Category Archives: Meet the Makers

Meet the Maker: Microsoft

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During your visit to Maker Faire Detroit this weekend, make sure to stop by and meet one of our exhibitors, Microsoft. We had a chance to chat with Drew Costakis about what you can expect from them in just a few days.

Tell us a little bit about Microsoft and your on-site activation at Maker Faire Detroit this year.
Microsoft is best known as a software company but many of the folks that work for Microsoft here in Michigan (about 200 of us) are very hands on with building stuff in our spare time (electronics, metal and wood working, etc.). We love the maker culture and we wanted to have fun, challenge ourselves and maybe inspire a few young folks to tinker and build with technology vs. just playing games with their gadgets.

What was the inspiration for your activation at the faire?
We wanted to build something that was LARGE and WET and involved multiple disciplines (structures, plumbing, CNC, CAD, graphics, soldering, programming, design, etc.) to build. We also wanted to combine controlling the physical world with the world of the cloud (Azure and Twitter services).

How do you think Microsoft embodies the making spirit?
We love how software allows an enterprising individual (or maker) to iterate, experiment and build cool stuff at a very low cost. Microsoft’s first product was a programming language (BASIC) and we continue to pride ourselves in providing tools for building amazing contraptions. You’ll see how our project queries Twitter’s streaming service, leverages our cloud computing platform (Azure) and interacts with physical controls through the .Net Micro Framework. Microsoft makes available a number of tools for free and some in open source, examples include the free Visual Studio Express (targeted at students so they can learn to program), the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and the open source .Net Micro Framework which we leverage on our embedded boards in this project.

What are you most looking forward to at Maker Faire Detroit this year?
Given how hot it’s been in July, we hope that our modern interpretation of a dunk tank will be a big draw!

Meet the Maker: Michigan Woodworkers’ Guild

The Michigan Woodworkers' Guild

The Michigan Woodworkers’ Guild

Tell us a little bit about the guild
The Michigan Woodworkers’ Guild is a non-profit organization of approximately 300 members who enjoy making projects in wood. Members range from beginning woodworkers to professionals, primarily located in southeastern Michigan, who meet monthly to share their knowledge and to inspire each other to expand our woodworking skills. We are excited to be selected to participate in the 2013 Maker Faire to share our interest in all facets of woodworking with Faire attendees. Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Dennis Page

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and the fountain
For 30 years I worked for a defense company in Southern California where I developed a passion for embedded controllers, electronics, mechanics, fluid dynamics and building things. The fountain is a culmination of all the skills I developed over my career. Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Mark Deseck

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Leading up to Maker Faire Detroit 2013 we’ll be showcasing a few of our makers you’ll see in Henry Ford Museum and out in the midway. Today we’ll kick it off with Mark Deseck and his Powered Paraglider Simulator.

paraglider2Tell us a little bit about yourself and the Powered Paraglider Simulator
My name is Mark Deseck, and I live in Saline, Mich., with my wife, Geneva, and son, Trevor. I work as a project planner in the defense industry, and I have a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering.
One of my passions is flying a powered paraglider (more commonly referred to as PPG). I’ve been flying them for nearly 15 years and have over 1,500 flights in my flight log. It’s one of the most fun, economical, portable, and safe methods to fly. Launches are accomplished by foot-launching the glider or with a wheeled trike. The paraglider wing is very maneuverable and generally flies at a speed of around 25 mph. Continue reading

Tinker, hack, and invent with Cyber Young

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Rounding out our lineup today for Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday is Cyber Young. Cyber was designed and created by several FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Techology) high school robotics teams. Look familiar? He threw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game last August AND he’ll be returning to hurl a pitch on Tuesday, July 9, at Comerica Park. Let’s learn more about Cyber Young. Continue reading

Tinker, hack, and invent with our Maker Corps

Are you ready to make an Artbot this weekend at Henry Ford Museum?

Are you ready to make an Artbot this weekend at Henry Ford Museum?

The Maker Corps members at The Henry Ford are individuals that have been working with our Education Department to help inspire young innovators all summer long through our Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturdays and Maker Faire Detroit. We’re excited to have their work and ideas front and center this weekend as part of Saturday’s programming.

Get to know Maker Corp member Mary Foulke, a third-grade teacher from Bailey School in Hillsdale, Mich., and a Henry Ford Teacher Fellow. Mary’s passion is in history and making and is combining those two interests at The Henry Ford all summer. She’s been doing a lot of research on the history of textiles, fibers, and crafts to the present and how that fits in here at The Henry Ford. Continue reading

Tinker, hack, and invent with The Robot Garage

Photo via The Robot Garage Facebook page.

Photo via The Robot Garage Facebook page.

robotgaragelogoWe’ve got a lot going on this weekend for our June installment of Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday! Joining our makers in just a few days is The Robot Garage, a year-round facility for LEGO and robotics enthusiasts in Birmingham. The Robot Garage offers classes, camps, scouting programs, field trips, birthday parties, drop-in builds and their own shop.

We asked The Robot Garage’s Sarah Jacobs a few questions about this weekend’s program. Continue reading

Tinker, hack, invent with The Henry Ford

This week’s Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday showcases… us! Teams from The Henry Ford will be on hand showcasing artifacts, hands-on projects, and more. Senior Conservator Clara Deck gives us a look at what to expect this weekend.

Recording on a wax cylinder at Maker Faire.

Recording on a wax cylinder at Maker Faire.

I can’t wait for our upcoming Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday here at Henry Ford Museum on May 25. It’s a rare opportunity for us to share some extremely nifty collections with you. We’ll be inviting you to interact with mechanical musical instruments and early film technology. And we won’t be swallowed up by all the other fun and wacky stuff that vies for your attention at the full-blown Maker Faire Detroit. Continue reading

Tinker, Hack, and Invent with Sarah Hodsdon

Sarah HodsdonWe’ve got another double offering of inventing and experimenting this weekend for our March Tinker, Hack, and Invent Saturday in Henry Ford Museum. Today we’re talking to Sarah Hodsdon, better known as Sarahndipitous online. Attendees of past Maker Faires will recognize Sarah as the friendly maker waist-deep in glorious craft supplies helping others tackle a variety of projects.

As you’ll see in this video, Sarah will be showing guests how to make their very own Victorian birdcage cards. As Spring has officially sprung on the calendars (but not so much in terms of weather), this card makes for a creative surprise for a loved one or family friend. Continue reading

Tinker, hack, and invent with HYPE and Mt. Elliott Makerspaces

Detroit Public Library HYPE Makerspace

Photo Courtesy of the Detroit Public Library's HYPE Makerspace

Tomorrow we present the next installment in our Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturdays in Henry Ford Museum. This time Detroit Public Library’s HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) Makerspace and Mt. Elliott Makerspace will be on hand teaching visitors how to solder as well as providing hands-on projects. The joint partnership is no stranger to The Henry Ford. Both HYPE and Mt. Elliott have been involved in Maker Faire Detroit in the past.

We had a chance to ask HYPE Makerspace’s Steve Teeri a few questions about this weekend’s project. Continue reading