Blogs

Fund Development Workshop

Interested in learning about how to fund your non-profit #hackerspace, #makerspace, or related learning program or project? 
 
This program is presented by the School Factory, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to supporting hackerspaces, makerspaces, and hands-on learning and community, and covers
  • Funding Basics
  • Foundation Funding / Grants
  • Corporate Funding / Sponsorship
  • Individual Funding / Campaigns
  • General Practices and Stories
James Carlson has been sourcing funding for the School Factory for over 10 years, Meghan Koven was previously the Executive Director at an independent nonprofit in Milwaukee, WI. During her 5 year tenure, she tripled the organization’s budget, and Jenn Turner is a social marketing specialist (Director of Communications) that has been managing & developing online communities for 5 years. The School Factory team was joined by Samantha Cook from Hackerscouts, Greg McGuire from NESIT, Dave Dobias from Geronimo Education, David Brightbill from Making Awesome, Lisha Sterling from Mothership Hackermoms, and others who provided experience, input, and ideas. Thank you to everyone who participated!
 
For more information see:
Public blog: http://schoolfactory.org/content/fund-development-workshop
Google+ event: https://plus.google.com/events/cfgrcnettal3qih8ivbdr3hn3j0
Prezi: http://prezi.com/nn5mkdehybcj/fund-development-hangout/
OpenAtrium discussion: https://atrium.schoolfactory.org/spacefed/node/108158
 

Access Control Hackathon

 

The Access Control Hackathon!

Bucketworks and other members of the Space Federation are assembling online to hack up an open source hardware / software toolkit for our hacker/maker/collab spaces to put brains in our doors. This makes it easier for us to grant and control access to our spaces! The Milwaukee Makerspace members Ron Bean and Royce Pipkins were able to provide a kit for Bucketworks to secure 3 doors for around $500.

This is an online event, so please join us through G+ or OpenAtrium, and if you're in the SE WI area, please feel free to come to Bucketworks and participate!

Graduating Geeks Without Bounds

After 1.5 years of being involved with School Factory as an incubation phase, Geeks Without Bounds is ready to finally step out into the world on its own with the founding on March 14, 2012 of the Accelerator for Humanitarian Projects, its own nonprofit organization, led by Willow Brugh. For the next few months, AFHP will remain a fiscally sponsored entity with the School Factory until it forms its own 501c3. Thereafter, we anticipate remaining partnered to help engage the talented hacker, maker, artist, entrepreneur communities served by the School Factory in our good cause. You are encouraged to check out the graduation process from School Factory program to independent partner at https://atrium.schoolfactory.org/gwoborg/node/106706

Podcast with James, Willow, and other educational superstars

 

As you all likely know, my intent is always towards education. I don’t mean traditional systems, though that works for some folk quite well (myself included). I mean the simple act of learning. The fulfillment and deepening of curiosity. It means an engagement with the world that can only be temporarily dimmed by complacency. It means the survival and prosperity of individuals, their community, and the superorganism we all compose together. But for me it’s one simple idea:

Education is the best possible fulcrum for social change.


Everyone interacts with it, even if it’s explicitly not to. Everyone agrees our current systems are broken. And through the examination of those systems, we come to understand our cultures, and how we are affected by and effecting those cultures.

I’ve gotten into 50-comment-deep threads on Google Reader before (sadface to my recently departed favorite social forum) about this sort of cultural awareness, so let me explain a bit more.
I can support whatever choices someone is making, even if I don’t fully get it or if it doesn’t seat well with my personal world view. I can only do this, though, if they have examined those choices in light of other cultural knowledge. I respect the Catholics of Seattle I’ve met because they have also understood science, Greek mythology, and what they personally get out of religion. They have educated themselves about many aspects of culture and decided what works best for them.

This is what got me into Transhumanism – that we are at a point in our evolution where through awareness, we can become self-determining. It’s why I have “we are the machine” as my first tattoo – our interactions with each other are what set us going in certain directions. That is ultimate compassion and ambition.

So. This brings us to the most recent Brainmeats podcast. It’s me and LishaJames Carlson, my mentor and founder of BucketworksBeth Kolko, awesome education hacker at University of WashingtonPete Hall, another amazing education hacker, though in Auckland; Dale Dougherty of MAKE and various hands-on education initiatives; and Kushal Chakrabarti of education microloan foundation Vittana. I have the absurd pleasure of calling each of these folk “friend,” some even “dear friend” or “partner in crime.”

Andrew of Artisan's Asylum

Who are you and what are you doing here?

I'm Andrew Bressen, I came here with Artisan's Asylum and under my own cognizance.

Why?

It's exciting. The maker movement is transformative in a way that may not have an "earth-shaking everything is different" impact like the internet has but will change things in small ways that permeate through society.

There are other spaces in Boston, why Asylum?

I guess because I got dragged to that one first. I'm friends with the founders, and I'd never had the time to see the other spaces and then this one dropped in my lap.

What's your role there?

I rarely make use of the tooling. I've done mostly administrative things because that's what we needed. Doing startups, I learned to be able to do a little bit of everything. I could fake running a woodshop, I'd do a passable job, but we had people around who could do much better. We needed people working on things like class scheduling, outreach and marketing, so I ended up helping with those things.

Favorite part?

Of Artisan's Asylum: The parties and the group builds. I was once talking with another member about some policy stuff, and we came up with a Venn diagram. It has two overlapping circles, labeled "tools" and "community."

There are people who are only there for one or the other. I've known makers for a long time, before we used that word for the movement. Even though Artisan's Asylum has so much tooling, I can get that somewhere else. I'm there for the community. If you put me in a room with 10 people I can do anything. But if I'm alone, I might get nothing done at all; the overlap of tools and community is where the awesome creativity happens.

Of Maker Faire: Dinner runs. That's where the community is - I can read about cool projects all day on the net. But talking to the people who made those projects and synthesizing new ideas with them is the amazing thing, and when people are running a booth, they don't have time to talk in depth.

What's next?

I don't know! I'm hoping to travel some, maybe visit some other spaces. Artisan's Asylum has grown up a lot and has fulltime staff now, so I'm not needed as much there.

James of Kwartzlab

At World's Maker Faire in NYC, I took a few minutes to interview the hackerspace members around our SpaceCamp area. Some were there to participate with SpaceCamp, some were at their own booths showcasing works, some were there to be on the other side of the table.

Who are you and what are you doing here?

I'm James, and I'm the director of Kwartzlab. I'm at Maker Faire to pick up on the energy and creativity and inspiration.

Why Kwartzlab?

I was a founding member and I thought I should have a say in the direction it was heading. Take some responsibility, eat our own dog food. We needed one because there was no hackerspace in my area. (Is that important?) It's the hierarchy of need - food, shelter, clothing, hackerspace.

Favorite part of Maker Faire?

All of it. The makers. They are the ones always bringing something new. Even the repeat attendees bring new things.

What's next?

12 hour bus ride home. Kwartzlab just did a pitch for Awesome Foundation for Hacky Halloween. Have a public space, invite public in to solder a kit I'm designing. The kit will flicker LEDs like a candle. Attendees will also bring a pumpkin to carve to put the LED in. Later, we'll invite them back to Kwartzlab to learn to hack the kit. We'll do all this the weekend before Halloween.

Anne and Marshall from ATX

At World's Maker Faire in NYC, I took a few minutes to interview the hackerspace members around our SpaceCamp area. Some were there to participate with SpaceCamp, some were at their own booths showcasing works, some were there to be on the other side of the table.

Who are you and what are you doing here?

Anne from Boston, new member of ATX space. Want to personally learn how to learn and make more, give back to my community.

Marshall from ATX, semi founder. Interested in fostering Open Source Hardware and learning science. I am hunting for cartesian CNC systems, specifically. 

Why that?

Anne - Naturally curious, want to learn about everything. have a particular interest in education and why it's failing. What can we do, like Maker Faire, hacking, the arts, critical thinking.

Marshall - Both my grandparents were scientists, one worked in Bell Labs. They got to play with lasers and robots and telecoms equipment way before they were widely available. I want to see the democratization of these things.

Favorite part?

Anne - Energy and inspiration.

Marshall - Bartering ideas. I said "I'm going to steal this idea, I'll contribute something to you later."

What's next?

Anne - Just got into learning more about electronics. I'm going to see how much more I can learn myself, and see what opportunities for community, collaboration, growth, and sharing may open along the way.

Marshall - Decide if the values of the community I'm in are good or if they need to be redeployed in a new environment to flourish.

3 Day Egyptian Makerspace project funding success!

The School Factory has helped Bilal Ghalib and Mitch Altman set up a 3-Day Makerspace in Egypt through a cool Kickstarter project:

The goal:

 

We want to organize a fully immersive three-day Maker/Hacker space at Maker Fair Africa in Cairo, Egypt, but we need your support to heat the soldering irons and power the circuits! Imagine a place that integrates art, science, and technology into a great startup culture; open to all curious humans of all skill levels and all ages; and supported by Egypt's finest makers. Our goal is to establish a full-time Maker/Hackerspace in Cairo -- and more throughout Africa!

The School Factory is excited to support this action, which is taking place now!

For more information and updates on MakerFaire Africa or the project, see twitterfacebook, and web updates.

Ed from i3 Detroit

At World's Maker Faire in NYC, I took a few minutes to interview the hackerspace members around our SpaceCamp area. Some were there to participate with SpaceCamp, some were at their own booths showcasing works, some were there to be on the other side of the table.

 

Who are you and what are you doing here?

Ed from i3 Detroit. Here to talk about i3 and show off my projects. Giant volumeter, like one on your stereo but giant. Off the shelf kit I hacked to drive some big LED segments I made. Penflakes - hand drawn, one a day since February 2011. Doing it for at least a year, will reassess after that.

What's your role there?

On board, currently treasurer. I live in Detroit, from there originally. Always wished there was a place like that there, and want to help make it available.

Favorite part?

Being able to share the projects I've been working on, more or less in a small group with tons of people and get their feedback, see them smile. For i3 it's the different ideas I get from people when I bring in a project.

What's next?

Focus on i3, keeping it running smoothly. Handling day to day as things happen. Is there a better way to handle these things more efficiently?

Mark from FUBAR Labs

At World's Maker Faire in NYC, I took a few minutes to interview the hackerspace members around our SpaceCamp area. Some were there to participate with SpaceCamp, some were at their own booths showcasing works, some were there to be on the other side of the table.

Who are you and what are you doing here?

 

Computer engineer. I'm hacking embedded systems, specifically Arduino. I picked that because it was the first embedded system that ran on a mac. Literally the only reason I jumped on the Arduino - it ran on a mac.

What space(s) are you associated with?

I'm with FUBAR Labs - Fair Use Building and Research in Highland Park NJ. It's near where I live. A friend of mine told me about it, I joined.

What's your role there?

Chief Engineer. Means I'm good at hacking embedded systems. I don't do this for my regular job - I used to, and I miss it. Do a lot of teaching arduino (and other things). Do it there because the ability to learn from other people has made it possible to accelerate the learning curve in a phenomenal way. Takes you a day instead of a month.

Favorite part?

Learn and accomplish something, work with other people.

What's next?

Expanding the arduino environment to work on more microprocessors.

Arduino is important because it lowers the barrier to entry. Starting there makes the more sophisticated (exact, powerful, but also intimidating) development environments easier to work with in the long run.

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