Akron Global Polymer Academy is latest Akron Mini Maker Faire sponsor

dropdown menu linksThank you to our latest sponsor, the Akron Global Polymer Academy, the K-16 educational outreach arm of the the University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.  These scientist and educators are dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge about polymer science, polymer engineering, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education by supporting initiatives in P-16 education and other distributive education ventures, including sponsoring the Rubber Band Contest and appearing as Makers at our Akron Mini Maker Faire! Below are the winning projects from the 2015 Contest.

"The Elastic Shadow" by Laura Salazar, Keller, TX

“The Elastic Shadow” by Laura Salazar, Keller, TX

"No More Angry Birds" Bird feeder designed by Adia Bulawa of Greeneville, TN

“No More Angry Birds” Bird feeder designed by Adia Bulawa of Greeneville, TN









You’ll want to seek the AGPA folks  out on September 19. They’ll have make and take activities that are based on the amazing properties of POLYMERS!

Teachers will want to seek out the AGPA folks year-round for lesson plans and activities to make your classroom the most exciting one in the whole school.


Meet a Maker – Quilt Artist Connie Bloom

Walking the dogConnie BloomFabric, thread, some batting, in the hands of quilt artist Connie Bloom these humble materials become kaleidoscopic works of art. A true Maker, Connie hand dyes, hand paints and hand prints much of her cloth. She also layers the surface of her quilts with intricate freehand thread work using her mechanical sewing machine. The result is a treat for the eyes.

Connie will be at the Akron Mini Maker Faire demonstrating the combination of skill and artistic talent which result in her gorgeous, unique works of art. Come see her, and all the other fabulous fabric Makers, in the Fiber Arts Zone.

Procrastinating Makers, Apply Soon!

We can’t wait for all the cool Maker projects to fill our Main Library on September 19.  We’ll have school robotics teams, Tibetan weavers, a drone, a vintage Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite, jugglers, quilt artist Connie Bloom, the Acme Fresh Market Egg Drop, ham radio enthusiasts …  The list goes on.

But our Call for Makers does not go on,  it closes this coming Saturday, August 22.  So, click on the Makers Apply Here button, before it disappears.

Back by Popular Demand – University of Akron Robotics Team!

What’s an Akron Mini Maker Faire without our hometown robotics heroes?  Bots that rock, bots that carry rocks, bots that sock other bots, bots you can drive, and bots you can chase.  The University of Akron’s Robotics Team can make ’em all.

CaptureThey’ll be at the Akron Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, September 19 at the Akron Main Library.  They’ll bring some robots from their latest NASA competitions, including STACEE (above) and CHRISTEE (below) and more.Capture

Do you got some ‘bots to show?  There’s still time to answer the Call for Makers and exhibit your robotic and other creations at the Akron Mini Maker Faire.

Click on the Makers Apply Here button on the upper right to complete your application by August 22.

Meet a Maker with an Indiegogo Project – Brian Stofiel

image2Brian Stofiel is the owner of Stofiel Aerospace, a startup founded by 3 U.S. military veterans and current Kent State University students with aspirations of bringing space to the masses by providing a launch service for CubeSats.
What’s a CubeSat?  Brian explains: CubeSats are small, 10-centimeter-square satellites  weighing about 2lbs that are released into space on a decaying low earth orbit. Some collect data like temperature and pressure. Some have cameras mounted showing live stream footage of earth.

Image of Bella 2 balloon popping on the edge of space courtesy of Stofiel Aerospace.

Currently, CubeSats launch on rockets as a secondary payload, where they are transferred to the International Space Station to be released into low earth orbit.  The wait for a launch is typically 4-6 years; Stofiel Aerospace aims to provide a launch service which will cut the wait down to 2-3 weeks.  Instead of hitching a ride on a rocket from NASA or the European Space Agency or Russia, Stofiel Aerospace will use high altitude weather balloons to lift the  CubeSat to the edge of space, and then a small rocket will launch the CubeSat into orbit.

Providing a lower cost, portable, on-demand system opens the satellite market  to opportunities such as disaster imaging for rescue, crop monitoring for developing countries, and other markets currently under-served by big satellites. To do that, Brian has launched an Indiegogo campaign with a goal of $30,000.
Brian will be one of the Makers at the Akron Mini Maker Faire.  Come meet Brian and learn the fate of this Phase One campaign to bring satellite launch schedules down to earth.

What to Wear In Space

Silver Mercury mission space suit worn by John H. Glenn Jr.

Can’t make up your mind on what to wear on your journey to space, look no further.  Not only will the Akron Mini Maker Faire present cool, hands-on projects for the creativeness in all of us, you can also see just what our brave space cowboys sported on their mission into the unknown.

On loan from NASA Glenn Research Center, we’ll  have not one but two actual space suits.  The space suit worn by Space Shuttle astronauts will be on display, along with the space suit worn during the Mercury space missions, which was designed in Akron by the B.F. Goodrich Co, now a part of UTC Aerospace Systems.

Come to the Akron Mini Maker Faire on September 19 to see how  local inventiveness has helped lift mankind from the bounds of Earth.

Mercury space suit image courtesy of NASA, public domain.

Potato Project, part 2

As promised, here’s the latest on the Potato Project, Adventures in Growing Potatoes in a Trash Can.  Sounds delicious.

Our potatoes have sprouted!

Our potatoes have sprouted!

Cover them up with straw.

And let them grow on through.

About a week later, the shoots are growing through the straw.

A few weeks later, the plants are really growing tall!

A few weeks later, the plants are really growing tall!

They are growing so well, in   fact, that they have fallen over on to the electric fence. And gotten a little zapped.

They are growing so well, in fact, that they have fallen over on to the electric fence. And gotten a little zapped.

Being the Makers we are, we've cut away the burnt stems and built a little support.  Now, we just need to wait for the plants to flower.

Being the Makers we are, we’ve cut away the burnt stems and built a little support. Now, we just need to wait for the plants to flower. A few weeks after that, we’ll be ready to enjoy or harvest.

A Thing Downtown

Looking for something to do Saturday?  Come downtown  to Main Library. From noon to late at night, there’s fun for everyone.

Comics and Fandom your thing? Your in luck with Geekfest, the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Mini-Comicon from noon to 4 pm.  Then, stick around to enjoy quirky handicrafts, great coffee and hotdogs, yoga, and a movie as Free Akron Outdoor Movies and The Coffee Pot Café in collaboration with the Akron-Summit County Public Library & Crafty Mart present  “A Thing Downtown.”

Enjoy.  Here’s the lineup:

noon to 4:00 pm – Geekfest inside Main Library, then head to the Library park on the corner of Main and Mill, just outside the Coffee Pot Cafe for

4:00 pm to 9:00 pm – Live Music, Crafty Mart, Yoga, Make & Take Activities
9:00 pm to 10:30 pm – Free Akron Outdoor Movie: “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”


The Call for Makers for the Akron Mini Maker Faire is now LIVE! Click on the button on the right, and fill our your application right now.

All applicants should get a confirmation that the application has been received. If you don’t get that after you click “Submit,” let us know at makerfaire@akronlibrary.org or call 330-643-9075.

Our Call for Makers is open through August 22. Everyone who submits will receive notice of acceptance by September 1.

Any questions?  There’s a short FAQs under the purple MAKERS tab above, or use the contact info above to get in touch with one of the Akron Mini Maker Fare Makers.

Repurposing the Peanut

3382609035_73de0bdaf1_oExciting news came out this year on a pesky environmental problem – packing peanuts.  We’ve all dealt with them; they are an inevitable part of many of the packages we receive daily.  What do we do with them?  As they are a polystyrene product, many recyclers will not accept them, take multiple generations to decompose, and contain chemicals believed to be carcinogenic.  While there are biodegradable packing peanuts being produced these days, these, too, may contain potentially hazardous chemicals.

According to this March 23th, 2015 article from The Smithsonian. com,  a team of chemical engineers at Purdue University have developed a way of “reusing packing peanuts for the manufacture of carbon anodes, a component of rechargeable batteries that outperform competitive batteries in the market.”  To learn more about this, check the link above.

Electric_batteriesThis is just one example of being part of a Maker culture.  Perhaps you like to tinker and repurpose items in an interesting way.  Join us on Saturday, September 19th, 2015 from 12-4 PM at Main Library for our Mini Maker Faire.  Our Call for Makers begins July 10th and runs through August 22, if you have a display, an idea, or a process you can share with us at our Mini Maker Faire.  Take a look at this page for further information and save the dates!