Thanks to a large equipment donation, we have a bunch of new stuff in the space. This includes laptop computers, video projectors, the world's largest whiteboard, furniture, enlargers (rack and pinon gear sets, optics, etc., another LCD TV with a bad power supply (this one seems to be capacitors) and a whole lot more. The new stuff has brought up the need for a better way to store the stuff and make it more accessible. Here's a list of some of the stuff that's happening:
Dan K and Dick are working on tightening up the power for the RFID card access system. Someone (ok, it was me) accidentally unplugged the system this past Saturday and at least one member (Sorry Daniel) wasn't able to get in.
David ground a slot in the top of the safe and moved it to a spot by the front door. It's a place for you to leave checks for membership dues, or for casual visitors to leave a donation.
Dick and Karl are working on mounting the giant LCD TV on the wall in the chill area next to the couches.
Eric and Dick are designing shelves for storing our bone yard stuff, to make it more accessible and to facilitate sorting.
Dick and David are building more benches, including one to serve as a home for our growing collection of 3D printers.
Jack and team are working on doing a triage of the new computers, wiping the hard drives and installing Ubuntu.
David is running wired network connections to some of the work areas in the space.
Folding Tables, storage cabinets, metal working equipment.
The NASA International Space Apps Challenge in Tallahassee was a great success. We had 34 registrants, of which 24 came to the space to work on challenges. There were 8 projects completed at Making Awesome over the weekend. Our judges (Dr. Greg Boebinger (Director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory), Dr. Gordon Erlebacher (Professor of Scientific Computing, FSU) and Stephen Thompson (local genius, retired mathematician and sundial maker) had a difficult task ranking the projects.
Two projects from Tallahassee were submitted to NASA for international judging. The "Open Tiles" project, conducted by Nathan Crock, Olmo Zavala and Samuel Rustan) took data from satellites and transferred it to the geoTiff format, making the data available as visual images via the geoServer. It was an amazing project and the three team members completed their work in the 48 hour window, with one team member working through the night on Saturday.
The second project, Launchpad: Moon, was an answer to the Bootstrapping of Space Industry challenge. The team members (Windham Graves and Erin Thompson) designed, tested, refined and delivered a board game simulating the development of industry on the moon. The final product was produced on a laser cutter with a game board and game pieces. The judges were impressed by the application of game theory to the challenge.
Both of our winning teams received PCDuino's, a combination of an Arduino and a Linux/Android computer. The devices were donated to the challenge by SparkFun Electronics.
In addition to the two projects submitted for the international competition, several other projects received local recognition and awards.
Heather Hill (a high school student) and Brad Harris (from Making Awesome) worked on "Dark Side of the Moon". Heather and Brad developed a web site that featured thumbnail photos of 100 meter sections of the dark side of the moon. Each thumbnail was linked to an .STL file developed using NASA data. Heather and Brad then printed the STL files on a 3D printer producing plastic relief models of the 100 meter sections. Heather was awarded a 3 month family membership in Making Awesome, Tallahassee's makerspace for her work.
John Seigel, Leah Stewart, Yazmin Valdez, Thomas Tricarico and Chris Witmer developed "ChickenPotPi", a computer based system for the management of backyard chicken flocks. The application tracks the growth and development of the user's flock (number or birds, eggs laid, fertilized eggs collected, health issue, etc.) as well as the budgeting (sales, feed expenses, other purchases) required by small poultry farmers. The completed web-based system was ported to the $30 Raspberry Pi computer enabling poultry farmers in rural areas without internet access to use the system. For their efforts, the team was awarded a Raspberry Pi computer donated by Adafruit Industries.
NASA has many open source software and hardware projects. These projects are documented in a variety of open source repositories on many sites across the internet. The "Git'rDun" team, Clark Wood and Ivan Lozanzo, built a system that sync's the content of all these sites into one meta repository. Their system supports a variety of repository formats including tar, tar.gz, tgz, svn, jar, zip, git and svn. The team was awarded a 3 month Making Awesome membership in recognition of their impressive work.
Clumbia was the entry of local high school student Kenyon Bertelsen. Kenyon created a 3D model of the European Space Laboratory (part of the International Space Station) using the open source 3D design software, Blender. He then created an STL file and printed a model of the lab on one of the 3D printers at Making Awesome. For his work, Kenyon was awarded a student membership in the Challenger Learning Center, donated by the Center.
In addition to the participants working on challenges, two individuals deserve special recognition. Scott Holmes, recruited via the Tallahassee sub on reddit.com served as our video producer. He ran a Ustream video from the event and helped us participate in video conversations with sites around the world.
Our most appreciated volunteer was Kelly McGrath who run our culinary team. Kelly and her volunteers prepared and served breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight snack to our participants and volunteers, donating their time and the ingredients.
Both Kelly and Scott were awarded 3 month memberships in Making Awesome in appreciation for their assistance.
We couldn't have done the project without the assistance of our sponsors; the Challenger Learning Center, the FSU Department of Scientific Computing, Adafruit Industries, SparkFun, The Character Center, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, All Saints Cafe and Making Awesome, Tallahassee's makerspace.
Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all of our volunteers and sponsors.
The winning projects are being documented and are linked at http://spaceappschallenge.org/locations/tallahassee/
Last year, on April 1st , Making Awesome, Tallahassee's makerspace achieved corporate personhood when we were chartered as a non-profit corporation. Yes, we incorporated on April Fool's Day. Go figure! Since then, we've moved into our amazing space at 119 Century Park Drive (off Pensacola Street, adjacent to Tallahassee Community College). We've grown our membership, completed some awesome individual and group projects and had a very good time.
So it's time for a party! Please join us on Monday, April 1st starting around 6PM. And yes, there will be cake.
Our list of registrants, friends, volunteers, judges and sponsors for the NASA International Space Apps Challenge is growing. Special thanks to our friends at Adafruit Enterprises who already offer our members a 10% discount on their products who have generously offered to provide a small gift for each registrant and a very sweet Raspberry Pi as one of our prizes. Click on the link to the left for more news and information on the Challenge.
There are still a few spaces left for registrants. The challenges are listed on the Space Apps Challenge website, where you can also register to participate at the event in Tallahassee.