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…





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