Category Archives: Events

Eugene Maker Space went to After School Conference today.

OregonASK  Invited Eugene Maker Space  (EMS) to have a booth at todays After School conference.  Bob Miller and myself (James Hukill) volunteered to represent EMS onsite at Chemeketa Community College (Salem, Oregon).  OregonASK mission statement is “To support, expand and advocate for quality out-of-school time programs and activities for children, youth, and families throughout Oregon.”   I think I have to blame my advancing age and that I now have kids that my desire to participate more in what ‘we’ teach our kids at all hours of the day not just school.  All and all a great time not only meeting new people but had  blast hanging with Bob the whole day.

Equipment wise we brought the usually “popular” equipment.  EMS vinyl banner, paper rocket launcher, 3D printer, various bots and of course Bob’s famous easy button chasing lights Arduino project.  Years into 3D printers being on the market the questions and fascination people have has not waned, if anything there seems to be more excitement and enthusiasm with what can be done with them.  I know I need to print a few more examples of the range of productive things a 3D printer can be used for, well, other than Hello Kitty pink pumpkins.  On a more serious note it’s awesome to see events like this (Adafruit, is helping organize … improve the functionality and production of 3D printed prosthetics)  being held in support of making useful things with 3D printers.

Besides the 3D bot talk it gave us ample opportunity to  explaining to of folks what EMS is and who we are made up of to an audience that have never heard of EMS let alone Maker Spacers at all.  The clamor for more tech related after school activities made our booth quite popular and I am sure Kiki over at ThinkerSmith (also there) a very busy woman.  Oh and for the record my EMS elevator pitch got nearly polished by the end of the day.  😉

Will from PIGS and PixelArts was a familiar face as I had chatted him up at 2012’s Portland Retro Gaming Expo in his booth but it was cool to have him swing by and give EMS a look.   I look forward to EMS working out some collaborative projects and hosting some PixelArts events.  In the course of chatting and dreaming up some cool stuff an idea did come to mind.  What if EMS had a coin op game (or two) that all the quarters aka profits could goto a local charity or shelter.  I think it’s kinda of fitting that a gaming habit can help someone locally in need and some decent PR for us.  I wonder what the legality of making a retro-pi taking quarters is?

Oh boy, too  many projects and not enough time…





First Annual Punkin Chunkin’ Contest!

pumpkinsEugene Maker Space will be holding it’s first ever Punkin Chunkin’ contest!  If you aren’t familiar with the tradition of punkin chunkin’ then you are in for a treat.  The general idea is for teams to build contraptions that can launch pumpkins as far as possible.  Whichever team can launch their pumpkins the farthest will reign as champions!  A simple Google search for “punkin chunkin” will bring up plenty of information and videos of other contests and designs.

Since we will be holding this event at the Science Factory, and we want to make sure it’s as safe as possible, we will be launching small pumpkins only.  These are pumpkins weighing between 1.5lbs and 2lbs. This will help keep the contraption size and energy down to a minimum and hopefully prevent any dangerous mishaps.


Where: The Science Factory front yard
Day: Saturday, November 23rd
Time: 11:00am to 4:00pm (or whenever we are finished!)

Launch Zone

You can see the launch zone in the below picture.  Contestants will launch from the blue firing line aiming down range to the east.  The first red box is the primary launch zone.  “The Great Beyond” is further down range and will remain clear in case any contestants are capable of building launchers that can actually chunk that far.

Launch Zone


How to enter

You do not have to be a member of Eugene Maker Space to compete.  Everyone is allowed to participate!   If you would like to sign up to compete, please email with your team name and the names of your team members.

Now for the official EMS Punkin Chunkin’ rules!


  1. No compressed air/compressed gas devices
  2. No explosives.
  3. Teams must release all energy from their launchers until it is their turn.

Contest Rules

  1. You may sign up as an individual or as a team.
  2. Machine must not cross the firing line.
  3. Machines must be ready to fire within 3 minutes.
  4. Each team will get three launches.
  5. If a team loses a pumpkin after launch they may get an one extra try if the team has a backup pumpkin ready to go.
  6. Pumpkins must weigh between 1.5lbs and 2lbs.
  7. Teams provide their own pumpkins.
  8. Pumpkins must remain intact until they hit the ground.
  9. Pumpkins cannot be modified (except for painting).
  10. Teams may paint their pumpkins for decoration.

How to Win 

To win the competition you just need to chunk your pumpkin farther than the other teams.  That’s it!  There will be three heats.  Whichever team gets the furthest launched pumpkin out of all three heats will be declared the champions.

Family Hack Day a Success!

Family Hack Day Image 1
Making Things!

Eugene Maker Space held our very first Family Hack Day on June 1, 2013.  We had a decent sized group of kids and families show up to get some work done on their own projects.  And boy did work get done.  We also had several EMS members show up to lend a hand and teach some new skills.  Thanks to everybody who came out to make this event a success.  It went so well that we intend to put on another one in the not-too-distant future.  Keep your eyes peeled for updates on that.  In the meantime, check out what everyone was working on! Continue reading Family Hack Day a Success!

Family Hack Day on June 1st

Eugene Maker Space will be hosting our very first family hack day this Saturday, June 1 from 12:00PM to 2:00PM.  Do you have children who are creative, inventive, or just like to make things?  Do your kids have a project they want to work on but they need a space to work?  Do they have an idea for something to make but they don’t know how to get started?  Perhaps they could benefit from having a mentor around to show them how to use some shop tools or to bounce ideas back and forth.  If this describes your family, definitely come to our very first Family Hack Day on Saturday!

Eugene Maker Space will not be providing any activities for this event.  Instead, we want to provide shop time and mentor time for younger kids to work on their own projects with each other, with their families, and with our members available to assist however they can.  Please stop by and help make this event a success!

Hak5 Visiting CodeChops and EMS

Darren Kitchen from Hak5 is currently on his Hack Across America tour.  “What is Hak5?” you ask.  Hak5 is an internet show that deals with all things hacking.  Darren will be stopping by CodeChops this Friday night to do a talk about “Alternative Internets for the Coming Zombie Apocalypse.”    The fun will begin with the talk at CodeChops at 5:00PM.  Then at 7:00PM, Darren and crew will head over to Eugene Maker Space to hang out and talk all things hacker, geek, etc.

So come down to Eugene Maker Space this Friday night at 7:00PM and “Trust your Technolust” with the Hak 5 crew.

More information available at Hak5’s website.Add Media

The Science Factory and EMS at the Mythbusters show!

Science Factory and EMS Fliers
Science Factory and EMS Fliers

The Mythbusters came to the Matthew Knight Arena last Friday March 15, 2013. The Science Factory had a table to promote themselves as well as the upcoming Eugene Mini Makerfaire (June 15, 2013). I was invited to help them out and was able to bring a few EMS fliers to put out on their table to help promote our own group.

Vaccuum Powered Ping Pong Ball Cannon
Vaccuum Powered Ping Pong Ball Cannon

The Science Factory brought some conductive and non-conductive play dough. Attendees were invited to build working circuits out of the play dough. The Science Factory also brought their own vacuum powered ping pong ball cannon that was quite impressive and caused a stir. For more photos and videos, check out the Eugene Mini Makerfaire website.

Make-O-Rama Timelapse Footage

The first EMS Make-O-Rama was held last Saturday, Feb 23 from 11AM to 4PM.  We had a good turn out.  We had a good portion of our membership turn up to help out either by showing off projects or talking with visitors.  We had a ton of snacks, drinks, pizza, and good conversations.  A few people were able to solder electronic components to a circuit board for the very first time, which is was exciting.  Austin set up a GoPro camera to take time lapse footage of the event.  You can check it out below.  Clif also took some photos during the event and uploaded them to the EMS gallery.  Check them out!

Eugene Public Library Event

The Eugene Public Library hosts events for young kids on Sunday afternoons.  A few months back, Eugene Maker Space was invited to host one of these events at EPL.  We accepted the offer and on February 3, 2013, six members from EMS went to the library to run the event.

The age group for these events is typically ages 3-7, plus parents of course.  We thought that building and launching paper rockets would be a great event for this age group.  It’s also relatively inexpensive for us to host since we already have two available rocket launchers and the rockets themselves are made from just computer paper and masking tape. Continue reading Eugene Public Library Event



Eugene Maker Space Invites You to Visit

Make-O-Rama: “Tooling Up”

Our Semi-Annual Show & Tell/Open House

February 23, 2013

11:00 to 4:00

687 McKinley Street, Suite #2 for more information

Making awesome tools to make awesome stuff!

Come see what we’re building now:
Laser Cutters! Vacuum Tables! 3D Printers! Welding Booths!