An awesome weekend at Maker Faire Toronto — we got the inside scoop at the booths of just about every hacker, maker, designer, and entrepreneur, and wrapped it all up with a pitch competition this afternoon!
Congratulations to teacher, maker, and all-around pinball wizard David Hann, a teacher at the Toronto District School Board’s Donview Middle School, who won November’s grant with his plan to teach STEM skills to his students through the design and construction of educational pinball games.
Here’s some more info on David’s awesome project: http://makerfairetoronto.com/maker/2014/tdsb-donview-ms-pinball-project/
As early supporters of the #makered movement, in the spring of 2014, my colleague and I tried an innovative 3 month “integrated project” for our grade 8 class, culminating with the creation of functioning pinball machines. Along the way, students covered all the required math, science, history and language curriculum, as well as learning about project management. The main goal was to try and get students to see the relevance of their learning with a real-world task, and to present the material in an exciting and engaging way.
A big shout-out to everyone who came out and pitched today — you’re all AWESOME, and we can’t wait to see you again in future months’ submissions!
We here at the Toronto Awesome Foundation are in search of a new trustee with an outsized passion for all things awesome and a deep desire for making Toronto a more awesome place to live. The position requires a contribution of $100 a month to our monthly grant and the ability to commit to a minimum of one meeting per month. The benefits are immeasurable. You will get to review and fund amazing ideas and the people behind them and, like me, be granted unlimited over-use of the word awesome in all personal and online conversation :).
To apply please submit a grant request with the project title: Trustee Application, and please tell us a bit about yourself and why you are interested in joining.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The Toronto Awesome Foundation
We Asked Nikki, the creator of the project, to tell us a little bit more about it. Be sure to look out for the awesome community event in Trinity Bellowoods Park this July.
1. Tell us about your project? Our project is called the Patchwork Picnic. Last year, local artist Matthew Del Degan started a project he called the LoveBot Invasion. He was struck by how little people in the city talked to or connected with each other. In a city where so many people lived, it seemed crazy that loneliness was such a problem. He created an army of small concrete robots to show how we are all robots living in a concrete jungle. His project was a great hit. The message of love and kindness was one that seemed to really resonate with the people of Toronto. My blog, Greenmoxie, is a holistic look at how people living in urban environments can lead healthier, greener, happier lives. We share healthy recipes, was to be green and random acts of kindness where we encourage people to reach out to their fellow city dweller and to lead with love. The patchwork picnic is a catalyst for making friends and creating connections between the residents of our wonderful city. The picnic will be held in Trinity Bellwoods Park in June and the only ‘rule’ is that your picnic blanket should touch someone else’s. We applied for the awesome foundation grant so that we would have the funds to publicize the event and to get those people most marginalized to the picnic like seniors and at-risk youth.
2. What makes it awesome – in one sentence? The patchwork picnic is awesome because it connects people to each other, to nature and to all that makes life joyful and abundant.
3. What inspired/motivated you to do this? Our inspirations resonates with that of the Awesome Foundation in that we would like to make our city a happier, friendlier place to live. People in the city want to reach out to others and they want to spread acts of kindness and love, all they need is the opportunity.
4. How can people find out more about it or get involved?
Look out for patchwork picnic details on both the LoveBot (www.lovebot.com
) and Greenmoxie sites (www.greenmoxie.com
) and facebook pages. We will need volunteers on the day. If you throw a killer Frisbee, play guitar or have some other talent, we’d love to see it! If you are particularly charming, we’d love to recruit you to help start conversations and spread friendships between attendees or perhaps you want to pick up and drop off some of our attending seniors or kids. Just visit the website and drop us an email if you want to help.
Our January grant came from an Awesome pool of projects that put us in a challenging spot (exactly where we like to be). Some of the projects that made to the short list included:
All of you, please resubmit as you wish and as your projects evolve! We think they are great.
But back to our winner! We asked the project creator, Russel Chichester to tell us a bit more about his project to help provide kids with better tools to navigate their career and this is what he had to say…
What’s your project all about: It’s about giving young people a head start in life by exposing them to the best advice possible though a career exploration workshop hosted by the Career Exploration Club. For most high school students, deciding on a future career path and on a University/ College program can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking experience. Most students get to Grade 12 still unsure what career path is right for them. There are many career options out there, but no criteria/method to help them determine why one career path is better suited for them than another. With the Awesome Foundation money we will be able to put on a full eight week workshop for our graduating class through the Career Exploration Club.
What will this mean for your students: These students are in the process of making life changing career decisions and for the majority of them, as first generation Canadians, don’t have or understand the resources available to them to make these decisions. This grant will really help them out.
If anyone else wants to find out more or help out, how can they get in touch: You can always visit our website http://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/emeryci/Home.aspx, our contact information is there as well.
A little late in sharing this Awesome project with you all, but better late than never – especially with this one. In December 2013 we decide to award our last grant of the year to help Laura Inglis revive and revamp an unused library in the school where she teaches in Scarborough. We were touched by her personal commitment to build a new space for learning, play and imagination where there was nothing but potential. In the past month she has transformed that space into just that. It so exciting to see projects come to life with as much vigour and speed as this one, and it goes without saying that we all feel fortunate to be associated with her commitment to her kids. They even sent us a thank you letter recently!! XO
For the past 3 years, the Toronto Awesome Foundation has been dedicated to supporting people and ideas that actively make our city a more awesome place to live, work and play together. Unfortunately, as you are well aware, our mayor Rob Ford is doing his very best to tell the world the very opposite. He is a direct threat to our city’s inherent Awesomeness, and he must go. As a result, the Toronto Awesome Foundation is looking to support creative, engaging, and subversively awesome ideas that help contribute to the movement to get this fantastic mess out of office. So if you have an idea aimed at this same goal and you need help making it happen, we might just have $1000 in a paper bag for you to get it rolling – no strings attached!
Our next pitch event will be on December 10th and our submission deadline will be December 1st. Simply fill out the online submission form detailing your idea, and we promise to consider it carefully.
We are looking forward to the arrival of your ideas as eagerly as Rob Ford’s departure.
The Toronto Awesome Foundation
Tomorrow, Saturday September 21st, at 4pm, we’ll be having our September Pitch Night event, at the Toronto Mini Maker Faire! Our shortlist is:
DIY Bio – meat speciation via PCR project
3D Printing with your body – a 3D scanning system using Kinect for your body
Maker Kids – interactive project gallery
Pendulum Print Bot – an airbrush robot!
Plus potentially a dark horse candidate!
Buy tickets for the faire and come see us give away $1000 to the most awesome idea!