[Brmlab] [Noisebridge-discuss] Wanna participate in a new Hackerspace Challenge? Mitch Altman's post

Frantisek Apfelbeck algoldor at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 6 14:15:06 CET 2011

Message: 38
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2011 11:51:24 -0800
From: Mitch Altman <maltman23 at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Noisebridge-discuss] Wanna participate in a new Hackerspace
To: NoiseBridge Discuss <noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net>
Message-ID: <SNT102-W18F6CC73E5F3B5DA52A7A9B8C50 at phx.gbl>
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I've  been asked to send out invites for a new hackerspace challenge.  I just  
sent the following to the hackerspaces.org list.  Anyone at Noisebridge  
interested in participating?




Here?s an opportunity to participate in a cool project, and also have a chance 
to get cool stuff for your hackerspace.

Please pass this around to any hackerspace you think may be interested.

The short version:

Ten  hackerspaces around the world will be chosen to participate in the  Great 
Global Hackerspace Challenge to create something cool and useful  for 
education.  Each of the ten spaces that complete their project will  receive PCB 
layout software, and some nice soldering setups so that they  can better teach 
how to make cool things with electronics.  These ten  hackerspaces will each get 
$900 and two months to finish their project.   Three finalists will be chosen to 
show off their projects live (in  person, or virtually) at the San Francisco 
Maker Faire May.  A panel of  geeks will pick the one they think is coolest, and 
the winning space  will win a handmade trophy and bragging rights, a 
top-of-the-line  digital oscilloscope, and perhaps some other way cool stuff.

The  money to make all this happen is being put up by element14, the new  brand 
of Newark/Farnell (who sell electronic parts and tools) to market  to us DIY 

If you want to participate, please email  me with a short (please, keep it 
short) explanation about why your space  should be chosen as one of the ten.

mitch **at** CornfieldElectronics **dot** com

The dealine for emailing me to be considered is Friday, 11-March, 17:00h Pacific 
Standard Time (UTC-8).

The long version:

This  is an international Hackerspace Challenge that is being developed in  
partnership with the electronics components company element14, 
http://us.element-14.com.   The goal is for members of the teams to put their 
collective heads  together and make a difference for a cause.  The cause for 
this event is  education.  Why Education?  Education cuts are barely out of the 
news,  and the outlook remains grim across the world.  Our schools continue to  
fail us in educating people for our collective futures.  We need to  foster 
practical and creative thinking and help provide equipment to  inspire a 
lifetime of learning.  Already, hackerspaces are helping fill  the void - 
providing workshops, after school classes and vocational  training, often for 
free, or very inexpensively.  Now there is an  opportunity to take that one step 
further, and to take something created  in a hackerspace back to the classroom.

The Great Global  Hackerspace Challenge is officially being kicked off with an 
open  invitation for all hackerspaces in the Americas, Europe and Asia to  throw 
their hat into the ring and participate in the challenge.  All  interested 
hackerspaces are asked to submit a write up outlining why you  should be 
considered to participate in the Challenge.  Ten hackerspaces  will be selected 
to participate.  Hackerspaces must "earn" their spot  in the challenge with 
passion, skill and engagement with the cause. 

The  selected groups will then each have $900 and two months to design,  
prototype and build a project that serves a useful role in a classroom  
situation.  It's up to the groups to define the term 'classroom', as  well as 
all other terms.  This could be K-12, or equivalent, school  districts, or 
independent community programs.  Each build must  incorporate the following 
?secret ingredients?, sourced from element14's  online store ? a microcontroller 
and a portable power source.  The  rationale for selecting these as the secret 
ingredients are: 

   *  The use of a microcontroller will ensure that the final output be 
electronic in nature;

     * The use of a portable power source will ensure mobility (which we  see as 
a vital component of usefulness in the classroom setting).


During  the build process the teams will be required to create an element14  
community profile featuring information about their space, their team  
philosophy, bios and past builds/experience, as well as relevant  information 
relating to the competition, so that their fans can follow  their progress 
(including photos and video).  Each team will have a  handler assigned to them 
to oversee their progress and manage  operational questions.  To ensure that we 
are continually feeding  content into the community over the course of the 
project, each team  will be required to provide bi-weekly updates on their 

At  the conclusion of the project, all participants will submit a write up  and 
video of their working project for an initial round of judging (the  video does 
not need to be anything fancy ? just show us and the world  your cool 
project!).  The judging will be measured on the following  criteria for each 
phase of the competition:

     * How reproducible is the final project

     * How easily can the parts be sourced in locations around the world

     * How low cost is the final output

     * How well are the plans documented

     * How relevant is the project to the educational goals of schools today

     * How inventive and creative is the design and build of the project

The top 3 submissions will then be selected as semi-finalists who will advance 
to the final stage of the Challenge.

The judging panel will include Mitch Altman 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_Altman, Ben Heck 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Heckendorn,  and yet to be revealed high 
profile industry celebrities.  Hint:  They're awesome.  The announcement of 
these additional judges will be  part of the ongoing community building 
throughout the project.

The  competition will culminate with the final judging at Maker Faire San  Mateo 
in late May.  Currently we are aiming to have the three finalists  attend 
virtually, via video conference if they are remote, and in person  if they 
already going to be present at the event.  If the  semi-finalists are traveling 
on their own dime they can certainly take  the stage. 

There are no losers in this Challenge.   All participating teams that complete 
their project for judging will  receive Eagle PCB layout software, as well as a 
collection of soldering  station kits including soldering iron, plenty of 
solder, wire strippers,  and wire cutters, for their hackerspace's own, ongoing 
educational and  teaching needs. We all want new people getting educated and 
involved in  electronic design at Hackerspaces and hopefully this project will 
help  support that goal.

This last point is still in  development but in addition to the soldering 
equipment, the three  finalist teams will each be awarded a more substantial 
piece of  equipment from a name brand manufacturer. This is yet to be locked in.  
Though Tektronics has already offered their MSO2024 model digital  oscillioscope 

The single, overall winner will  receive bragging rights and a delightful 
handmade trophy. The organizers  of this event will personally make it with 
their own hands, and from  their hearts.

To be considered for this Great Global  Hackerspace Challenge, please email me a 
short (please, keep it short)  proposal for your hackerspace, letting me know 
why your space should be  chosen.

mitch **at** CornfieldElectronics **dot** com

The dealine for emailing me to be considered is Friday, 11-March, 17:00h Pacific 
Standard Time (UTC-8).


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