develop an understanding of the “inner needs of children” and then construct Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to reflect those needs. The book is called “When You Wonder, You’re Learning” and its authors, Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski who are with the Grable Foundation in Pittsburgh. We talk about the ideas behind the work of Fred Rogers and why they are still relevant for today’s learners and young makers.

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Build It and See What Happens

As a result of a $50 million grant to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2017, the Maker Library & Innovative Learning Complex of the Future is under construction on campus. The new $17.5 million building will house a makerspace open to all students. The man behind the largest donation ever to RIT is Austin McChord, an entrepreneur from Connecticut who has a surprising success story. In this conversation with him, I learned that he wasn’t the best student in high school or college. He had his own ideas, which he worked on while not doing his homework. He started a company after graduating from RIT because he didn’t think anyone would hire him. 

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Making New Music

“All instruments are inventions and all music is made up — so make your own using microcontrollers,” writes Helen Leigh in Volume 76 of Make Magazine, encouraging people to create and invent musical instruments, as she has. In this conversation with Helen Leigh, we learn about her upbringing in Wales, how she first learned about electronics at a makerspace in London, why she objects to call herself “self-taught,” and her new lab in Portland, Oregon.

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Making Things That Don't Already Exist

How do you transform ordinary stuff into meaningful things, even beautiful things? How you make things that don’t yet exist, something original rather than a copy? That’s the topic of this conversation with New York-based industrial designer, Neil Cohen. “Some of what I do in my work is making something that starts out one way,” he says, “And then when you do something to it, it forms into something else or reveals something else.”

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Looking for Your Next Adventure

David Lang, author of Zero to Maker and co-founder of OpenROV, recently decided to stop doing what he had been doing and begin looking for something new, looking for his next adventure. During a pandemic, it seems hard to think about your next adventure. Yet I suspect that many are thinking about what’s next, and preparing ourselves for a new challenge. David says it’s just as scary this time as it was back when he walked into TechShop not knowing anything about being a maker.

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Me and My Robots

Jorvon Moss creates companion robots for himself, working nights and weekends. I had run into Jorvon at Maker Faire Bay area as well as at the downtown LA Maker Faire. He always had one of his robot creations on the shoulder. In this interview, I wanted to learn about how he got started making and get to know the person behind the robots and the goggles. He calls himself Odd Jayy on Twitter, because some people might think he was odd, but he and his robots have become quite popular. 

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The Multiple Choice Future

Our current framework for multiple-choice standardized testing is about 20 years old, dating back to legislation signed by President Bush called No Child Left Behind. The name has changed but testing still rules, although it has been disrupted by COVID-19. In this conversation with educators, Pam Moran and Ira Socol, co-authors of Timeless Learning with Chad Ratliff, we discuss how our education system responded to COVID-19 and how students have responded by turning off their cameras. 

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Engineer, Educator & Entrepreneur

As a maker, San Diego-native Scott Swaaley is a triple-threat.  He can build things; he can teach; and he can start and run his own business.  An electrical engineer who became a high school teacher, Scott started Make Safe Tools in 2018 to produce products that make workshops safer.  One of its products is the MakeSafe Power Tool Brake. In this podcast episode, I talk to Scott about his experiences as an engineer, educator, and entrepreneur and “how those experiences overlap in unexpected ways.” 

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The Last Place For A Makerspace

The last place you might expect to find a makerspace is at The George Mark House, a pediatric palliative care facility in San Leandro, California. It is a place that cares for families who are going through the difficult end-of-life process for their child. I talk with Dr. Joan Fisher, the medical director, and Dr. Gokul Krishnan, a pioneer in the practice of maker therapy who just received a NSF grant to design and build a makerspace at the George Mark House.

Machine Learning for Beekeepers

You can learn a lot about the health of a hive by listening to the sounds that bees make, as a beekeeper would do. The developers of the Long Hive project, featured in Make Magazine, Vol 75, tell us about their efforts to use machine learning to detect the presence of the queen bee by recording the sounds of the bees in the hive.

To Maker Faire Rome with Love

Italians have a love of innovation and design and it shows at Maker Faire Rome. In this episode of Make:Cast, I look back at Maker Faire Rome in October 2019 during a pre-Covid time when live events could happen. I was guided through Maker Faire Rome by Alessandro Ranellucci, the curator of Maker Faire Rome, along with Massimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino. Maker Faire Rome 2020 is happening as a virtual event this weekend.

Ten Years of Open Source Hardware

Ten years ago, a community came together around a definition of open source hardware to be clear about what it means to share designs for physical things, and doing so in a way that allows others to make, modify, distribute or use those things. This definition has been managed by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). In this episode, I talk with Alicia Gibb, Executive Director of OSHWA, and board president, Michael Weinberg about the growth of open source hardware, its certification process, and the role of open source hardware in the maker response to COVID-19.

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How Hard Can It Be?

Tim Deagan, a maker in Austin, TX, is a polymaker with many interests and fabrication projects that range from from flame effects to ham radio to leatherworking. He is the author of “Make: Fire – The Art and Science of Working with Propane” and “Modern Leatherworking for Makers.” In this conversation, Tim joins me from his garage workshop and we talk shop.

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Problem Solving is #1

In this episode, we talk with Sarah Boisvert, an entrepreneur with extensive work experience in manufacturing, laser technology in 3d printing, who has been focusing on workforce training. Digital fabrication technology is creating new manufacturing jobs that she calls “new collar jobs” which require digital and physical hands-on experience. In 2018, Sarah published “The New Collar Workforce: An Insider’s Guide to Making Impactful Changes to Manufacturing and Training.”

Make Anything with Open Source Projects

For anyone wanting to do something, open source makes it easier for you to get started, for creative ideas to flourish and for difficult problems to be solved by collaborating with others. I talk with Joshua Pearce about his new book, “Create, Share and Save Money Using Open Source Projects.” Joshua is a professor of materials science and electrical engineering at Michigan Tech University where he directs the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab – acronym MOST. He’s also the editor of Hardware X, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to open source scientific hardware.

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Recipes for Operating a Makerspace

The co-founders of Maker Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan have written an operations guide for makerspaces. In this episode, we talk with Tom Root, one of the authors of “The Intentional Makerspace: Operation” about how to think of recipes as a way of managing a makerspace, predicatably and safely.

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Matching Talent to Opportunity at mHUB Chicago

Over the last year or two, mHUB Chicago has begun offering product development services that allow makers, engineers, and others to work on paid projects for corporate clients, filling a need for rapid prototyping for those companies and helping entrepreneurs bring in some money. At the same time, they get started on their own project. Recently, mHUB was awarded a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the federal government to scale these services, develop new opportunities for talent and provide a service to client companies.

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