September Updates from the Alamance Makers Guild (Newsletter Issue #0 9-15-2015)


We've launched a new monthly e-mail newsletter for the Alamance Makers Guild! Going forward we will publish major updates and news around the 15th of each month. We may also send out smaller updates (like event reminders) as the need arises. Anyone who is a dues-paying member of the Makers Guild and anyone who has signed up for our newsletter at one of our public events (Burlington Mini Maker Faire, Burlington's Maker Takeover, Open Meetings of the AMG, etc.) or via this link will receive a copy. We will also post content from each month's newsletter here on our blog.

This is the first "Beta" edition of our new newsletter (Issue #0 9-15-2015)

Summary of Topics:

1) Next Alamance Makers Guild Open Meeting (September 17th)
2) Alamance Makers Guild Membership Drive (Founding Membership Closes on September 17th)
3) Neil deGrasse Tyson Tickets (give-away for members only)
4) Charlotte Mini Maker Faire (October 10th)
5) First Ever Nation Wide Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire (November 6th through 8th)
6) Elon Maker Hub
7) Maker Space Talk at the Teaching and Learning Conference (Elon University)
8) Alamance Burlington School System and the AMG
9) Blessed Sacrament School and the AMG
10) Alamance Community College and the AMG
11) Burlington and the AMG (DSS Bench + Go Vote in October and November!)

Learn more about these topics:

1) Next Alamance Makers Guild Open Meeting:

The next open meeting of the Alamance Makers Guild is set for Thursday September 17th at 7:00pm at Sylvan Learning Center of Burlington. The special topic for September is Retro Computing and Gaming. Members of the Makers Guild will be bringing in examples of older computer and video game systems to talk about the technology and to share in the experience of what computing was like in the 1980's, 1990's, and early 2000's. Think Commodore 64, Apple II, Original IBM PC, Atari 2600, and other systems. We'll also show folks how they can install emulators and other software to have these kinds of experiences on their modern laptops and pc's.

Learn more and/or RSVP at:

September Open Meeting: Retro Computing and Gaming Night

Thursday, Sep 17, 2015, 7:00 PM

Sylvan Learning Center
2356 S Church St Burlington, No

8 Makers Attending

NOTE: This meeting will take place on the Third Thursday of September [masked]) instead of our normal Second Thursday.For the September Open Meeting of the Alamance Makers Guild we're back at Sylvan Learning Center to do something special!We're doing a Retro Computing and Gaming NightWe'll have examples of older computer systems, video game sy...

Check out this Meetup →


Facebook Events:

As always Alamance Makers Guild Open Meetings are free, family-friendly, and fun!

Please RSVP so we'll be able to properly plan for attendance.
Dinner is MiMi's Pizza Buffet Style ($6/person for those wishing to eat dinner)... otherwise the event is free.

Photos and possibly video will be posted to the Alamance Makers Guild Fan Page on Facebook at some point after the meeting.

2) Alamance Makers Guild Membership Drive:


The Alamance Makers Guild is continuing its membership drive with “Founding Member” status ending on September 17th 2015 (at the next open meeting of the Alamance Makers Guild). The Alamance Makers Guild is working towards its non-profit 501(c)(3) status and is currently piggy-backed on the Alamance Arts Council while we work on the application. We will always produce our monthly meetings, the Burlington Mini Maker Faire, and other events throughout the year as open and free to the public (to lower barriers to entry and as community outreach) but we do have many expenses related to the Guild and our events and community outreach. We are 100% volunteer based (no salaries or other payouts). We rely 100% on dues paying members, sponsorships, and donations for our operation.

Anyone wishing to join the Alamance Makers Guild as a member may do so in one of three ways:

* Join anytime online at our website at Payment via PayPal/Credit Card.
* Download a PDF Membership form from our website and mail back to the AMG via the address on the form (payment via check)
* Join at any Alamance Makers Guild Open Event. Payment via cash, check, credit card, or PayPal.

Individual Membership starts at $36/Year and decreases per person as you add family members ($120/year for a family of up to 5 people). We can also offer free-scholarship memberships (by board vote) to those interested in active participation but who might not be able to afford this fee.

Full membership information can be found on our website.

3) Neil deGrasse Tyson Tickets:

The AMG have two tickets to the sold-out Neil deGrasse Tyson talk at the DPAC  in Durham on October 8th and will be giving them away by random drawing to one dues-paying member of the Alamance Makers Guild at our September 17th meeting. To be eligible for the drawing you must be a dues paying member and have signed up between January 1st 2015 and September 17th 2015 at 8:30pm.

4) Charlotte Mini Maker Faire:

Discovery Place in Charlotte NC and the Charlotte Hackerspace (Maker Space) have partnered to produce the first Charlotte Mini Maker Faire on Saturday October 10th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte. Since we have four years experience producing the Burlington Mini Maker Faire we have been helping Charlotte with their planning and preparation for this event. We are glad to again have a second Maker Faire in the state of North Carolina. (Maker Faire NC in Raleigh ceased production for 2015 and their future for 2016 is uncertain.)

The Alamance Makers Guild will have a large exhibit including 12 makers at the Charlotte Mini Maker Faire. We will be there to promote Burlington/Alamance County NC as a Maker City and Maker Community. We will also be inviting attendees to join us in Burlington for the 5th Annual Burlington Mini Maker Faire set for next April.

The Charlotte Mini Maker Faire is a for-pay event, attendance costing the same as attendance to the Discovery Place Museum.

Learn more:

5) First Ever Nation Wide Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire:

Make Magazine (creators of Maker Faire) have partnered with Barnes & Noble to produce a Nation-Wide event at Barnes & Noble Stores on November 6th, 7th, and 8th. 650 Barnes & Noble stores across the US will be taking part including our own B&N here in Burligton. The Alamance Makers Guild has been in touch with the management of our local store and we are excited to be partnered with them to help produce this event!

This in-store Mini Maker Faire will be a lot different from other Mini Maker Faires in terms of size and scope. The plan is to have a rotating series of speakers, demonstrations, and events throughout the day and evening for each of the three days of the event.

In addition to exhibiting and demonstrating Maker Projects and doing Maker Talks the Alamance Makers Guild will also be helping our local B&N by identifying and coordinating other Maker Exhibits and Activities.

Our goal is to produce the best in-store Mini Maker Faire events for B&N in the State of North Carolina, and one of the best (if not the best) event nation wide!

Learn More:

If you or your local organization is interested in participating in this Mini Maker Faire please contact me (Ben Harris) at We are working with our local store and will have more details relating to this event soon.

6) Elon Maker Hub:

Elon's Maker Hub (inside Harper Hall)
Elon's Maker Hub (inside Harper Hall)

Elon University has launched its first Maker Space on campus for students. It is called “Elon's Maker Hub” and is located on the first floor of Harper Hall in the Colonnades residential neighborhood on main campus. The facility is student managed and is open to any Elon University student for a set number of hours each week. The facility currently includes three 3D printers of varying types, a digital sewing and embroidery machine, an electronics lab and prototyping area (including Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and other micro controllers), high-end workstations for programming and mobile app development, and general purpose work space for a variety of hands-on projects.

Photos from my tour of the Maker Hub are here:

I'm pleased to be able to report that two of the student managers of the Maker Hub were able to attend last month's Open Meeting of the Alamance Makers Guild. We hope to continue to grow our connections, networking, and collaboration with Elon faculty and students and continue to offer our support and other outreach to them.

7) Maker Space Talk at the Teaching and Learning Conference (Elon University):

Elon University hosted a Teaching and Learning Conference for higher education professionals on August 13th 2015. As part of this event I (Ben Harris) was asked to participate as a speaker during a panel discussion about the role of Maker Spaces in Universities. Other speakers included Maker Space managers from NCSU, UNC, UNC-G, and Davidson College.

Elon has posted the video of this discussion on YouTube here:

8) Alamance Burlington School System and the AMG:

The Alamance Burlington School System is now working with the Alamance Makers Guild on ways that the Makers Guild can help support STEM education and Maker Spaces in our public schools. During a late-summer meeting we discussed ways that we can ramp up a partnership over the course of two to five years that will benefit Career and Technical Education, STEM Education, and other programs within our schools.

Currently the coordinators for Career and Technical Education and STEM Education are identifying teachers within ABSS that may act as champions to work with the AMG. Graham Middle School has recently opened the first School Maker Space in Alamance County and several teachers from Graham attended last month's Alamance Makers Guild Meeting.

We are currently planning on expanding the 2016 Burlington Mini Maker Faire to include a new ½ day long “Education Day” on the Friday before the main Maker Faire on Saturday. During Education Day K-12 students, teachers, and parents can participate in STEM and Maker Events, share projects, network with each other, and demonstrate the importance of STEM and Career and Technical Education to the public.

Other area schools including Blessed Sacrament School of Burlington will also play a big role in this new Education Day. Our goal is to bring in students and projects from three to eight ABSS Schools plus Blessed Sacrament and possibly others for our first year with the goal of ABSS-wide involvement in future years as ABSS and the AMG are better prepared to handle such a large event.

Dr. Harrison, superintendent of ABSS is planning to write a blog post for the ABSS website about his trip to the White House with the AMG earlier this year plus connections with the Maker Movement and STEM Education in the near future. (stay tuned for a link as soon as its live)

9) Blessed Sacrament School and the AMG:

By request of BSS we've made a new (condensed) video of the Blessed Sacrament School Near Space Mission from the 2015 Burlington Mini Maker Faire. This project won 3rd place in the Global Space Balloon Challenge (against 100's of other entries) for most educational project.

The new video can be found here:

The Alamance Makers Guild has helped to kick off Blessed Sacrament School's STREAM (STEM) curriculum for the 2015/2016 school year! Ben Harris (director of the Alamance Makers Guild) spoke as the first STREAM Friday Speaker to update middle school students on the summertime activities of the Makers Guild and to talk about new projects we've been working on in CNC Manufacturing and 3D printing.

Last week Alamance Makers Guild Board Member Lee Atkinson spoke at BSS for STREAM Friday and talked about the Raspberry Pi micro computer.

Photos of Lee's talk can be found here:
Video of Lee's talk can be found here:

Blessed Sacrament School teachers attended a summer workshop with NASA and now have a license to handle certain scientific materials from NASA. They have applied for the dates of the 2016 Burlington Mini Maker Faire and hope to have actual moon rocks collected during the Apollo Missions on display at their exhibit at the Maker Faire here in Burlington!

Following from our 2015 Space Launch theme for 2016 we are on a “Mission to Mars” for the Maker Faire with student projects related to wearable electronics, Mars Habitats and Colonies, and robotics projects related to Mars Exploration. (ABSS students/teachers are invited to participate in these projects as part of Education Day and the Main Maker Faire)

10) Alamance Community College and the AMG:

Pleased to be able to announce a partnership between the Alamance Makers Guild and Alamance Community College's Graphic Design and Advertising Program related to the 2016 Burlington Mini Maker Faire. As part of their class work ACC students in Graphic Design and Advertising will be working to create designs for printed and laser-cut pop-up programs for next year's BMMF. Students will compete for a winning design that meets branding guidelines and ACC will produce the winning design as an in-kind donation to the 2016 BMMF. More details as this project matures.

ACC's new Epilog Laser Cutter/Engraver
ACC's new Epilog Laser Cutter/Engraver

Ben Harris (Founder and Director of the AMG and BMMF) has been asked to speak at next week's President's Cabinet Meeting at Alamance Community College. The topic is ACC's new Center of Excellence and how the Alamance Makers Guild, Burlington Mini Maker Faire, and the future Maker Space Ben is working to develop can work together with ACC around Mechatronics and other areas covered by their new center of Excellence.

11) Burlington and the AMG:

The DSS Elder Abuse Awareness Bench now has a custom plaque including a QR Code and printed link to a story on the AMG Blog that details the project including design and construction (with links to photos and videos). Anyone enjoying the bench can use the QR code to learn more about this community project.

Learn more about the bench here:

The Alamance Makers Guild is not a political organization and we do not endorse any particular party, platform, or candidates. However, we do encourage everyone (AMG Members and Followers) to exercise their rights as a citizen to get out and vote in this year's municipal primary election on Tuesday October 6th and the main municipal election on November 3rd. Elections include races for the Mayor of Burlington and City Council Positions for Burlington. One question for these local elections related to our Maker Community should be “Are you aware of Burlington's involvement in the Mayor's Maker Challenge through the White House and what are your plans if elected to continue or expand this program and/or to continue or expand the city's relationship with the Alamance Makers Guild to promote new small businesses, new US/Burlington-based manufacturing, and support for STEM education related to the Maker Movement?”