Soldering Station

Kids soldering. One child has a traditional soldering iron, the other is at a station where the soldering iron is held in place and the components and solder are moved under the held iron.

Soldering is often a challenge when you only have two hands. Having another person offer a third hand usually just results in someone getting burned. Ben decided to not only flip the solution (a third hand to poorly hold the object) and have the soldering iron held stationary. This solution worked great but for all the parts and setup it needed to scale to be useful. Hence the multi station solder… station. Complete with lights and fume extractor.

But you don’t always need a soldering station for a group of people. Sometimes you just need a soldering station that can hold the soldering iron for you.

Laser cut wooden soldering station with fume extractor fan, fume containment dome, lights, and captured (held for you) soldering iron
Ben’s improved soldering station that doesn’t involve kids (or adults!) grabbing the wrong part of the soldering iron.

First Radio

Child holding circuit breadboard with very few wires and an earpiece

The the magic they bring and the powerful way they forever changed the world, radios don’t have to be that complicated.

Joshua Made his first radio with some wire, and earphone, and a diode. He jammed one end of the wire into the ground and a breadboard. Connected that to an earphone which was in turn connected to a diode. The diode was connected to the other side of the earphone and to one more piece of wire thrown high up into a tree… the antenna. That was it!

Radio was brought to life. He could immediately hear a trumpet playing music… on the radio. No tuning required. Actually no tuning is even possible with this simple design, you hear the loudest, strongest station broadcasting. But it’s so simple! This magical arrangement of uncomplicated stuff can pull electromagnetic waves out of the thin and turn them into music.

But the best part was that immediately after hearing sound from no where, Joshua thought of nothing other than to share it with his sister.

Boy and girl crouch low to ground to listen to very primitive radio
Upon hearing sound from the first radio he ever made, Joshua shares it with his sister

Charlotte Mini Maker Faire

Child sitting at a soldering station with adult looking on

Hackerspace Charlotte puts on MakerFaire Charlotte with Discovery Place.

Child sitting at a soldering station with adult looking on

You could call it the greatest show-and-tell on earth, where “makers” — crafters, educators, tinkerers, tech enthusiasts, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, designers, students, performers and exhibitors — show what they make, and share what they are learning as they create. On Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Charlotte makers showcase their inventions, creativity and resourcefulness at the city’s first Mini Maker Faire.

The family-friendly festival, located inside Discovery Place and along North Tryon Street between Sixth and Seventh streets uptown promises to push the limits of art, science and technology.

“Charlotte has a very strong community of innovators, and we are thrilled Discovery Place has the opportunity to help showcase and celebrate the people who make our city a great place to live and work,” says Catherine Wilson Horne, president and CEO of Discovery Place. “Our goal is to educate and engage the local community with the Maker movement in order to attract and inspire curious thinkers, doers and learners, in addition to serving as a platform for local and regional talent.”

Maker Camp at Discovery Place

Child sits watching 3D printer in the Library

Make: CommunitySince it started in 2012, over a million campers connected through Maker Camp and shared their experiences with other campers in the Maker Camp community.

Maker Camp is a great way for communities large and small to engage kids this summer with cool projects and activities. Maker Camp is free for everyone online. Everyone can join, no matter where they live, because Maker Camp is online, and it’s free!Imaginon - The Joe and Joan Martin Center

The children’s Library in Charlotte, Imaginon, hosted Make events all summer long. One of the Charlotte Makerspace members even left a 3D printer out for the kids to play and experiment with all summer long.

Child sits watching 3D printer in the Library
Google and Make’s summer Maker Camp Imaginon with Makerspace Charlotte
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