Sparkfun National Tour Visits Maui October 2013

Sparkfun Electronics has been running a National Tour – driving an RV around the mainland USA giving workshops. We arranged for them to come over to Maui for a workshop on October19 2013, alas without the RV. Maui County Office of Economic Development agreed to help defray the cost. Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) agreed to host the workshop at their Malcolm Center for free.

Brian, Jim and Ben at start of hike - still dry.

Brian, Jim and Ben at start of hike – still dry.

Sparkfun sent a team of three terrific trainers – Brian Huang, Jim Lindblom and Ben Leduc-Mills. They arrived late Tuesday evening, after a weekend on Oahu. They taught a class for the Oahu Makerspace on the weekend and visited some schools at the start of the week. I met them wednesday morning for breakfast at Market Fresh Bistro in Makawao, my favorite dining spot. Then we went for a hike out in the Bamboo Forest. This is a decent short hike with nice water falls. The guys were quite happy to get out into the jungle.

Sparkfun Team

Sparkfun Team and Jerry Isdale at upper end of Bamboo Forest Hike

Redboard arduino clone undergoing environmental testing

Redboard arduino clone undergoing environmental testing

Did I say Hike? Ya gotta swim part of this hike.

Did I say Hike? Ya gotta swim part of this hike.

Thursday we had our regular Maui Makers public night meeting, hosted by The UHMC IEEE Student Chapter. Brian gave a nice presentation about Sparkfun, open hardware, etc. This is the auditorium in the new Science Building at U. of Hawaii, Maui College. It is a terrific venue.

Brian giving talk at Maui Makers Public Meeting.

Brian giving talk at Maui Makers Public Meeting.

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Friday we met up at the Makawao 3rd Friday street fair. I didnt get any pictures of this unfortunately, but the guys had a good time. Soulyx (with guitarists brother/makers Devin and Brendan Sylva) were playing some great Funk/Soul.

Saturday was The Workshop. We had 28/30 registrants attending, including 4 middle/high/college teachers and 9 students. Brian gave the talk, which gave some background on the arduino, then dove into making a couple sketches. Surfside Deli brought in a great lunch around noon. After lunch break, we got back into programming a bit and then Brian had people team up and Make Something. We provided some basic tools, cardboard, etc and the teams went at it. I was quite impressed to see what they came up with in the short time available.

Brian H teaching Arduino workshop

Brian H teaching Arduino workshop

Six students from Maui High and JD Armstrong from UH Institute for Astronomy

Six students from Maui High and JD Armstrong from UH Institute for Astronomy

Happy Kihei Charter Middle School student

Happy Kihei Charter Middle School student

Evelyn Zayas, teacher at Kihei Charter HS, working with middle school student

Evelyn Zayas, teacher at Kihei Charter HS, working with middle school student

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After the workshop, the team and I went back to my place in Haiku for a meet&greet with bon fire.

Meet the Sparks party after workshop

Meet the Sparks party after workshop

On Sunday, JD Armstrong gave the Sparkfun team and myself a tour of the Faulkes telescope up on top of Haleakala. If you ever get a chance to go up and see it – do NOT miss the opportunity.

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Haleakala
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All pics from the visit are on the Maui Makers Flickr site.

Thurs Oct 17 Public Meeting at UHMC with Sparkfun team

We are meeting again this thursday Oct 17th at the UHMC Science building auditorium. We have the Sparkfun trainers with us and they will be available to answer questions, talk about projects, open hardware, etc.

Brian, Redboard, Jim and Ben from Sparkfun Electronics

Brian, Redboard, Jim and Ben from Sparkfun Electronics

Open Meeting Thurs Oct 10 2013, UHMC Optics Lab

We are getting back in our meeting groove. Thursday Oct 10, 6-9pm

This week we are being hosted by Anil Mehta and Dr Jung Park of U. Hawaii Maui College (UHMC), in the Optics Lab of the new science building on campus. Cole and his dev team will be showing off the LabView interface they are building for the arduino controlled “Hackership Earthship (HAESH)” project (funded by SpaceGAMBIT). We are also expecting a visit from the Molokai VEX Robotics competition team.

The UHMC Science building is most easily accessed from the W. Kaahumanu Ave entrance (opposite Wakea Ave). Turn left to the parking lots. GOOGLE MAP LINK

Look for our new banners (they look like that evolution picture at the top of the web pages here)

Not quite sure where the Optics Lab is in the building. Someone will put a sign in the lobby pointing people in the right/left direction.