Make the Cities of Our Future: First meeting at The Hall

Editor’s note: Today’s post was written by Lauren Frieband, The Lawrence Hall of Science’s marketing specialist.

Visitors and the East Bay Young Makers explored the theme of “Cities” at the Lawrence Hall of Science’s first Open Make @ the Hall on January 19.

Collaborative spirit and constructive questions permeated throughout the event’s activities and program:

What are ways to make power for a city?

Tech Hive and Ingenuity Lab Teen Interns helped visitors design, build, and test their own wind-power machines. They also created unconventional circuits with play dough, bananas, soup cans, and even each other using MaKey MaKey.


How can you build a city out of recycled materials?

Featured Maker, artist Franchesca Borgota from the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse brought heaps of recycled materials—from ornaments and file folders to cardboard boxes and pipecleaners—that got everyone involved in constructing a tabletop city. Starting with only a rough map of essential city componenets, visitors added amusement parks, swimming pools, and more imaginative components.

What do we have in common with the cities we live in?

Working with cardboard, Featured Maker and designer Craig Hansen steadily built up the human-robot-like Giant City-Bot Man X-3!. This huge sculpture, part skyscraper, part water tower, evolved throughout the day to develop a personality of its own, a face, arms, and legs.

What can we do with our broken down urban appliances?

Visitors had the opportunity to take apart their non-working electronics and with a little help and inspiration from Featured Maker and founder of Fixit Clinic, Peter Mui, get them working again. Looking at the insides of drills and sewing machines, led one young participant to realize, “if it wasn’t for the Lawrence Hall of Science Fix it Clinic, this drill wouldn’t be fixed, but on the scrap heap.” Making and fixing showed us that being part of a city means you have to keep it and its parts working.

How can we join in the Maker Movement?

During the Featured Makers talk, Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE Magazine shared how we can all be makers. The question is, how do we develop ourselves as makers? The day’s Featured Makers shared their processes. Big takeaways were:
• Share and collaborate with others on projects
• Use whatever materials you can find
• Dream amazing dreams and work toward making them realities
• Understand how things work so you can fix them or make something new from them
• Tinkering with things is a legitimate way to learn about the world

Check out this video from Open Make @ the Hall: Cities.

When’s the next Open Make @ The Hall?

Join the Lawrence Hall of Science at an upcoming Open Make event:

  • February 16: Games & Toys
  • March 16: Bikes
  • April 20: Tiny Tech


Open Make Activities
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Plussing Session (Young Makers only)
12:00 p.m.

Meet the Makers
1:00 p.m.
Live Google+ Hangout
Search for The Lawrence Hall of Science on Google

Are you interested in becoming a Young Maker and building a project for Maker Faire?

The Young Makers program connects young people (typically ages 12-17) with adult mentors and fabricators to create opportunities for kids to dream up and develop projects for exhibition at Maker Faire each year. You can register as a Young Maker and take Open Make to the next level.



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