Young Entrepreneurs Program

Trail BC Young Entrepreneurs program

Junior Achievement BC & Austin Engineering present… the Young Entrepreneurs Program with Mary Austin in Trail, BC.

Junior Achievement is a nonprofit dedicated to educating youth in business, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. We are excited to launch a series of 6 (free) workshops for local youth age 9-12 that will help inspire and educate Trail’s leaders of tomorrow.

This interactive, after-school program facilitated by Mary Austin (and guest speakers) will provide basic business concepts and help identify the key success factors needed to turn personal and team performance into profit. Through this program, local youth will be inspired and equipped with the skills to bring their entrepreneurial ideas to life.

Where: Midas Fab Lab, Trail, BC

When: Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:00 PM, February 6 – March 13, 2019

Ages: 9-12

Cost: Free

For more information or to register your child, please contact Alanna Tynan at alanna.tynan@jabc.org

A Great Combination: Trail Smoke Eaters and MIDAS!

Tracy Connery Photography - MadeatMIDAS Trail Smoke Eaters

We support our local Smoke Eaters! Hockey and makers go together like glue on wood, a solder iron on metal, skates on ice!

As a proud supporter of the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey team, KAST has donated 10 MIDAS Fab Lab gift certificates. Lucky winners receive a choice of Laser Cutter or 3D Printer Course, where they can learn, be inspired, and enjoy the opportunity to work with the best in the biz – the MIDAS Fab Lab team!

So, check out the game schedule and make sure you come on out and enjoy a fun-filled, action-packed hockey night andhave a chance to win some wonderful prizes!

If you’d like to know more about the possibilities – so many! – available here at MIDAS, please click HERE.

Still curious? Join us for our MIDAS Public Tours, every Thursday evening at 6:00 pm.

Check out the range of courses and training on offer at MIDAS (2019 schedule currently in the works – lots to come!)

Go Smoke Eaters!

Fun Friday: Activities to Inspire Your Kids to be Makers!

We have come to that special time of year referred to as the November Doldrums: the weather has turned gloomy, Daylight Savings has kicked in and it’s dark by supper time, the colour of vibrant of autumn has blown from the trees, and we’re still a ways off from the merriment of Christmas… or, perhaps worse, anticipating the rash of spending the Season inevitably brings!

Well, turn that late fall frown upside down, people, as we’ve come across a wonderful way to beat the November blues: making makers! There’s no better time of year to inspire the maker in just about anyone than during this autumn dead zone.

Here are some great ideas to help take a bit of blah out of the dreariness of after school:

Building with Cardboard

Cardboard box building

There’s really nothing that invites the imagination of a child like a simple cardboard box. Go with it! Cars, costumes, houses, you name it, cardboard can become it. Perfect for inspiring your little makers!

Stop Motion Video

Super easy and, thanks to modern technology, you don’t need much more than a smartphone or device with a camera and the appropriate mobile app – there are plenty of filmmaking apps out there as a simple Google search will attest.  You may want to get your hands on a tripod, too, to make this fun project just that much easier. If you can’t get a tripod, simply setup some support for the device that will allow for hand-free.

Break out the toys: blocks, legos and lego characters, action figures, Barbies. Let your imagination go wild!

Here’s an example that is probably a little ambitious – aspirational, shall we say!

For beginners:

Electronics! Projects we advocate for as often as we can involve supplying power to make things work.

Kids into Mighty Makers

How about an easy-peasy DIY flashlight to dip your child’s toe into the world of electronic gadgetry? With simple AA batteries, a piece of aluminum foil, some duct tape, a mini light bulb, and a paper roll to house everything, this project couldn’t be easier! You can find the complete instruction HERE!

easy DIY flashlight

Take something apart!

inspire your young makers

Making doesn’t always have to be about putting something together – no way! It can also be about the exploration and investigation involved in taking something apart. Super fun with a ton of learning moments, particularly if the end-game is to put it back together – also strongly encouraged!

Here are some ideas of things that can be disassembled:

  • A broken motorized or battery-operated toy. It’s a fun and educational exercise to see if, once the motor has been removed, if it can be reassembled and made to work!
  • An old smartphone – so interesting to see what’s behind the magic!
  • An old landline – explore the roots of our modern devices.
  • An old computer hard drive. For older kids, a great way to see what components are involved and maybe even what can be done to bring it back to life!

Computer Programming

making young makers - computer programming

We assume such technical proficiency in our kids. The reality is, they are actually masters at consuming technology, not necessarily what goes on to make it happen. More of us have to encourage our kids, who spend an awful lot of time on computer to use that time a little differently – make something!

Kids of all ages can get to learn the programming that goes into the computer games and activities they enjoy.

Scratch, a free programming language and online community where kids (or any programming beginners) can create interactive stories, games, and animations, is a fantastic introduction into the world of code and computer programming.

Fun Friday! Kootenay Contraption Contest | Deadline December 19, 2018!

Selkirk College GLOWS Kootenay Contraption Contest

The Kootenay Contraption Contest invites students in Grades K-8 to imagine, design and illustrate a “contraption” that solves a problem.

Calling all young innovators and problem solvers! This year’s GLOWS 2018 Contraption Contest is challenging individuals and entire classes to come up with the most creative, most imaginative “contraption” they can dream up to solve this problem:

Turn something of waste from your home into a new contraption that can be useful in our lives.

The grand prize winner receives an iPad! And winners from each entering grade will win a pizza party for their entire class!

To enter, illustrate your idea in the entry form. This is all about having fun and being creative using all manner of media: art supplies, blocks and legos, Arduino or Raspberry Pi, you name it!

Deadline: December 19, 2018

Find out more information HERE!

Check out last year’s winning entry from Hayden Persad:

Past themes:
2010:  What new technology or advancements in existing technology will we need to keep us healthy and safe by the mid-point of the century?
2011:  Imagine the year is 2050. Thinking about energy, how will we cook, heat and cool our homes?
2012:  How will we use less energy?
2013:  Imagine the year is 2050. Wind and solar energy are plentiful, but how will we store that energy to make it more useful?
2014:  In 50 years, how will we increase our food supply?
2015:  What contraption will change the way students learn or are taught in school?
2016: What do you predict will be the next big automated thing that everyone will rely on?
2017: We use energy in our daily lives from turning on the lights to playing on our tablets. What are some ideas to make or save energy so there is more for everyone?

MIDAS – Leading the Regional Maker Community

MIDAS Fab Lab is an integral leader in the Maker culture and community in the region: industry, startups, creatives, students – everyone welcome!

#madeatMIDAS MIDAS Fab Lab

If you’re looking for inspiration with regards to your existing business, the innovative idea you’ve been nurturing, or simply about the future of technology and innovation in the region and beyond, spend a couple of hours here in the MIDAS Fab Lab.

Step inside the doors and you’ll be welcomed by our exceptional team, either exuberant Fab Lab Director – “Mr. Technology” – and innovative entrepreneur in his own right, Brad Pommen or the more reserved but no less enthusiastic or inspiring MIDAS Lab Assistant, Shawn Curran, or both.

State-of-the-art Inspiration, Learning, Fabrication

MIDAS Fab Lab

The MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration Studies) Fabrication Lab is a multimillion-dollar technology hub offering our members the education, training, and skills required to operate advanced fabrication and manufacturing equipment such as 3D scanners and printers, laser cutters and CNC milling equipment.

The resources at MIDAS – skilled and knowledgeable team, courses, half a million dollars in state-of-the-art equipment – are available to aspiring and advanced learners and makers of all levels of expertise.

Every day creative innovators throughout the region explore the range of rapid prototyping and fabrication possibilities at MIDAS to advance their own aspirations and goals to expand their business and develop new products and services. Without MIDAS Fab Lab the limitations of developing new innovations and products could be so labour, time, and costs prohibitive as to stop an idea in its tracks.

Turning Ideas into Gold! Take Advantage of our Range of Exceptional Courses & Training to help Bring your Idea to Life!

MIDAS equipment is most often used for rapid prototyping and training in additive manufacturing, building 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material, such as plastic, metal, wood, and even concrete. 

Our users are able to quickly create a 3D model of an item (using a remarkable 3D scanning device) to create, in some cases, industrial grade prototypes – mechanical parts, for instance – using 3D computer-aided design and a 3D printer.

It doesn’t end with 3D printing, however. Electronics, circuit construction, CNC machines, moulding, casting, metalwork and woodwork are also available.

Since the inception of our MIT-certified Fabrication Lab in the fall of 2016, over 1,000 people from all walks of life, from laymen to startups to industry, have been introduced to not only the potential of MIDAS but their own as well.

Curious and want to learn more? We host weekly tours Thursdays from 6-7pm. Join us!

#LearnCreateLaunch #madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Fun Friday! Fabtronic Sewing Kits

Fabtronic Sewing Set

Enter the world of e-textiles and wearables with Fabtronic Sewing Kits!

Custom reusable parts that allow you to make and remake as many times as you want! 

Electronic technology and wearables are becoming all the rage!

What began as watches and fitness trackers is evolving quickly to include e-fashion and e-textiles as well. Not only are they fun to wear, but they’re also a fun and creative activity while being a terrific way to get the basic foundation of electronics as well.

Smart Garments do what traditional fabrics cannot!

Electronic textiles, also known as smart garments, smart clothing, smart textiles, or smart fabrics, are fabrics that enable digital components such as a battery and a light (including small computers), and electronics to be embedded into them.

Smart textiles are fabrics that have been developed with new technologies that provide added value to the wearer. Pailes-Friedman of the Pratt Institute states that “what makes smart fabrics revolutionary is that they have the ability to do many things that traditional fabrics cannot, including communicate, transform, conduct energy and even grow”.

Smart textiles is typically broken into two categories: aesthetic and performance enhancing.

Aesthetic includes fabrics that light up and fabrics that can change colour. Some of these fabrics gather energy from the environment by harnessing vibrations, sound or heat, reacting to these inputs. The colour changing and lighting scheme can also work by embedding the fabric with electronics that can power it.

Performance enhancing smart textiles are intended for use in athletics, extreme sports and military applications. These include fabrics designed to regulate body temperature, reduce wind resistance, and control muscle vibration – all of which may improve athletic performance. 

If you’re just learning how to sew and want to learn a few basic electronics too, Fabtronic Sewing Kits are a really great way to get started.

 

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3D Design & Printing with TinkerCad | September 7, 2018

3D Design & Printing with TinkerCad

From mind to design in minutes

Tinkercad is a free online collection of software tools that help people all over the world think, create and make. It’s the ideal introduction to Autodesk, the leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

You don’t need to know CAD to make and print awesome 3D models

Tinkercad is the largest community of 3D design and 3D printing enthusiasts of its kind!

Free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!

Tinkercad is an easy, browser-based 3D design and modelling tool allowing users to imagine anything and then design it in minutes.

This course will give starting tools and tips in 3D Design with TinkerCad from Autodesk, a powerful but intuitive to learn design program.

You’ll also learn how to 3D Print these designs in this dual class! You’ll be printing your design on the Ultimaker 2 3D printer. It’s easy and reliable, designed for the best experience in 3D printing.   Engineered to perform, this 3D digital printing workhorse is efficient and super user-friendly; particularly useful for artists, engineers, makers and innovators looking for fast, high-quality prints in just about any size or material.

REGISTER NOW!

Fun Friday: Back-to-school Maker Edition!

Dedicated maker spaces in local schools

The brand new B.C. curriculum has Glenmerry students learning 21st century skills in applied technologies, such as coding and robotics, in their designated makerspace. Elsewhere in the Kootenay Columbia district, Fruitvale Elementary School also has a makerspace classroom that includes its own 3D printer.

As summer winds down we’re all starting to think about the getting ready for back-to-school and wondering where the heck summer went!

Yup, it went fast! But… let’s not get too bummed out.

There’s actually reason to be excited about going back. Thankfully, school isn’t simply about the three Rs anymore. Around the country, province, and regionally, we’re seeing the Maker Movement take hold, not just in our communities with the advent of more and more makerspaces, but in our schools.

Earlier this year, the new BC curriculum expanded to include not only learning in coding and robotics, but also designated maker spaces in the classroom.

These spaces encourage creative, education freedom. Makerspaces are now being recognized for their teaching potential, being integrated into K-12 schools and libraries. Makerspaces foster and drive the desire for young technology and hands-on DIY enthusiasts to take innovation into their own hands. When students are given the opportunity to work, hands-on, with a variety of materials, they learn by doing instead of merely listening or reading.

This approach provides a practical and far more memorable way of learning a new skill or subject matter. This experience not only allows the child to learn something new through their own problem-solving, but it’s also often far more rewarding.

Inspired by hacker culture, makerspaces provide creative learning and innovation opportunities made possible with a supply of equipment, materials and resources for making a range of projects, tech-oriented and otherwise, in any work space, classroom, or community centre.

In these settings, making can range from a digital media lab, supporting multimedia creation and 3-D printing to multidisciplinary inventing, combining mechanics and electronics with social studies and music. Taking it down a notch, it can also be a space to introduce simple engineering concepts through building projects with items such as popsicle sticks and legos. A makerspace doesn’t have to be complicated for the learning opportunities vast and varied.

Glenmerry and Fruitvale elementary schools designate makerspaces in the classroom

Early 2018 saw two local elementary schools embrace the Maker Movement, promoting a foundation in Applied Design, Skills and Technology, or ADST.

ADST basics can be introduced in Kindergarten and evolve with the child and their interests up through the elementary grades and amped up through high school.

Referring to the spaces as Open Source Lab, Glenmerry and Fruitvale elementary schools, in School District 20,  begin instruction as early as Grade 1.

“It is a class, like math, science and social studies,” explains Mike Page, a Grade 5 Glenmerry teacher. “The best part about this is cross-curricular, (meaning) we can teach math, science, art, music, anything, through our makerspace.”

These spaces will include introductions to coding, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, 3D design and 3D printing.

As an example of the range of maker eduction, the Grade 1 class joined Page’s students in a project that incorporated learning both outdoors as well as in.

“We went outside and looked at snowflakes,” he explained. “Then we read a book about how everyone is an individual just like every snowflake is individual or different, and then the grade one students drew a snowflake that resembled them.”

The Grade 5 class took each unique snowflake drawing, designed it three-dimensionally and then printed the 3D image for the younger students.

“That led to learning about science, surface texture, surface tension and so on,” said Page.

This education approach is identified as interdisciplinary or cross-curricular teaching, applying knowledge, principles and/or values to more than one academic discipline simultaneously.

“It’s their favourite part of the day,” said Page. “The students don’t know they are learning, and you’ll see these ‘aha’ moments … it’s about facing a challenge, not being able to do it, and saying ‘I can’ rather than ‘I can’t.’”

As a result, students learn “growth mindset,” or the belief that basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, ideally fostering a love of learning as well as resilience.

“It’s hard, kids fail everyday but then they learn and they grow and they get better, ” Page said. “And this is through something fun, you watch the kids struggle and fail, then improve.”

This is a fundamental to the makerspace experience: trial and error, hands-on learning, and success through a variety of failures!

MIDAS was happy to play a role this new local evolution in youth education.

“We would not be here without MIDAS,” said Page. “They are great at teaching teachers, and getting us engaged.”

An integral part of makerspace learning involves “STREAM,” a concept Page says they swiped from MIDAS Lab Director Brad Pommen.

It refers to Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Artisan and Makers, Pommen explained.

“Students are disconnected from the origins of objects they use everyday, from iPhones to 3D printers, resources are difficult to navigate and find guidance,” he said.

“Having a base in my STREAM curriculum ultimately opens up their world and provides them confidence to build, learn and share their ideas.”

Concepts overlap and create linkages that facilitate education across all classroom subjects.

“Learning how to build, program and compete a robot (in RoboGames) combines programming technologies,” Pommen added. “Robotics introduces logic, engineering speaks to the design aspects, and maker is putting the whole physical package together, with 3D printing for example.”

This evolution in education, particularly at the primary level, is a great reason to get excited about the new school year. Hands-on, exploration, investigation, building, fabrication, coding rather than simply consuming – and yes, even the failures – are where the deep lessons and inspiration live.

What a great time to go back-to-school!

Maker Movement Inspiring Young Innovators With EdTech Toys

Maker movement inspiring young innovators with EdTech Toys

Constructible rides by Infento offer a new twist on toys.

In this era of intense technology consumption, particularly among young people, there’s all manner of conversation going on – at home, in schools, at the workplace – about how to manage it in the name of establishing healthy balance.

Forward-thinking companies are seeing ways to address the issues surrounding young people and technology and seeing another avenue that doesn’t so much limit technology as leverage it, in the form of EdTech toys, that serve to bring the maker spirit and innovation to how young people engage with tech.  End game: inspiring a new generation of makers and innovators, where toys teach the skill sets needed to create rather than simply consume modern technology.

EdTech Toys Engage Children, Inspire Maker Spirit: Innovation, Imagination, Creativity

Makers are teachers, entrepreneurs, professionals, students, DIY hobbyists or simply tinkerers in their own garage.  What unites all of these individuals is the maker spirit – a fascination with creating, often utilizing various means of technology.

The Maker Movement maintains that we are all makers.  Particularly given that today, almost half of all Canadians identify as being part of the maker community, regardless age or gender.

When you consider the focus that STEM/STEAM education has recently taken this number should come as no surprise.  Schools are looking to the maker community, which successfully incorporates inquiry-based and active learning (learning-by-doing) as part of the maker philosophy, to inform their classrooms and teaching techniques, particularly when it comes to attracting students who have become disengaged by formal educational settings.

More and more schools and community centres are beginning to convert spaces into active maker spaces to encourage exploration and experimentation with technology. Makerspaces and Maker Faires are cropping up in communities from coast-to-coast and across the globe, promoting a DIY mentality and innovative, maker spirit.

At the heart of the maker movement is an ideology that innovation should be collaborative, fun and based on exploration. In this vein, new opportunities are being explored by forward-thinking companies, launching EdTech oriented activities and toys geared specifically to teach these skill sets to inspire a new generation of innovators.

For example, one company called Infento has developed the world’s first kit for families that lets them build real constructible rides together using simple modular parts. The building process is designed like a game, with the first task being the construction of a simple toolbox made out of cardboard that teaches children all of the different pieces. From there, a family would decide which ride they want to create and use online instructions to start building.

The name Infento is a combination of two Latin words: “infinitus” (infinite) and “planto” (to make). When pronounced, the name sounds like “invent,” which is exactly what Infento hopes families will be inspired to do with this collaborative experience.

Infento’s newest Kickstarter campaign enables families to use only one kit and one hex key to create a huge range of rides, from walkers and scooters for toddlers all the way up to go-karts, skibocks and sledges for teens.

Similarly, Nintendo released a modular kit called the Nintendo Labo that enables young people to create interactive gaming elements for the Switch out of cardboard. Options include a miniature piano, a fishing pole, a robot and even a motorbike. However, the best part of these accessories is that they help children to understand how these elements function.

Makey MakeyA third toy that is finding itself more and more often listed alongside Raspberry Pi and Arduino is the Makey Makey.  This handy gadget can turn everyday objects into computer input touchpads, so, for instance, a banana becomes the space bar.the

It’s a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between.  This is a kit that teaches young people how to use alligator clips to add connectivity and conductivity to everyday objects like bananas and donuts to create music, touchpads, interactive maps and more.

Makey Makey inspires children to come up with their own designs, all while teaching them basic principles of electrical engineering and coding.

The advancement of toys such as these are indicative of an important shift in thinking for the younger generations. Rather than being passive consumers of technology, young people turn into active creators, developing creativity and skills in true maker fashion.

Organizations like the XPRIZE Foundation recognize the value of this out-of-the-box thinking and have even begun incentivizing young people to put their innovation skills to the test. Most recently, the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE announced a challenge for students between the ages of 12 and 18 to “Design a Deep-Sea Treasure” that could be placed on the ocean floor to help map the final frontier on the earth. Winners can earn up to $2,000 cash and another $5,000 for their supporting school or organization.

Innovative Maker Companies Returning Childhood to Its Hands-on Roots

While there are still many valid reasons to be concerned, as parents, about our kids’ experience with technology, it’s reassuring to see companies leveraging it to encourage active rather than passive engagement.

Looking to employ the maker spirit in their toys and games, innovative companies are incorporating technology while actually drawing on old school roots encouraging exploration, discovery, creativity, and collaborative play.

Reigniting a joy of learning, building skills, inspiring ideas and collaboration; empowering kids to dive in and get their hands dirty, have fun, developing the skills they need to make technology work for them, not the other way around.

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

 

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Fun Friday! Learn Something Cool: 3D Design & Printing with TinkerCad

3D Printing Made With TinkerCad_2

If you’re looking for a terrific opportunity to learn the basics of 3D Design, this course is for you!

Using TinkerCad from Autodesk, a powerful and intuitive design program, this course will give you the tools you need to get you started in 3D Design.  Through the power of TinkerCad you can quickly turn your idea into a CAD model for a 3D printer.  

You don’t need to know CAD to make and 3D print awesome 3D models

Tinkercad is a simple, online 3D design and 3D printing app for everyone.  An easy, browser-based 3D design and modeling tool, Tinkercad allows users to imagine anything and then design it in minutes.  It’s used by designers, hobbyists, teachers, and kids, to make prototypes, home decor, toys, Minecraft models, jewelry – the list is really quite endless!

This course will give starting tools and tips in 3D Design with TinkerCad from Autodesk, a powerful but intuitive to learn design program. Also, how to 3D Print these designs is instructed in this dual class!

TinkerCad SO easy to use!

3D Design & Printing with TinkerCad - MIDAS training

Shapes are the basic building blocks of Tinkercad. Any shape can add or remove material, and you can also import or create your own shapes.

By grouping together a set of shapes you can create new models to work with. Build intricate shapes and create extremely detailed models.

Create vector shapes, then import and extrude them into 3D models.

The possibilities are endless once you learn these fundamentals to 3D Design Printing.  Register NOW to get the fabrication skills you need to bring your idea to life!

Course date:  July 23, 3018.

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