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Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2015 Recap
Published by KermMartian on October 4, 2015 at 9:43:22 PM CST | Discuss this article (6)

This year, Cemetech returned to World Maker Faire for the fourth year in a row. Held in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New York, at the New York Hall of Science, World Maker Faire 2015 put makers, makerspaces, and companies in front of about 95,000 visitors. In August, we announced that we'd be attending for a fourth year, with five dedicated Cemetechians showing off cool graphing calculator projects and teaching fairegoers about programming with graphing calculators. For more than two months before Maker Faire, we were working hard on building new displays, revitalizing old displays, and getting ready to put our best foot forward. If you followed our Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2015 Plans thread, you'll have seen our nearly daily updates about our progress, covering everything from getting banners printed and polo shirts embroidered to building new wooden display cases, 3D printing battery inserts, and creating a new Whack-a-Mole project. Our work reached a crescendo in the final two weeks before (and including) the Faire, ending at the Faire itself.

As in previous years, we spent three days at World Maker Faire. On Friday night, September 25th, we gathered our many displays and trekked to the Hall of Science to set up our booth. This year, I (Dr. Christopher "Kerm Martian" Mitchell) was joined by Thomas "elfprince13" Dickerson, Cemetech administrator, Tim "geekboy1011" Keller, Cemetech global moderator and Omnimaga administrator, Nathaniel "eeems" van Diepen, Omnimaga administrator, and Alec "qazz42" Szigeti, long-time Cemetech member. Like our very first year at the Faire, we were under a huge tent, the Maker Pavilion. We occupied the tent alongside many other booths, in this case, almost entirely companies. In the midst of finding our spot, setting up, and figuring out what components we might have forgotten, we also got to enjoy paella and libations provided by the Faire organizers, as is now World Maker Faire tradition. Around 9pm, we finally had everything set up, and disconnecting our calculators, we headed back to my apartment. Thanks to fortuitous circumstances, Tim, Nathaniel, and Thomas all were able to stay over at my apartment, saving Tim and Nathaniel a late-night trek on New Jersey Transit. Therefore, bright and early on Saturday, we were ready to begin two busy days of Maker Faire. Despite a few setbacks, it was great fun, and we hope we inspired many budding computer scientists and their educators.

Among the many, many highlights of our weekend:
  • On Saturday morning, we were sufficiently tired as to forget our calculators, and didn't realize until we arrived at the Faire half an hour before it opened. A pair of expensive Uber rides to go fetch them saved the day. On the plus side, Cemetech member Ivoah visited with donuts, and the weather was lovely.

  • Our new Whack-a-Mole demonstration was a big hit. Powered by a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, a TI MSP432 Launchpad, and a custom-fabricated PCB, it met one of our goals, to demonstrate the cool things you can create with a calculator and TI-BASIC. To make it extra-original, we used RGB LEDs and light sensors instead of buttons or actual moles. We'll soon be publishing more information on this project, including a build log and instructions and schematics for recreating the project.
    Below: The Whack-a-Mole display.

  • We brought a new "Program a Game in 60 Seconds" board to immerse interested visitors in creating their first program. It used a computer, Cemetech's jsTIfied emulator, and a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition acting as a USB keyboard to effectively give a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition a 10" screen. Visitors were given detailed instructions on how to write a 9-line number guessing game that they could try playing when they finished. We had quite a few kids and adults give it a try.
    Below: our "Program a Game in 60 Seconds" display, along with budding computer scientists of all ages who wrote a guessing game on it.

  • We spent our downtime improving our displays, including making new FloppyTunes songs, trying to adapt the Game Boy Camera demo (ArTICam) to work better in sunlight, and fixing up old games for our hands-on calculators. I got to experience what it would be like to have my room be Cemetech's main office. We woke up early for the Faire, we went to bed late, and we worked hard, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we had a great time.

  • We spoke to a great many people, and gave out hundreds of Cemetech bookmarks, "Learn to Program" handouts, and "Teach Programming" pamphlets, all focused on graphing calculators. We talked to a mother and son who first learned about calculator programming from us last year, and are now working on learning it together. We chatted with a math teacher turned makerspace leader and computer science teacher looking for a cheap and readily available platform on which to teach programming. We even evangelized programming to a pair of journalists, an asset manager at Facebook, and two families with kids, all while riding the New York City subway and carrying our displays.

You can see our displays below: we brought our floppy drive + calculator and speakers + calculator music demos, four hands-on graphing calculators loaded with popular calculator games, Nathaniel's wooden TI-82 made by Cemetech member Caleb Hansberry, our Whack-a-Mole game, calculators interfaced to GPS and camera modules, calculators networked together to make a "multi-monitor" display, my books about using and programming graphing calculators, and the previously-mentioned "Program a Game in 60 Seconds" activity. You can browse our photo album from World Maker Faire 2015 to see photos of our displays in development and of the weekend, including more views of all of our displays. We were thrilled to share programming, especially graphing calculator programming, with such a wide audience. Here's hoping that we inspired some of the engineers and computer scientists of tomorrow, not to mention new Cemetech members and calculator programmers of today!

More Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2015 photographs

Cemetech's Maker Faire displays. Click any photo to enlarge

2015 Articles
January 2015 January 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: December 2014 published January 1, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Mind Controlled Calculator! published January 3, 2015 by merthsoft
» 2014 ticalc.org POTY Results published January 9, 2015 by tifreak8x
» STEM Behind Hollywood: Zombie Apocalypse Part 2 (TI-84+CSE) published January 13, 2015 by KermMartian
» A First Look at the TI-84 Plus CE published January 13, 2015 by KermMartian
» TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features published January 15, 2015 by KermMartian
» STEM Behind Hollywood: Body of Evidence for TI-84 Plus C SE published January 23, 2015 by KermMartian
» TI-84 Plus CE Officially Launched: Exclusive Interview published January 26, 2015 by KermMartian

February 2015 February 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: January 2015 published February 1, 2015 by tifreak8x
» STEM Behind Hollywood: Science Friction for TI-84 Plus C SE published February 9, 2015 by KermMartian
» TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus Monochrome ASM on the TI-84 Plus CSE published February 22, 2015 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Minecraft 1.8 Server: Intellectual Survival published February 25, 2015 by KermMartian
» TI Connect CE: In-Depth Review published February 25, 2015 by pimathbrainiac

March 2015 March 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» STEM Behind Hollywood for TI-84 Plus C SE: The Full Set published March 1, 2015 by KermMartian
» Projects of the Month: February 2015 published March 2, 2015 by tifreak8x
» TI News: T^3 2015; TI-84+CE Contest, Apps; TI-Nspire OS 4 published March 12, 2015 by KermMartian
» T^3 2015 Day 1 Kickoff in Fort Worth, TX published March 13, 2015 by KermMartian
» Happy Ultimate Pi Day: T^3 2015 Mid-Conference Updates published March 14, 2015 by KermMartian
» T^3 2015 Wrap-Up: Days 2 and 3, Final Thoughts published March 21, 2015 by KermMartian

April 2015 April 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: March 2015 published April 1, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Hands-On with the TI-84 Plus CE: Full Review published April 6, 2015 by KermMartian
» z80 and ez80 ASM Support Added to SourceCoder 3 published April 9, 2015 by KermMartian
» TI News Bag: STEM Behind Health; TI-84+CE OS Upgrade Soon published April 21, 2015 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-84 Plus C SE & TI-84 Plus CE" published April 28, 2015 by KermMartian

May 2015 May 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: April 2015 published May 3, 2015 by tifreak8x
» GraphnCalc83: A Review of a Faithful TI-83 Lookalike for iOS published May 1, 2015 by Alex
» Doors CSE 8.2 Released published May 19, 2015 by KermMartian
» Exclusive: C Programming on the TI-84 Plus CE published May 27, 2015 by KermMartian
» Projects of the Month: May 2015 published May 31, 2015 by tifreak8x

June 2015 June 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» First TI-84 Plus CE Assembly Games Arrive published June 22, 2015 by KermMartian

July 2015 July 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: June 2015 published July 4, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Out and About with Cemetech: Elfprince13's Wedding published July 10, 2015 by KermMartian
» Graph3DC 1.0 Closed Beta 1 published July 12, 2015 by KermMartian
» Using the TI-84 Plus Video Series Premieres published July 20, 2015 by KermMartian
» Fourth Cemetech World Maker Faire Appearance in September published July 28, 2015 by KermMartian
» Get a TI-84 Plus CE: Target Sale, TI Contest published July 31, 2015 by KermMartian

August 2015 August 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: July 2015 published August 3, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Cemetech Archives: TI-84 Plus CE Programs Folders Expanded published August 17, 2015 by KermMartian
» Tetric A (Tetris) for the TI-84 Plus CE published August 20, 2015 by KermMartian
» Back to School 2015: What Graphing Calculator Should I Buy? published August 21, 2015 by KermMartian
» ArTICL: MSP432 Launchpad to TI Graphing Calculator Linking published August 28, 2015 by KermMartian

September 2015 September 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» TI Listens to Bug Reports, Releases TI-84 Plus CE OS 5.1 published September 8, 2015 by KermMartian
» Wall-Powering Devices With 3D-Printed AAA Batteries published September 16, 2015 by KermMartian
» MateoConLechuga Wows with TI-84+CE Text Editor, Soon Mario? published September 22, 2015 by KermMartian

October 2015 October 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: August & September 2015 published October 4, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2015 Recap published October 4, 2015 by KermMartian
» Cesium: First TI-84 Plus CE Shell published October 6, 2015 by MateoConLechuga
» TokenIDE Now Open Source published October 22, 2015 by merthsoft

November 2015 November 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» TI Codes: TI-BASIC Tutorials from TI published November 4, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Projects of the Month: October 2015 published November 8, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Cemetech Contest 14: TI-BASIC Connect 4 AI Challenge published November 16, 2015 by KermMartian

December 2015 December 2015 [Back to News Archives Index]

» ticalc.org POTY 2015 Starts published December 4, 2015 by pimathbrainiac
» Upgrading an N Scale P42 Model Train Locomotive published December 8, 2015 by KermMartian
» Projects of the Month: November 2015 published December 8, 2015 by tifreak8x
» Officially Announcing Doors CE 9, Coming Soon published December 10, 2015 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Contest #15: Crypto Golfing published December 15, 2015 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Contest #15, Challenge 2 published December 22, 2015 by KermMartian
» Happy Holidays from Cemetech! published December 25, 2015 by Alex
» Cemetech Contest #15, Challenge 3 published December 30, 2015 by KermMartian
» CEmu - A TI-84 Plus CE Emulator Released published December 31, 2015 by pimathbrainiac