Makers, I heard that you’d like quick, scannable emails to let you know what’s going on. So here are my top things to know for July.
First – If you only do one thing, please take our 2018 member survey The next year is going to be huge, and we’re using your survey responses to drive our priorities. Thank you to everyone who’s taken it so far.
We met a lot of great people and had a lot of fun going to the 2018 Nation of Makers Conference (NOMCON).
Most of us (David, Malissa, Logan and myself) set out Friday morning… well Thursday night really. It is 2:30am when the train leaves Newton, Kansas heading West. If you have never taken the train, you should at least take one trip. We watched the scenery from Western Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico fly by from the Observation car as we anticipated the conference. When we made our final stop late in the afternoon at Lamy, NM, we realize we had landed in a place way smaller than Newton. The “bus trip” from Lamy to Santa Fe was guy driving a hotel van with just the four of us and the other two people who got off the train in Lamy. No one had cell service until we were within a few minutes of Santa Fe.
Sam picked us up in his rental car at the dropoff location in Santa Fe and we made our way up to our AirBnB rental. This is the first time I have done AirBnB and it was quite interesting. We stayed at an “Artists’ Hidaway”. It was open and airy and definitely full on New Age. After taking in a local meal, we all retired back to the BnB except for David who wasn’t feeling well and got a hotel room.
The next morning we made our way to the conference. After a morning conference opener that was mostly thanking everyone, we got down to business. We tried to choose separate sessions to try and and gain the most from the conference. My first session was titled the Five Stages of Grant Writing. As I went into the room, I realized that this conference was not going to be like the ones I had attended for work. There were grouped tables and rather than listening to a single speaker, we talked a little bit about who had Grant Writing experience and who didn’t and what people thought was important. Someone took notes that we all could share (which was good, as the conference center had spotty WiFi which we quickly overwhelmed.)
The next session I had was the one I was to lead: “Moving a Makerspace”. My session went pretty much like the first as we networked and talked about who was moving their makerspace and who already had. One of the fellows took some notes. I promised to take the notes and what we learned when we moved to make a book for all the makers about “Moving a Makerspace”.
There were a couple more sessions that afternoon that went much the same way. I realized the conference was more about networking than anything else and set about making conversations with many of the different makerspaces. We have some differences, but many of the community makerspaces have problems and joys that parallel our own.
David mentioned he was going back home early as he really did not feel well. That evening we went to one of the social events and met more folks from various makerspaces.
The next day heralded a much better crop of general speakers, The theme of the conference was Intentional Inclusion and a very dynamic speaker told of her struggle to find shoes that worked well with her disability. A speaker came to speak to us in spite of having major dental surgery issues. We had a speaker talk to us about making special costumes for kids in wheel chairs. ( You are not supposed to cry at a conference… but these were powerfully moving speeches.) We should totally try to do the costumes for wheelchairs…
Finally Adam Savage got up to speak and I thought it will be hard to follow the wheelchair folks. He held his own, but barely. And then the rest of the day to network with other spaces.
We had more fun before we left. Meow Wolf (the famous art exhibit/mystery story/funhouse) and Itchy-o (a percussion group) and a train trip back.
This is already too long, so see me or one of the gang for details 🙂
Q1: Vote to change the board of directors term duration as set by the bylaws.
Result: Bylaws will not be changed
Q2: Vote to remove Members Rights section of the Standing Rules
Result: Vote passes to remove Members Rights section
Q3: Vote to amend the guest policy to clarify the use of the space for tutoring.
Result: Vote passes to add ‘only exception to this is tutoring’ to guest rules.
President: Kim Burton
Vice President: LaDeana Dockery
Treasurer: David Springs
Secretary: Kez Cook
Members At large:
Notes for next year
Our election process hasn’t changed much since we were an organization of 20 members, and this year was a good opportunity to reflect on ways we can improve.
First, the election ballot has always been assembled by current secretary with assistance when needed from other board of directors members. We’d like to ensure next year that the ballot can be assembled by people who are not running for board of directors positions, to ensure impartiality.
Second, we used ranked preference voting for the second year in a row. Last year we announced and discussed which voting system to use, but this year raised new questions about exactly how to score the ranked preference votes and why we don’t use a one person one vote system similar to our US election system. To address these questions we’ll be holding an election town hall meeting on Monday, July 16 at 7pm in the showroom area. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
With respect to the annual meeting itself, we have a thread about logistics where we’d love to hear suggestions for how to improve this important event.
Dominic originates from Derby, Kansas. He is a collector of degrees and is currently working on finishing a PhD in Human Factors Psychology and Human Computer Interaction from Wichita State University. Except for planning his upcoming nuptials, obtaining his PhD is his most current passion.
Some of Dominic’s current projects include research in brain plasticity, perceptual and motor learning, and helping develop a high-fidelity driving simulator to investigate trust in automation and aging effects on driving. Driving most of his projects is the motivation to improve the human experience.
Dominic wants to specifically encourage people to volunteer for MakeICT Outreach events. He proclaims that it is actually easier and way more fun that it seems like it could be. But above all of the good stuff that happens at Makerspace i.e. collaborating and socializing, the best times for him involve working on his projects in his “zen-place” which consists of just being surrounded by equally productive individuals.
Outside of school, work, and volunteerism, Dominic has also dabbled in some professional modeling, he claims to have been a model for a balloon company, and has submitted a photo as proof. He is also a protector and provider of two domesticated cats, and promised to be wed to one domesticated woman.
Thank you Jenni Alonso for contributing this post.
Patrick and Barb teach kids to solder at Riverfest STEAM city. A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped this week: Barb Davis, Kim Burton, Patrick Hutchison, LaDeana Dockery, Malissa Long, Rhonda Davis, Mark Esau, Krissie Lagana, Trysten Jones, Drew Holler, David Span
June MakeICT News
Hello Makers! There is a lot going on in June, but first a reminder to please attend our Annual Meeting on Sunday June 17 2018 5pm at Hyde Park.
We will elect our 2018-2019 board of directors through an electronic ballot immediately after the meeting. You will have 48 hours to vote. If you are a voting member of MakeICT, please be ready to check your email carefully for this important ballot. Anyone can attend the annual meeting, but only members in good standing in accordance with our bylaws will receive the email to vote. The list of candidates is on the 2018 Elections Ballot page, and you can ask questions to read candidate positions in the Leadership section of our forum.
See you there!
Five MakeICT members attended the Nation of Makers conference (NOMCON) in Santa Fe this year.
Class interest survey
Want to take a class? We’ve pulled a giant list of every class we’ve ever taught to see which ones are more in-demand and need consistent scheduling and they’re all in our Mega Class Interest Survey
Sit down with a coffee and check out the list! If you see classes on there you’ve already taken, pretend you’re taking the survey for a friend who’s heard your recommendations.
Thanks Kez Cook and James Seymour for setting up this nifty new rapid prototyping tool – Brutus the 3D pen! Read more…
Can you teach a class?
Thanks to everyone who came out or helped spread the word on our “How to Teach a Class” class last month. We went over the highlights of how to set up a class and become a MakeICT teacher. If you’re ready to jump in but missed the seminar that’s okay – the Teach a Class form guides you through a lot of what you need to know! Please submit your classes at least a month in advance.
Happy springtime, Wichita Makers! I hope everyone is enjoying the weather and all the great things Wichita has to offer when the weather gets warmer. We have so much going on that this newsletter has a lengthy table of contents. I know there are a lot of places to get news about our makerspace, but this is the place where I really try to condense everything for one-stop-shopping. Ready?
Can you help kids make brushbots and structures? Do you want a free riverfest button? Volunteer at MakeICT’s kids corner and STEAM city tables! There is no experience or prior knowledge needed, we’ve got everything ready to go. We need volunteers every DAY between June 2-9, mostly in the evenings after 5pm. View the full schedule and sign up on our forum.
Summer Intern Boot Camp start May 28
Do you know someone visiting Wichita just for the summer? In the past we’ve had summer interns join MakeICT and spend their first month getting in and acquainted just like regular members. Then the next month, they have to go back home. This month we’re doing something different for them – scheduling a fast track week of authorization classes so they can hit the ground running and make the most of their summer. Tell them about our Summer Intern Boot Camp program at http://makeict.org/intern
Electric Bus Party Sunday May 4
Want to work on our famous electric bus? We’ll be meeting Sunday May 6 at 4pm to discuss the history, status, and fate of one of our original group projects. If you can’t attend but have questions or thoughts, post those in our forum thread. Otherwise we will see you Sunday.
The Plastics Shredder Project
We’re tired of hearing about plastics filling up landfills and killing wildlife, especially in our oceans, so we’ve been really happy to see MakeICT members from Five For a Change creating a plastics shredder to reclaim the plastics we keep throwing away. Their next meeting is May 6 at 4pm at the makerspace. For details visit fiveforchange.org.
The Last Toastmakers May 20
MakeICT’s Toastmakers club has been meeting to help creative people communicate ideas and overcome public speaking fears. It’s been an awesome year, we learned a ton and met some great people, but we did not quite get to the required 20 members to charter our own official Toastmasters club. That’s okay! We’ll be celebrating our accomplishments with one last demo party on Sunday May 20 at 7pm. Of course, if we accidentally somehow get several more members before our deadline we’ll keep meeting. Join the toastmakers facebook group to learn more.
How to teach a class class May 24
Ever wanted to teach a class at MakeICT? Do you know a teacher looking for a summer side gig? Send them to our How To Teach A Class Class where we talk about the types of classes we’re looking for and how to jump in. Thursday May 24 at 7pm. [Facebook event]
May Gallery Show starts May 25
May’s gallery theme is about the things we make at classes, but your work doesn’t have to match a theme. If you complete a project, give it some time in our gallery. Sign up on our forum.
Tune in next month as several members jump on the train to the Nation of Makers Conference! Our spots are filled but I wanted you all to know MakeICT will be represented very well at this first conference on June 9-10.
Our treasurer David Springs is one of the hardest working volunteers at the space so please make his job easier by only depositing money in a filled out payment envelope. They are scanned in as business records so when someone doesn’t use one, he has to guess what the money is for and fill out the envelope for you. Payments might be returned to members if the envelopes aren’t properly filled out and could even delay your membership renewal.
Thinking Ahead to our Annual Meeting
June will be a busy month for us as we elect new officers. A special email will go out when we announce our annual meeting to be held the weekend of June 16-17. Officer nominations will be accepted starting around May 18.
With the Douglas construction in front of our space complete we have a lot more clearly marked parking spaces by our space. So remember to park on the street and not our neighbor’s parking lots. Do not park in Poorman’s lot, either in front or back, or at the starter shop next door.
Featured maker Allan Bacon in our woodshop at MakeICT
One of the most wonderful things about MakeICT is the wide array of experience levels in our makerspace. We have brand new makers who’ve gone from knowing nothing to making art with a plasma cutter in six months. We have highly experienced makers who’ve been creating great things since before MakeICT was around. Allan Bacon is an experienced woodworker whose tables caught our eye, so I sat down to talk with him about how he got started and where he finds inspiration.
Coco Bolo Wood Tonfa
Allan has been woodworking for 22 years. He originally started in to make martial arts weapons when he wasn’t satisfied with what was commercially available, and diversified over time into different wooden styles. A few years ago he saw a live edge table and admired the juxtaposition with the natural edge and the glossy, smooth top. He had just retired from the aircraft industry and had time for bigger projects.
Inspired by pacific northwest artists like Greg Klassen and George Nakashima, live edge tables retain the outer bark of a slab of wood. Some have natural holes to fill in, other tables are made by splitting the slab in half lengthwise so the bark edges are turned to face each other. Allan has used different techniques to fill in the center: resin fill, acrylic or glass tops, LED lights, even phosphorous powder mixed in to casting to glow in the dark.
1890s Cast Iron Sewing Table Base
Allan gets his supplies from Richard’s Wood Shop in Kechi, Cook’s Woods online, Intermountain wood, and friends around the Wichita area. For one table he used an antique singer sewing base. There was a lot to learn in taking the treadle table apart, cleaning it, and re-assembling the cast iron parts to work together just as they had since the 1890s.
Like many of our members, Allan has his own shop at home but he joined MakeICT in its first few years because we had some tools he did not have, like a 15″ planer and CNC shopbot router.
He says he recommends it to people all the time and has talked with plenty of woodworkers in other cities who are jealous of what we offer for $25 a month. “For someone who would like to get started in wood, the MakeICT project classes are a great intro to the world of woodworking. The projects use several of the machines in the shop and the instructor is right there to help along the way,” he says, “Plus you will meet other people with similar interests, so it’s a good networking opportunity. The people there are usually more than willing to answer questions and are glad to show you their projects.”
Illuminated Inlay Table
“For me, MakeICT offers access to machinery that I couldn’t begin to afford. And with a fob/card you have 24/7 access. You don’t have to schedule around “Open” hours. Plus there are machines that I’ve thought would be interesting to learn, but had nowhere to do so. How does the average person get access to a laser cutter, much less learn how to use it? Or a CNC plasma table? Or a 4’ by 8’ ShopBot? Only at MakeICT.”
I’d like to thank everyone who participated in our safety month activities, either in the forums or at our quarterly member meeting on March 24. The rule to “Make Safely” is a huge one at MakeICT and we had a lot of great discussion about what we can do to keep improving.
With our Safety Month drawing to a close, here is this list of 10 things I’d like all of you members to know about.
Extension cords – We’re going to be installing more outlets to reduce our dependance on extension cords. Extension cords are for temporary use only, not a permanent way to power frequently used equipment. If you’d like to help out or learn to install outlets, contact email@example.com
Fire extinguishers – We’ve had all our fire extinguishers inspected and serviced as required. This is an annual task that we’d let go a bit but now we are all up to date. Make sure you know the location of all fire extinguishers. Walk around the space and look for them near light switches.
Signage – We’re going to be adding more signs all around the space for emergency exits and escape routes.
Hazardous fumes – Many area access policies are in review right now, so we’re going to add policies that forbids the use of spray paints and finishes. If you’re using a chemical with noticeable fumes please move outside.
Children – Kids have always been welcome at our makerspace as long as they’re directly supervised by an adult member. The ages for areas have all been different so we are going to level-set our age limits in the policies to help members keep track. Here’s what we’re working towards: kids under 12 can only enter an area with tools if the area lead has granted special permission. Kids 12-16 can use equipment they’re authorized for if supervised by a parent who is an authorized member. Any member over 16 can apply for their own key.
Trip hazards – need to be removed from hallways and aisles. If you’re not sure where to move something, ask a lead.
First aid kits – Make sure you know the location of first aid kits, and notify firstname.lastname@example.org if you use anything out of a kit.
Pest control – Don’t throw away food trash in a trash can without a lid. We’ve had issues with mice in the past and they can lead to serious health issues. Throw away food trash in the outside dumpster or black lidded trash can in the break area.
Muscle Strains – Don’t try to lift heavy objects by yourself. Get a dolly or ask another member to help lift things that are too heavy.
Education – Don’t use tools you’re not comfortable with. If you’re new or it’s been a while since you used a tool or area, feel free to check the calendar and re-take the safety class. Many instructors will let former students sit in for free if they’ve already taken the class and just need a refresher.
Safety is every member’s responsibility. When I tell people about MakeICT, I always try to make sure they know that we’re a collaborative shared makerspace, so anyone can come up to anyone if they see a better, safer way to work. Don’t be afraid to bring someone a pair of safety glasses if you’re worried they might forget. Don’t be afraid to ask an unattended guest of any age who’s supposed to be supervising them. You don’t have to be the president to make our space safer. If you feel like a fellow member is ignoring you, that’s when you can pull in a leader.
If you have concerns or want to bring up another issue, please contact our safety lead Mike Barushok either at the space or via email to email@example.com.
MakeICT brought a wind tunnel to this year’s SWE Engineering Expo to let kids test their own paper airplanes or other objects and learn about lift. Special thanks to our wind tunnel builders lead by Barb Davis and Mike Hutton, and to Jim Hammer, Tom McGuire, and Jace Francis for staffing our booth all day!
March is Safety Month
Hello Makers. Our quarterly member meeting will be Saturday March 24th from 6-7pm at the makerspace. We wanted to dedicate this month’s quarterly meeting to a safety standdown. We have some business, but first up will be brainstorming about what we can do to make our space as safe as possible. All of your leaders have been doing homework leading up to this. We’ve consulted with experienced members of the community for guidance and have already started making changes based on that advice. For example thanks to David Springs, all of our fire extinguishers were serviced and given renewed inspection tags. We’ve been posting safety-based questions all month at talk.makeict.org for you to answer, and there’s a survey for anonymous feedback about your experiences around safety. Finally, we appointed Mike Barushok, long time member, leader, and wikibrarian, to be our safety committee lead. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
Since the meeting is right around dinner time, let’s all go in on pizza? $5 per person. Profits will benefit the equipment fund, which is currently working on getting us a burnout oven for the jewelry area! https://goo.gl/forms/aqbtvgYoLbJ95GCH3
Call for Makers
Planning for Wichita’s Mini MakerFaire is well underway and we hope you’re planning to be there too! Now is the time to fill out your application. Mini MakerFaire will be the weekend of July 21-22 at Exploration Place. To reserve your table and show of your maker skills fill out the call for makers applicationor contact email@example.com
Focus on Education
Did you know that MakeICT teaches at least five classes a week? With everything we teach, I wanted to take some time to sit down and talk about opportunities to improve, measure and focus on our educational program.
Second, you’re all invited to our education program town hall meeting on Monday April 2 at 7pm. We’ll talk about success, share ideas for improvement, and make sure our classes are the best. If you have a friend who’s a teacher or educator, this would be a great thing to invite them to. Click here for the facebook event.
Third, as always if you’d like to teach a class our teach a class form does a great job leading you through the requirements. Share what you know!
Proposed bylaws change for officer terms
Currently the MakeICT board of directors is elected every June. Every seat is up for election, so every year we could have a whole new board. This is very unique for a non-profit organization. We love fresh energy and uniqueness, but as our organization grows, serving on the board comes with a big learning curve. I know as president I barely had my feet under me for the first 3-4 months. I’m now starting to feel like I know the board and my job a lot better, but guess what, three months until it’s a new election.
So we’d like to grant the next board a sense of stability and offer up a structure with at least two year terms. Rather than vote for a potentially whole new board every year, you’ll vote for half the officers every year, with the other half staying around to bring them up to speed. It’s a small change, but one that will grant us a lot of stability.
This change to our bylaws will be presented at the quarterly meeting on the 24th and voted on electronically by the eligible members. You can weigh in with your thoughts ahead of time here in the forum.
Laser Cutter Fundraising Update
Thank you MakeICT members for getting us to a place where we could order our second laser cutter! Last month I told you our budget was $2000 short of the full cost, this month our pledges and fundraising have us there. If you pledged, please go ahead and make your donation. You can either bring it to the makerspace or use the laser cutter fundraising button at makeict.org/donate. Our laser cutter will be on a boat for a while so stay tuned for news about its setup and availability. If you didn’t pledge and would still like to donate, we’d really appreciate it. The full cost of the laser is over $5000, so if we keep fundraising up to that, we can re-allocate that budgeted money for other equipment. Thank you so much!
Members, We are preparing to purchase a second laser cutter. We are specing a more powerful 90-100W laser with a larger bed size 51” x 35” (1300mmx900mm). This will allow us to cut 48” sheets of material easier.
The projected cost estimate will be $6000 for the laser, shipping, upgrades, installation, and taxes. Our MakeICT budget for the laser purchase is $3800 plus members have pledged $800 to the laser cutter so far, so we are 40% of the way. That leaves us with $1400 dollars to go.
We are working out the details with the manufacturer and would like to purchase the laser cutter in early March. To make that happen we need your help to raise the remaining amount.
If you have ever had to wait for the laser now is your chance to pitch in and make it happen. It only takes 24@50, 12@$100, 5@250. Everyone can help us towards our goal.
If you have projects or a business that depends on the laser here is a way to protect yourself from being without it for an extended repair. If you would like to help us get to our goal of a second laser please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fab Lab Area Lead
Featured Maker: Malissa Long, Textiles
Featured Maker: Malissa Long
Our February featured maker is Malissa Long: Fiber artist, fashion designer, sewn product developer, pattern maker, technical designer, and finally MakeICT board member and textiles area lead. She has taught classes in sewing, dying, printing and lots of other forms of art. Malissa moved to Wichita from Austin in July 2015. Read more on our blog…
March 10 SWE Expo
Want to spend a few hours helping kids test their paper airplanes in the MakeICT Wind Tunnel? Join us at this year’s Society of Women Engineers Expo booth. This event is held every year at Century II and has turned into a Wichita-wide festival of engineering. Boys and girls age K-8 are invited to try out hands-on engineering projects for free, and we’re proud to be a part of it. Sign up at makeict.org/volunteer or read more about Expo at wichitaswe.org/expo
Switching our Forum
We’ve talked for a while about leaving our google group for something better and now it’s time. Check your email for an invite to talk.makeict.org. This new forum uses Discourse – open source forum software that lets us have categories, embedded images, website previews, ranked topics and many more important features. If you don’t like visiting a webpage, don’t worry you can still interface through email. If you have any questions contact email@example.com or fill out an invite request through makeict.org/forum.
March Member Meeting
Save the date for our next quarterly member meeting on Saturday March 24, 5pm – 7pm. Agenda is being worked on and we’re happy to hear your suggestions.
Our ongoing member survey has been updated with questions for this year: what do you want your leadership focused on? Is there any place you wanted to help out, but weren’t sure how? Help us understand what you need by filling out our survey at bit.ly/makeict55.