Empower2Make was once again a huge success! Five maker teams did a great job designing and building tools with the special needs community over the weekend, and presented their solutions to the public Sunday morning. At the closing ceremony, Nova Labs was honored with special guests, Virginia Delegate Ken Plum and Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.
As we were preparing to leave after a long weekend, Mr. Cerf lingered for a few parting exchanges. I asked if he might share one thing he appreciated about the E2M experience. Mr. Cerf exclaimed “Only one?!”, paused to reflect, and then expressed how he appreciated seeing so many young people collaborating over a time-limited problem and the confidence that was gained from this experience. What a powerful testament to the work of Nova Labs in building future innovators and engineers!
Another exchange started with a simple thank you. Sean Crane, one of the E2M team members, thanked Mr. Cerf for all he has done for the hearing-impaired community. The pair engaged over a shared passion as Mr. Cerf brought up a mobile app on his phone designed for the hearing-impaired. What a great reminder about the power of gratitude in furthering dialogue on the ways creativity and technology benefit the world!
A huge thanks to the organizing team who led the effort making Empower2Make such a far-reaching success: Bo Pollette Wernick, Fred Briggs, Patrick Thompson, and Jennyfer Peterson. What an inspiration for all of us!
Right around the corner from Empower2Make is Maker Faire NoVa on June 2nd at George Mason University. Read more below about how to get involved in this 6th annual signature event.
At the Best of Reston gala this April, Ellen Jennings, CEO, BEI was recognized for BEI’s work in the community. Ellen’s longtime leadership with the Take-Apart Station at Maker Faire NoVa was honored.
In volunteer leadership news, John Hoskins is transitioning from Tech Comm team lead. Nova Labs has been extremely fortunate to have John at the helm of Tech Comm for many years. The most visible transformations led by him include a reliable network, enterprise-class Wi-Fi, and a complete makeover of our website — a long, yet rewarding process, resulting in a modern, streamlined experience. Behind the scenes, we now gather more data to better inform our decision making, we have a ticketing system which revolutionized the support desk, membership dues and other receipts are now fully accounted for, and our other technology hums along without incident. A heartfelt thank you to John!
Nova Labs President
At the 4/1 Board meeting, we had a presentation from Carl Hutzler and Jeanne Loveland, co-producers of the Nova Maker Faire, and we were, as always amazed by the work they do for Nova Labs and the larger community. The deadline to apply to be an exhibitor has passed, but the Faire can always use your help, so please consider volunteering — go here to join us for this fun event.
We’d like to recognize and thank Julia Smith for her friendly face and hard work at the front desk, as she has left her position as of 4/14. Julia, see you around!
On 3/28, several members of the Nova Labs Board attended the Made in Fairfax Forum, and Nova Labs was mentioned as one of the County’s resources available to assist and support local small-scale production firms. It’s good to see our awesomeness acknowledged by Fairfax County’s Office of Community Revitalization. Check this page out for more information about this initiative and to see the report submitted by Ilana Preuss of Recast City.
Submitted by Margaret Kositch
by Laura Glady
In the weeks leading up to Easter, makers have been experimenting with Ukrainian Egg Dyeing, also known as pysanky. It is a wax resist process in which liquid wax is drawn onto a hollow eggshell before dipping the egg into the dye. The egg is then blotted dry and more wax is applied. This process is repeated several times with increasingly dark dye colors. The wax preserves the lighter colors and creates intricate patterns when the wax is removed to reveal the final product.
Makers learned to apply the wax using a specialized tool called a kitska and developed their designs. They used laser-cut cardboard templates to divide their eggs into quarters or thirds, as most pysanky is made with geometric layouts. They then had to think backwards from their final idea to figure out which parts of the egg needed to stay white- or even if they wanted white lines at all! Some decided to start with a light color such as yellow or pink instead. Some also decided on a minimalistic approach, using only white and one or two colors.
At the end of the night, everyone left with their beautiful eggs and a laser-cut stand to display their creations.
by Jeanne Loveland
There’s just 5 weeks to go to the 6thAnnual Maker Faire NoVa on June 2 at George Mason University from 11-5. Maker applications are in, including exhibits from 23 Nova Labs members such as Robotics, Learn to Solder, Drone User Group, Fiber Arts, Blacksmithing, Woodturning and more. Check out the full list of makers here. Each year we get bigger and better. Makey the Robot will be there!
New this year, the SmartPhilm Festival, will take place at the Faire. Smart Philms are films shot exclusively with smartphones. Selected films will be shown throughout the day along with awards ceremony and a workshop.
For our Maker Educators, the 3rd Annual NoVa Maker Educator Meetup will take place from 10-1. The meetup includes keynote speakers – Sylvia Martinez, author of “Invent to Learn” and George Meadows, Professor at University of Mary Washington, lighting talks, breakout discussions and workshops. Find more details on the website and on our flyer. Please share with any Maker Educators you know.
We’re looking forward to another awesome Faire and we hope many Nova Labs members will join us. Tickets are on sale now with reduced ticket prices through May 26. Want to get in for free – volunteer for a shift, sign up here. See you at the Faire!
Some of the Main Attractions in May are below. Please RSVP via the links.
Bunks Across America Build Day June 15, 9am-5pm.
Check the Calendar of Events for the schedule of upcoming events
Provided by Jennyfer Peterson (KM) and Karen Shumway (KM)
by Philip Gaudette
Even if you have access to a room full of band saws, table saws, and more, you need some hand tools to handle certain smaller tasks and to add refinement to your projects. Hand tools can help you:
– quickly and quietly complete some small cuts
– fit joints with precision
– prepare edges for glue
– add elegance to joints and surfaces
– foster affinity with your material
– explore creative options too risky for power tools
So use power tools for the big stuff. Slow down and finish up with hand tools. A basic set of hand tools is not too expensive, not too big to store, and not hard to maintain. Basic skills are easy to pick up at first, improve quickly with practice, and open up to growing mastery over time.
In addition, NOVA Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:
Nova Labs is a shooting star. From our start in 2012, we’ve grown to over 300 members. The demands on our ad-hoc “made at a maker space in 2012” member management software is on life support. We are looking for IT-savvy, not-necessarily-programmer, types with that independent maker spirit to help us plan our migration. For more information check out this PDF link.
We are open! See our COVID-19 Phase III reopening guidelines.