[Brmlab] Great Global Hackerspace Challenge

Mitch Altman mitch at CornfieldElectronics.com
Sun Mar 20 22:16:55 CET 2011

Hello Pavol,

I received so many really great submissions for participation in the 
Great Global Hackerspace Challenge!The response was wonderful.I received 
submissions from South America, North America, Australia, Asia, and 
Europe. There are so many incredible hackerspaces around the world.

Then I had a big problem: I didn't know how to choose which hackerspaces 
could participate. I agonized over how to pick only 10 out of all the 
cool spaces who emailed me. How to choose? I was only given enough 
resources to pick 10. I got back to the folks at Element14, letting them 
know that it wouldn't be fair to exclude all but 10 of the hackerspaces. 
After only a short while, we all agreed, and the people at Element14 
decided they would provide the resources for all submitting hackerspaces 
to participate!

*So, congratulations, your hackerspace is part of the Great Global 
Hackerspace Challenge!
/If you are still interested in participating, please email me as soon 
as you can and confirm. You will not be considered to be part of the 
Challenge until I receive your confirmation email.
_Here's a short summary of the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge_:
- Your hackerspace will create a project to help with education, using 
US$900 (or equivalent) provided by Element14. The project must use a 
microcontroller and a portable power source.
- You have 6 weeks to complete your project, documenting your project as 
you go. All spaces that complete their project will receive 10 soldering 
- Three hackerspaces' projects will be chosen as finalists to present at 
the Grand Finale at the San Francisco Maker Faire. All three of these 
spaces will receive some really nice electronic test equipment. One 
person from each space will be flown out to present their project at the 
San Francisco Maker Faire over the weekend of 21-May & 22-May.
- One project will be chosen at the Grand Finale at the San Francisco 
Maker Faire to receive some extra goodies, including a very nice 

_In case you missed this in the above summary_:
The folks at Element14 also decided that it would be way cool to have a 
live presentation for each of the three finalists' projects at the San 
Francisco Maker Faire. So, they kicked in enough money to make that 
happen! Each of these three people will also be put up in their own 
hotel room. Start planning your trip to San Francisco now! :)

Below is a text-only version of the Participation Packet, which gives 
more details. Please read it over, and see if you have any questions.

I will also email you separately with a PDF version of the Participation 
Packet, which is 5.5MB. If you don't receive the PDF and would like it, 
please email me and I'll get it to you another way.

Shortly after I receive an email from you confirming that you want to be 
part of the Challenge, you will be contacted by Challenge organizers to 
schedule a phone call with your team. They would like these calls to 
occur between 21-March and 24-March, depending on your availability.

Best of luck with your project!



Hello, and welcome to The Great Global Hackerspace Challenge, brought to 
you by the very excited folks over at element14!

You are one of thirty hackerspaces from across the globe who have been 
chosen to participate in this amazing event, which seeks to stretch your 
hackerspace-minded ingenuity to its very limit to create an electronics 
build that will make a real, and very positive difference in an 
educational establishment. And for you to have a whole lot of fun along 
the way!

Exactly what that build is, and what solution it provides is entirely 
down to you. The only stipulation is that your build must make use of a 
microcontroller and a portable power source. We encourage you to reach 
out to an educational institute in your area so that you can test your 
invention as it evolves, make sure you are answering a genuine 
educational need, and hopefully establish a home for your product once 
the challenge is over.

Within this pack, you'll find detailed information on the equipment 
element14 will provide you with to get your creative thoughts flowing, 
and your talented hands building, as well as the low down on how to 
share your Hackerspace's ongoing progress with the world.

We'd also ask you make sure to read our Great Global Hackerspace 
Challenge Pact section, on which we are asking for a virtual handshake 
from you. It's our way of establishing mutual ground rules and 
understanding before the storm of genius activity begins.

We thank you once again for being a part of this incredible challenge, 
wish you the very best of luck, and look forward with great anticipation 
to seeing your work as it develops. This is a challenge in which 
brilliant minds collaborate so that everybody wins. Onwards!


Outlined below is a step-by-step guide with all the information you will 
need to help make your hackerspace challenge as successful as possible. 
There's a great deal to do in a very short space of time, and so we have 
created a calendar of key delivery dates which you'll find at the end of 
this pack to help you stay on track.

If you have any questions along the way that aren't answered here, 
please email hackerspace at element14.com and we'll be sure to get back to you.


element14 is providing you with a budget of $900 US to complete your 
build. You will be contacted directly to establish exactly how you would 
prefer to receive this money. Your microcontroller and portable power 
source should be procured using this money, and any additional 
electronic components you might need can be purchased from the element14 
store. Simply go to the element14 website (www.element14.com), click on 
the 'store' tab and then select your items using your $900 stipend. Your 
components will then be sent directly to you.

We ask that you try not add to this budget, as one of the judging 
criteria is based on the total cost of the final build, but you are 
fully permitted to use any components or items that you might already 
have at your hackerspace within your build. We challenge you to be as 
creative as you like!


Core to this challenge is to produce an electronics build that will 
ultimately help education, but you can also start to help people learn 
about hackerspaces and electronics building along the way by regularly 
sharing information on your design. This is also how the judging panel 
will be able to track your progress and pick the three semi-finalists, 
and a minimum of one weekly update is a mandatory element of the challenge.

Please feel free to share all your exciting moments as they happen, but 
as a guideline, content that would be useful for you to provide would be:

Week 1
- Introduce your team (video would be a great way to do this), explain 
your hackerspace's philosophy, and provide a top level summary of your 
first week
Week 2
- Provide a basic outline of the materials you will be using in your 
build and any key challenges you anticipate
Week 3
- Provide an update on the status of your build and quick summary of 
obstacles encountered and how they are being addressed
Week 4
- Is everything going to plan? Perhaps provide footage of a visit to an 
educational institution you're working with
Week 5
- In your penultimate week provide a review of the challenge to date. Is 
the pressure on? What have you learned?
Week 6
- This is the time to really showcase your build, why it works and what 
features make it stand out


You will be required to contribute to your profile page within the 
element14 community. This is where you can upload your videos and photos 
and keep everyone informed via a written blog. You will be able to 
personalize the page so that your hackerspace's own unique character 
shines through. To do this, go to element14.com, click on �Join Now� if 
you are not already registered, using your Hackerspace name, and we will 
create your page for you.


Our esteemed panel of judges will include luminaries from the worlds of 
technology and science, education and hackerspacing.

Following the completion of the build period, they will be judging each 
one on the criteria below in order to select three semi-finalists to 
attend the California Maker Faire for the grand finale on May 22.

Semi-finalists will be notified personally by Mitch on May 6.

- 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 helping education today
- How inventive and creative is the design and build of the project


The Great Global Hackerspace Challenge will culminate in a live 
demonstration of each of the three semi-finalists in front of the panel 
of judges at the San Mateo Maker Faire. One team member from the final 
three hackerspaces will be flown out to California to attend the Faire 
and present their build. Air fare, hotel accommodation and daily food 
costs will all be covered by element14 - we'll provide more detail on 
this if you are selected.

In the spirit of collaboration over competition, and to thank you for 
taking part, element14 will be sending you a set of soldering equipment, 
including a soldering station, for your hackerspace once you have 
completed the challenge.

Each of the semi-finalist hackerspaces will receive the following prizes:

- Fluke 233 DMM (worth US$300)
- Fluke 381 Clamp Meter (worth US$500)
- Tektronix PWS4205 Power Supply (worth US$865)
- Agilent HH DMM (specific model TBD)

Finally, the build chosen to have that extra sprinkling of hackerspace 
magic will receive a suitably rocking prize: a Tektronix MSO2024 
oscilloscope (worth around US$5,600). Start clearing a space in the 
corner of your hackerspace now!


You won't find any legal language here. We promise. The purpose of this 
section is to let you know that if, for any reason you are unable to 
finish your project you should let the organizers know as soon as 
possible. Particularly if you encounter circumstances beyond your 
control. We need to be able to manage expectations so we can accommodate 
the logistics of the event; judging, the Maker Faire event and the 
management of the content on the community.

This isn't a contract. You won't be signing your life away. We trust 
you. We simply want to have the best competition possible.

To quote the 1989 MGM classic 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' we want 
everyone involved in this event to 'Be excellent to each other'. And 
that works full circle. We are investing funds into your builds and you 
are investing your valuable time and energy into our challenge. In the 
spirit of transparency and collaboration we want everyone to succeed and 
get as much as they can from this project however we reserve the right 
to withhold product and stipend if groups do not deliver on the 
requirements of the challenge. We will be in close communication 
throughout this project and, we can all work together to avoid any 
adverse situations.


- Week of 3/21 : Official Challenge Briefing / Q+A
- 3/25: Deadline to create your profile and submit your first blog update
- 4/1: Deadline for Hackerspace Challenge Blog Post 2
- 4/15: Deadline for Hackerspace Challenge Blog Post 3
- 4/30: End of build time
- 05/01- 05/05: Judging period
- 05/06: 3 semi-finalists will be announced
- Week Of 5/16: One team member from each of the three semi-finalist 
hackerspaces will travel to San Francisco Bay Area
- 5/21/22: Maker Faire
- 5/22: Maker Faire Great Global Hackerspace Challenge Grand Finale
- 5/23: Team members travel home

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