Maker Club–extending innate makerliness

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This is Charlie. He is 6 years old. With a little help from his Aunt Dinah combined with gear/know-how/meetup from Maker Club, Charlie is learning how to solder. It is the most fundamental skill required to jump off into the very interesting domain of electronics. Mastering the skill helpfully starts to demystify all the electronic bits of our world from garage door openers to microwaves to smartphones. It also equips him to repair, repurpose, and invent.

There is a notion that all children are naturally artists and it is only through negative feedback or maybe a lack of support that this awesome predisposition is squashed. “What is it?” “Why did you make that?” “What is it good for?” “You did it wrong.” The same dynamic certainly applies to young makers. Happily, there are some super-committed people in the make-o-sphere like Cam Turner and Tanya Morose, running their monthly Maker Club for kids in THEMUSEUM. They’re teaching a variety of makerly skills through hands-on projects. I caught up with them on the 2nd Wednesday of the month last week to check it out.

The TL;DR: Maker Club needs knowledgeable helpers, workshop leaders, tools, and a whack of kids who are eager to learn and do.

Click through for the long form.

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1shot #179-u mad bro?

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I was biking down to DTK last week and caught this angry tag on Linden Avenue in the Innovation District. Having spent a few days in May out in San Francisco, I’ve seen much louder and more graphic displeasure than this directed toward Google. Maybe this is the more polite Canadian version. Maybe it’s an isolated beef about the parking situation around The Tannery. In my community/cultural travels across Waterloo Region, Google is… conspicuously absent.

Anyone seen other anti-Goog signs? Can any Googlers tell me where Google engages in our local ecosystem? I’m curious.

DW

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Hall’s Lane tamed–street music FTW

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One of the unexpected benefits of Kitchener’s 11 days of KWAWESOME is that I’m getting in some pretty good cardio biking from northwest Waterloo to DTK on a daily basis. Thursday night was Tame the Lane with a short lineup of great bands playing in Hall’s Lane. I shot a few photos…

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1shot #178-skate toward the light

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I rode down to DTK last night for a meeting at Imbibe with Meg Leslie and Martin de Groot, and then shot Maker Club in THEMUSEUM, and then there was this great light beaming down King Street. But only for a moment.

This is Kitchener.

DW

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1shot #177-all the yellow bikes

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A few Fridays back, I found a whack of yellow bikes locked to the rack (rhyme!).

At The Tannery, this is Kitchener.

DW

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1shot #176-how clouds are made

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At King and Francis Streets. Laying the second floor for the new Beer Store. A great thing about a gas-powered saw with an abrasive blade is that few things in the world can resist it.

This is Kitchener.

DW

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Street riffs

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This guy was shredding with max distortion on King Street in DTK on Friday. Sounded so good echoing off the buildings. “Who do you shoot for?” “I shoot for myself.”

DW

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Days of KWAWESOME runs through to July 11

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Downtown Kitchener was rockin’ Friday night. King Street was packed with people of all sizes for the Night Market. Seems like everybody is getting the hang of a pedestrian mall in the core. This type of gig is so chilled out. I love it.

Rode my new bike from McPhail’s (yeah!) down to Kitchener and just strolled the street. Serendipitous chats with Mike Morrice, Jon Johnson, Jen Gough, James Bastow, Matt Scobel, a whack of perfect strangers, and saw my favourite Princess Cafe+Cheeses Murphy operator Marc Lecompte with family. A big shout out to Cory Bluhm who I saw setting up the event at lunch on my way to the Yeti Cafe, and he was still there tonight gettin’ ‘er done. More details on the ongoing Days of KWAwesome here.

It should always be this way.

DW

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Grand Porch Party 2014-umbrella edition

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It’s been a couple of weeks since the Grand Porch Party, but I still have that slight post-GPP buzz from the mash-up of music and mid-town community. I had to bail out of the afternoon at 4:30 to get to the airport for a week-long work trip to the UK, hence the delay in getting these photos up. Despite the early departure and with a fair amount of regular towelling of camera gear, I did get the shots. It is a truism that bad weather makes good photos, and the GPP was no exception. I was on the lookout for wet streets and umbrellas and found them aplenty in mid-town west Waterloo.

I found this fellow above on Menno Street showing the resolve of an engaged community. Rain/shine, low/high attendance, no/money: we show up…

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The Prime Minister at Communitech-not even kidding

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I work Fridays down at the BlackBerry space at Communitech. It’s a good way to stay connected. And this particular Friday, I connected (at least optically), with The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Harper (third from left above), along with Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid (centre), dropped by today for a tour with Communitech CEO Iain Klugman (right). The tour included short chats with a number of Communitech-related companies, including Structur3D Printing’s co-founder Charles Mire (his back at right) who briefly explained his Discov3ry 3D printing paste extruder cranking away here in the foreground.

During the visit, the Prime Minister announced four local technology accelerators in WR were in line for a multi-million dollar injection of cash. Get the full scoop from Tony Reinhart’s post on the Communitech blog.

It’s all pretty darned exciting, and further validation of the ever-growing gravity and success of the Waterloo Region. A semi-reasonable number of pics follow…

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