A group of North Bay Maker Educators came to Tam Makers to learn how to create automata (a.k.a. kinetic or mechanical sculptures). This special meetup was organized by Adam Singer, technology / maker educator at Davidson Middle School, and my partner Geo Money, engineering teacher at Tam High School. Geo started by giving folks a tour of our incredible makerspace and wood shop, which we use in the evenings for wood working and maker classes at Tam Makers. We then gave a joint presentation about our Art Float for Social Change: earlier this year, we led over a hundred volunteers to create this large-scale, community-built, socially-conscious automaton, to inspire more people to participate in community life.
Geo then invited a dozen maker educators from Marin and the East Bay to create their own automaton, using special parts he had prepared for this occasion. Participants make their automata move round and round, side to side or up and down, using foam cams attached to bamboo sticks, sliding through 3D-printed guides on a wooden box. It was a great way to learn basic principles of mechanical engineering in a playful, hands-on activity that delighted everyone. We hope that students will enjoy creating their own automata as much as their teachers did!
This was one of our most fun and productive workshop at Tam Makers this year, because we were working with such creative and experienced teachers, who designed and built with some really ingenious projects in just an hour. Here's what they created.
Maker educators featured in this video include: Sara Bolduc, James, Claire Comins, Walt Hays, Lisa Skinner, Paige Teamey, Jae Tillinghast, as well as Edomyas, Fred and Mike.
See more images of this workshop in our photo album:
Learn how to create your own Cardboard Automata:
Learn more about North Bay Maker Educators:
Learn more about Tam Makers: