Nova Labs was honored to co-host with the Washington Woodworkers Guild a full weekend of Marquetry in May. The course was co-led by a wonderful father-daughter team who brought complementary skills. One of my favorite parts was the self-discovery in the early morning hours before the second full day of instruction. I arrived early and worked through combinations of the pieces I had cut out the day before. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a creative side as I experimented with the color choices. This first exploratory course was well-received by all — and an in-depth view is provided in this issue.
Nova Labs welcomes partnerships to create new opportunities for discovery. More ventures are underway as a result of longtime relationships between members of the Nova Labs community and partner organizations. In Launch100, corporate sponsors are joining forces with the makerspace to foster entrepreneurship. In partnership with FIRST Global and FIRST Robotics teams, Nova Labs is making an impact around the globe in STEM outreach.
Along with fostering partnerships, Nova Labs continues to work on systems to support innovative programming. Nova Labs is pleased to host an upgraded network with many thanks to the perseverance and dedication of John Hoskins, Michael Douglas, Robert Scullin, Corey Sheldon and colleagues. In a separate effort, the Board is pleased to introduce a comprehensive safety policy crafted by an ad hoc committee led by Patrick Waters. These are successful outcomes resulting from significant efforts that will enrich our working environment.
The stewards team welcome John Seamen with the Lathe and Connor Bacon with Plastics / Composites. On the Nova Labs Board, Lieselot Whitbeck is assuming the responsibilities of Secretary. Kelli Kedis Ogborn resigned her position on the Board for family and career reasons. She will continue her work on the TOM / Hackathon Planning Committee. Kelli was a valued contributor to the Board and we thank her for sharing her talents.
At the May board meeting, in addition our regular activities like voting in new members (welcome Siobhan!), reviewing financials (our books are balanced – Thanks Jim!), and approving major expenditures (the new laser cutter is paid for and will be delivered soon!), the Board also reviewed the results of major efforts going on throughout the labs – many of which will be released soon. Coming attractions include a “Nova Labs Safety Program & Policy Manual”, a new board member, a new “composites” steward, and a redesigned instructor incentives program. In addition, the board has started to discuss the idea of hiring our first paid staff member. We are still VERY early in that process – working towards writing a job description.
As always – we love to hear from you. If you think there is something that needs our attention, if you have a question, or if just want to chat, come find one of us on slack, on email, or around the lab.
>>> provided by Lieselot (on behalf of the board)
The network team, Michael Douglas and Robert Scullin, started to spend a lot of time documenting the Nova Labs network when it became apparent how the relatively old equipment was straining under the load. In some cases, they were limited in the troubleshooting tools available from the legacy hardware. That’s all behind us now!
In April, they (with John Hoskins and Corey Sheldon providing cabling support) completed the network update, replacing all the old network hardware (router, firewall, switches) with new(er) models. We’re now supporting IPv6 addressing on wired Ethernet connections and are working to extend that through the wireless network as well. The DNS and DHCP services have been moved to a virtual machine on new hardware, which should make them much more reliable.
In related news, we’re now hosting a RIPE (https://www.ripe.net/, the European network registry) network probe, available at https://atlas.ripe.net/probes/31250/. While helping RIPE get more data about general Internet reachability and latency, we’re able to use it to watch our network connection continuously.
>>> provided by Brian Jacoby
In April The TOM DC group, based out of Nova Labs, presented its work with the TOM Global Group, based out of Israel, at the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference. The goal of the conference was to show how people are supporting the effort to build a better world. The TOM DC group had a huge booth where we demonstrated some the of tools and technologies that were developed at last year’s TOM DC event, held at Nova Labs.
The 2016 TOM DC event was a 72 hour makeathon was geared towards working with people with disabilities to understand their challenges and to build solutions to make their lives easier, more independant, and more productive. During that event 7 teams of over 60 makers built some great tools including an automatic shelf that moved up and down for the mobility limited, a series of devices to help people who wear an oxygen tube, and even some VR software designed to help the hearing impaired see the direction of sounds.
Currently, the TOM DC group is planning an even larger TOM event, to be held at the Smithsonian in Washington DC in February of 2018. We look forward to finalizing the venue and sponsors and opening up the recruitment process to gather more amazing and talented designers to continue the tradition of helping others and making the world a better place for everyone.
>>> provided by Bo Wernick
Nova Labs is partnering with FIRST Global, a new endeavor of the FIRST organization. The inaugural FIRST Global tournament is coming to DAR Constitution Hall in July with teams from 161 countries participating. Nova Labs is coordinating with area FIRST teams to provide critical training materials for teams preparing for the tournament.
The Education and Outreach of FIRST Global is gathering an international following and beginning to have a global impact. Several countries have built robots from published, open-source designs developed at Nova Labs. Teams Libya, Burundi, Philippines, and others, have designed innovative solutions that have expanded upon the original concepts developed at Nova Labs.
“Reflecting back to the first weeks when Nova Labs pulled together the documentation that is now in play around the globe – I look at the accomplishments and I am amazed that we accomplished so much in such a short period. I have attached a photo from our very first meeting when we cracked open the first box, which was just 11 days ago! (Although it seem like a lot longer.) Thanks to Nova Labs FTC teams, FTC teams from Herndon High, South Lakes High, and Langston Hughes Middle, as well as the FRC team from Marshall High.”