Prankster!

For our April meet up we completed three Prankster Challenges so kids could earn their Prankster Patch.

First, we took the Prankster Oath and recorded it for the Follow the Prankster’s Code challenge. Here is the Oath the kids used:

http://diyprankster.tumblr.com

Then the kids made fake signs. All kids came up with their own ideas independently before the meet up. Interestingly, all of the kids came up with bathroom related signs:

Nano working on a Fake Sign
Nanoo working on a Fake Sign
JJHeroVsVillian's Fake Sign
JJHeroVsVillian’s Fake Sign
Turbo Max's fake sign
Turbo Max’s Fake Sign

Finally the kids had a blast faking something gross. Lots of thought went into these creations.

Nano working on some fake vomit. Mixing!
Nanoo working on some fake vomit. Mixing!
Squishing fake food into fake vomit
Squishing fake food into fake vomit
Faking vomiting with fake vomit
Faking vomiting with fake vomit
Turbo Max works on some fake bird poop
Turbo Max works on some fake bird poop
JJHeroVsVillian stages fake poop on office chair
JJHeroVsVillian stages fake poop on office chair

This was our speediest meet up ever! The kids worked on their projects with concentration and independence, finishing in a record 43 minutes.

Where grossness is required, great heights can be achieved!

Signed,

 

Robo Mom

Make a Cardboard Building!

Our Tucson DIY March meet-up was to make a cardboard building.

Three families arrived with much cardboard in tow. Thanks to everyone for all of the cool supplies!

LitaBook2 decided to make a two floor fortress complete with a working drawbridge and a roof. His building was of a 1:1 scale. That’s right, it was kid sized!

 

The back of the fortress
The back of the fortress
The fortress' drawbridge in action!
The fortress’ drawbridge in action!
Building the second floor
Building the second floor
Standing on the second floor!
Standing on the second floor!

LitaBook2’s little sister created a house with graphic inspired furnishings.

 

The House
The House

JJHeroVsVillian created a multi-floor building with an elevator and a swimming pool on the roof!

Building the floors
Building the floors
Building the elevator
Building the elevator
Creating the swimming pool
Creating the swimming pool
Multi-story building with elevator and swimming pool
Multi-story building with elevator and swimming pool

TurboMax created  a 1:1 scale MineCraft inspired house. Inside there was some MineCraft inspired furniture!

Using the box cutter! Making a window.
Using the box cutter! Making a window.
Making a door.
Making a door.
The Mine Craft Hangout spot
The Mine Craft Hangout spot

All in all, the kids brought great ideas and plans to the meet up and ended up making some really neat personal creations.

Duct Tape Hammock!

In  February, Tucson DIY did the Construct a Tape Hammock challenge. It was quite a challenge! We used two 1 inches diameter dowels with two eye screws attacked to each dowel.

Two 1 inch diameter dowels ready for duct tape!
Two 1 inch diameter dowels ready for duct tape!

We made long loops of duct tape and stuck them together in the middle to make a sort of duct tape loom.

Duct tape hammock "loom"
Duct tape hammock “loom”

Then we wove different colors of stuck together duct tape loops through the “loom” 2 inches apart.

Weaving in the color duct tape 2 inches apart on hammock "loom"
Weaving in the color duct tape 2 inches apart on hammock “loom”

That was a lot of work for one day! Duct Tape Hammock Team 1 was done for their part!

Duct Tape Hammock Team 1
Duct Tape Hammock Team 1

Duct Tape Hammock Team 2 took the hammock home and worked on the rest of the hammock.

Team 2 wove grey stuck together duct tape loops through the “loom” in between the colored duct stuck together duct tape loops to make a nice pattern.

The weaving we did was a straightforward basket type weave.

Weaving in the grey duct tape in between the color duct tape in a basket weave
Weaving in the grey duct tape in between the color duct tape in a basket weave
Lots of weaving!
Lots of weaving!
Lots and lots of weaving!
Lots and lots of weaving!

We reinforced the top and sides with extra layers of grey duct tape.

We tested it out using bungee cords around some narrow desks. Though we did have to have adults pushing on the desks to make sure they did not slide, the hammock was able to hold up eight year olds well. It held up a six year old like a dream!

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Turbo Max on the hammock
Turbo Max on the hammock
JJHeroVsVillian on the hammock
JJHeroVsVillian on the hammock

We donated the hammock to CoLab, our maker space. Thanks, CoLab for letting us use your space!

Medic Meet Up!

We had an amazing Meet Up this January lead by LitaBook2’s mom, who is a medical doctor. Both kids and parents really enjoyed learning the ideas behind how to accomplish four of the Medic patch challenges.

LitaBook2's mom lead a great discussion about what the kid's might need in their First Aid Kit
LitaBook2’s mom lead a great discussion about what the kids might need in their First Aid Kit

We learned to think of what could go wrong in a Tucson DIY meeting and plan accordingly for a first aid kit. We thought of what could go wrong in our regular workspace at CoLab, and what could go wrong when we go camping. From there, kids thought of the supplies they might need to assemble a good First Aid Kit.

All of the kids' ideas of how you might get injured at a Tucson DIY meeting
All of the kids’ ideas of how one might get injured at a meet up or adventure

Then, LitaBook2’s mom explained the ideas behind immobilizing a limb, where kids practiced immobilizing a limb on a partner.

Immobilizing EmmaGirl234's leg
Immobilizing EmmaGirl234’s leg
Limb immobilizing
Limb immobilizing
LitaBook2's immobilized limb
LitaBook2’s immobilized limb
EDogIsAwesome, JJHeroVsVillian and Turbo Max immobilzing a limb
E Dog Is Awesome, JJHeroVsVillian and Turbo Max immobilizing a limb

Kids learned how to take each other’s vital signs: to check breathing and pulse.

EmmaGirl234 checking vital signs
EmmaGirl234 checking vital signs

Finally kids learned how to bandage an injury – to wash a wound and then to apply a bandage.

The kids wash hands in preparation to bandge a wound
The kids wash hands in preparation to bandge a wound
LitaBook2's bandage
LitaBook2’s bandage

Throughout the Meet-Up kids asked many questions and we all had great discussions about safety, injuries and what to do in case of mishaps.

All in all, it was such a fun and educational meet-up.

We give many heartfelt thanks to LitaBook2’s mom!

Signed,

Robo Mom

Land Art

Tucson DIY’s November Meet-Up was to make land art for the salvager patch. The idea was for Tucson DIYers to create outdoor art from natural materials found near the art site.

Here is the DIY.org challenge for our meet up:

https://diy.org/skills/salvager/challenges/67/make-land-art

Some other great examples of land art can be found here:

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/20-unforgettable-examples-of-land-art

LitaBook2, Turbo Max and JJHeroVsVillian
LitaBook2, Turbo Max and JJHeroVsVillian

Three Tucson DIYers came to this meet up. We met in Rio Vista Park and found a nice flat area near a horse trail.

Tucson DIYers salvaging for materials in Rio Vista Park
Tucson DIYers salvaging for materials in Rio Vista Park

LitaBook2 already had a plan when he arrived: to make a house for a bunny. He set out to building immediately under a low tree, making his bunny house out of rocks and sticks.

LitaBook2's Bunny house close up
LitaBook2’s Bunny house close up

Turbo Max looked around thought for a bit. Finally, he decided to also make a house out of natural materials, surrounded by a garden.

Turbo Max's house surrounded by a garden
Turbo Max’s house surrounded by a garden

JJHeroVsVillian also searched the site for awhile before deciding to join in the house idea and altogether, the three Tucson DIYers created a village out of natural materials.

The DIYers found rocks the most fun to work with, but also sticks. A neat discovery was also a muddy spot that dried just right, that looked like large 4in by 4in scales.

JJHeroVsVillan used sticks as joists in his house, creating a structure for a roof and put a few mud scales on top for a roof.

JJHeroVsVillain's house with mud shingle roof
JJHeroVsVillain’s house with mud shingle roof
Joists made out of sticks for JJHeroVsVillian's mud shingle roof
Joists made out of sticks for JJHeroVsVillian’s mud shingle roof

Here is the village!

The Village. JJHeroVsVillian in front, Turbo Max in middle, LitaBook2 closest to tree
The Village. JJHeroVsVillian in front, Turbo Max in middle, LitaBook2 closest to tree

Signed,

Robo Mom

Bringing the Startup World to Kids: Startup Weekend Kids

 

IMG_1563_sm

Tucson DIY’s experience this September 2014 with Startup Weekend Kids was a blast. The energy in the room crackled with anticipation as kids ages 5 to 15 pitched their ideas of new businesses to their peers. Some of the business ideas were in the realm of the concrete and some were in the realm of science fiction. It didn’t matter. It was all part of the process.

The important part was getting through the program. The program walked kids through some really key point to starting a business:

– pitching the beginning of an idea to a crowd

– making a prototype (usually a sculpture or a drawing)

– listing out potential customers

– interviewing those customers

– coming up with a price

– presenting all of these concepts together one more time as a potential business

IMG_1569_sm

The process was a challenge for every kid. Having an adult there to help through the process was priceless.

IMG_1565_sm

It was a morning that required every kid to stretch and imagine, to talk to people about their ideas, and to think outside of themselves to the people who might use their product. The sense of accomplishment I saw on each and every kid as they presented their potential business at the end was palpable.

IMG_1634_sm

Tucson DIY was proud to be a part of Startup Weekend Kids and looks forward to running it for years to come.  It is a wonderful educational opportunity for everyone involved.

I have more thoughts on the weekend on my personal blog about all of the cool stuff the kids learn from their challenges in detail. This is from the perspective as an adult who previously went through the grown-up Startup Weekend a few years ago. Check it out here.

See everyone at Startup Weekend Kids next year!

Signed,

Robo Mom

 

Tucson DIY to Run Startup Weekend Kids September 13th, 2014

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CoLab has graciously let Tucson DIY meet in its space for the past year. This central location is convenient for families and it is also appreciated that no one has to madly clean house to host a Tucson DIY Meet-Up on a regular basis.

As a “Thank You!” to CoLab, Tucson DIY will be running Startup Weekend Kids this year.

So, first of all, if you have not heard of Startup Weekend Kids, here is a run down:

Bring your 5-12 year old children and have a blast at Startup Weekend Kids, a great event that teaches our kids about what it takes to get at startup company…started! You and your children will have fun building a business or invention just like the grownups at the main Startup Weekend event. Your kids will get hands on experience pitching ideas, making a prototype, and learning about costs, customers and profit.

It’s a fun frenzy of learning key skills unlike anything you’ve tried before! Your kids will leave having practiced essential 21st century skills like problem solving, public speaking, math and data collection.

It’s never too early to have fun and teach your kids how to be a young entrepreneur!

What do we need from our enthusiastic Tucson DIY group?

1. Come, bring the kids and participate! It is $15 per child and $10 per attending parent to participate. Sign up at http://startuptucson.com/events/startup-weekend-kids/ .
2. Come, participate and have your kids bring their ideas for “The Next Big Thing”.
3. Bring construction items for making prototypes such as: boxes, art supplies, and bric-a-brac. Anything that you think might inspire kids to build a prototype of “The Next Big Thing”.

Can’t wait to learn about entrepreneurship with you!

Signed,

Robo Mom

 

What We Will Be Talking About at the Annual Planning Meet-Up (and Movie for the Kids)

Hello everyone!

Our next event is the Annual Planning Meet-Up. The kids will be able to watch a movie while we meet, so it is OK if you bring your kids if they are able to watch a movie on their own.  If they are little kiddos, please provide an additional mature caregiver to watch them in the movie watching area.

If you have a kiddo who is interested in planning their events, PLEASE let them know they may participate.

I encourage all parents to discuss with their kids what kind of meet-ups they would like for next year. This is a club for them and it is best if all of the meet-ups support their interests.

Here is our agenda for the meeting:

1. Discussion of organizational structure.

A. Simple Structure – Organizer – Treasurer – Parents

B. More involved structure as outlined in DIY.org Club Leader Handbook – Medic – Chef – Musician – Salvager – Entrepreneur – Writer – Graphic Designer – Frontend Dev

2. Giving Back to CoLab. CoLab has generously lent us their space to meet. What can we do in return?

3. Discussion of events for 2015 calendar year

Notes to follow on an update!

Signed,

Robo Mom

****************

Annual Planning Meeting 2014 Notes

Our Planning Meeting Families
Our Planning Meeting Families

Here are our notes from the Annual Planning Meeting!

Three families attended the Tucson DIY Annual Planning Meeting, the Williams, Brosanders and Govier family. Adults represented the families.

We discussed that, in the future, we would like children to also be present at planning meetings.

We also discussed that, fifteen minutes before the end of every meeting, we should make sure that everyone uploads their projects onto DIY.org.
 

Roles of Tucson DIY Members


We discussed the possibility of taking on the roles as suggested in the DIY.org handbook, such as Medic, Chef, Musician, Salvager, Entrepreneur, Writer, Graphic Designer and Frontend Dev.

All families were excited by the roles and took on the following:

Brosanders: Medic
Govier: Musician, Organizer (meetings and calendar), Writer
Williams: Entrepreneur, Recruiter, Video Blogger, Treasurer

We discussed that right now, families will take on these roles but perhaps as our children get older, they will take on these roles more independently.
 

Giving Back to CoLab/Startup Tucson


For the space that CoLab lets us use for our meetings, we wanted to know what we could do for CoLab in return. Justin Williams represents CoLab and asked for the following:

– Tucson DIY to run Startup Weekend Kids. Dawn Williams volunteered to head this up. Startup Weekend Kids is September 13, 2014. Dawn will be sending us information on how we can help that I will send out in a future Newsletter. We will help from 8AM to 1PM on the 13th at CoLab. We will have 20 slots available. There will be a fee per participating child that will go to Startup Tucson. We will need poster boards, post it notes, and prototyping materials. We should draw on our network of friends to get the word out.

Because we will be going Startup Weekend Kids, we will not have the Lemonade Stand at Startup Weekend.

– Support Startup Tucson’s Hour of Code (CODE.org) effort in December. Draw on our network of professionals and parents to volunteer one day in a classroom in a school. Startup Tucson would ultimately like about 50 volunteers.
 

Our Calendar for 2015


We had SO much fun picking out our program for next year. Here is our rough draft of our calendar. I am working on a final draft for the club to share in the near future.

January Meet-Up: Medic. We plan to work on three of the Medic Challenges (Assemble a First Aid Kit, Measure Vital Signs, Bandage an Injury), so that all participants can earn a patch.

February Meet-Up: Tape Ninja Group Challenge: We plan to make a Duct Tape Hammock for CoLab. We are asking families to make tape strips at home and then assemble the hammock together for our monthly Challenge.

March Meet-Up: Maketopolis: We plan to have our members bring their favorite projects to share with the public. We also plan to have a paper crafting activity for visitors – weaving with paper. We are also planning to ask members to do a Prankster Challenge at home for April Fool’s day and share what they did at the April Meet-Up

April Meet-Up: Cardboarder Challenge: Make a cardboard building. 

May Meet-Up: Make a Solar Powered Device

June Meet-Up: Chemist Challenges: We are planning to complete three Chemist challenges to earn a Chemist patch. We will make Ooblek, Create a Chemical Explosion and Write a Chemical Message.

July Adventure: Camping. We are planning to go on a camping trip over Fourth of July weekend. We would like to try Rose Canyon this year. There are many challenges that our members can attempt on a camping trip.

August Meet-Up: Astronomer Challenge. Protect the Earth from Asteroids. The challenge asks kids how they think we could protect the earth from asteroids.

September Meet-Up:  Physicist Challenge. Save an Egg from Certain Death. This is an egg drop challenge.

October Meet-Up: Rocketeer Adventure. We plan to contact the Southern Arizona Rocketeers (SARA) and attend one of their launches. If we can, we will also build a rocket from a kit. Stay tuned on this adventure!

November Meet-Up: Woodworker: Build a wood box.

December Holiday Hacker Challenge: Give to the less fortunate

 

Solar Engineer Meet-Up: Build a Solar Cooker

Our August meet up will involve building a solar oven to cook french bread pizza. We will also try to fry an egg.

So far, our family is going to try to build the basic box solar oven.

We are following this idea:

Box cookers from solarcooking.org
Box cookers from solarcooking.org

I found some great plans at:

http://solarcooking.org/plans/

Basically the plan is to take a box with a lid, put in some foil in the inside and on the lid, tape plexiglass to the top and have a pan of french bread pizza in the box to cook.

Pictures from the meet-up to follow!

Signed, Robo Mom

**************

(Updated after the Meet-Up!)

Solar cookers are quite straightforward to build. They are a great introductory solar project. We had three families building at this meet up and though every design was a little different, everyone was able to understand the concept and construction easily.

The only tricky thing about solar cookers is that they need direct sunlight. Our Meet-Up was at 2 – 4 PM and thus, while it was plenty hot outside (about 100 degrees), the sun was not directly over head. On top of that, it was a bit of a cloudy day so the cookers did not get enough sunlight for a long period of time.

However, when the sun was out and shining on the cookers, the cookers temperatures shot up dramatically, about 50 degrees in just a few minutes! They are effective.

So, even with the sun not cooperating, we were able to melt cheese for pizza. We did not try the egg as I thought that 150 degrees might not be hot enough for an egg and just make a terrible mess.

Our family will be trying out our solar cooker again next weekend at noon to see how hot it can get!

Here are pictures from the Meet-Up. Enjoy!

JJHeroVsVillian and mom building
JJHeroVsVillian and mom building
JJHeroVsVillain building
JJHeroVsVillain building
Planning and building!
Planning and building!
Tubro Max and dad conferencing about building
Tubro Max and dad conferencing about building
Making pizzas!
Making pizzas!
Sisters building together
Sisters building together
Putting on the reflective foil
Putting on the reflective foil
Cutting insulation for cooker
Cutting insulation for cooker
Making little pizzas to put into cooker
Making little pizzas to put into cooker
Turbo Max and dad working on the insulated box cooker
Turbo Max and dad working on the insulated box cooker
JJHeroVsVillain and his cooker
JJHeroVsVillain and his cooker
Solar cookers cooking!
Solar cookers cooking!

Camping

When I first looked through the DIY.org’s many challenges under Skills (https://diy.org/skills/sort/alpha), I noticed how very many of them were related to camping. And when I was first looking into starting a DIY.org club, I noticed how prominent the Adventure featured in the club challenges. Doing stuff outdoors is a big deal at DIY.org.

I will be honest, it has been awhile since I’ve been camping. I’ve got some skills to brush up on. With Mr. Robo Mom being an boy scout back in the day, I know this will help. And we have such enthusiastic families adventuring with us, some of who have a lot of camping experience so I know this will be an amazing Adventure no matter what.

I am looking forward to showing the kiddos the fun of sleeping in a tent, making food on a fire and to singing under the stars. So stay tuned for the future post with pictures from our first Tucson DIY camping adventure!

Signed,

Robo Mom

******

As promised, here are the pictures from our camping trip. Enjoy!

Much outdoor play was had
Much outdoor play was had
We found a fairy fort someone built before we arrived. A stone path with pine needle walls!
We found a fairy fort someone built before we arrived. A stone path with pine needle walls!
The kids built a shelter
The kids built a shelter
We climbed a big rocky hill on one of the hikes
We climbed a big rocky hill on one of the hikes
We did some hiking
We did some hiking
It did indeed rain some of the time but we had tarps and raincoats ready
It did indeed rain some of the time but we had tarps and raincoats ready