Talks and Exhibitions

Working with the Duke of York’s Office and meeting Maggie Philbin 

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A real pleasure to work with HRH Duke of Yorks office on the presentation of iDEA – Inspiring Digital Enterprise Awards. A program dedicated to teaching children the digital skills they need to succeed and push themselves. Also such a delight to have met Maggie Philbin who was a super star on ‘Tomorrows World’ as I was a teenager.


TechCity IoT Widget

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I recently ran a workshop at TechCity with Ryan White of rLab where we designed a IoT widget based on the ESP8266 chip. Participants got to make the whole board using modern surface mount soldering and through hole soldering techniques, look at the software toolchain and walk away with a widget that can sit on their desk that connects to the internet and tells them the current weather and the forecast – particularly helpful when you work in the basement and want to know if it is raining outside!

Duke of Yorks iDEA (inspiring digital entrepreneurship awards) Hackathon

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I was recently invited to Bucking Palace to talk about extending the Duke Of Yorks iDEA programme to the community, this led to the concept of running a hackathon based around what the digital industry community thought were important skills to teach young children at key stage 3. The hackathon hosted a breakout of round table discussions fed back to the iDEA panel, some exciting out of the box thinking lessons plans as to how to deliver this content and finally a maker part. I had the pleasure of organising the event and opening and closing what was a fantastic day!

Get blog post here


Science Week – 3d Print Talk

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As part of Science week I arranged to do a talk at Cherry Lane Primary School as part of their STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) outreach.

The talk involved a huge selection of 3d prints suppled by the TVRRUG 3d print group other elements included talking about plastics, types of 3d technology, materials science, shapes and even a demonstration of building up layers as the printer does with whipped cream.

The children had a chance to get hands on and feel all the 3d prints and imagine applications and uses, some other fun items included actually completing a print of an octopus keyring while the talk took place – an opportunity to see the machine in action.

The other most well recieved part of the talk was how we digitise things and get things into the computer to print, we then scanned a teacher using a Microsoft Kinect camera and then once complete we could see her actually on the computer monitor that we could send to print, the children thought it was immensely funny to see their teacher inside the computer like a computer game!

The format was excellent and was very well received and also a lot of fun.

Elephant and Castle Maker Faire 2014

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Its great to be another year on and have managed to pull together at the last minute quite a respectable show of maker items we’ve built at Reading Hackspace. It was much much busier than last year and a very good show, my kids loved it!

Here’s a quick look at the stand.

China Shenzhen Dangerous Prototypes Hack Camp & Maker faire

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Back at the beginning of April Ryan, Richard Barnaby and Myself from RLab (Reading Makerspace) had a crazy impulse control failure and booked on the Dangerous Prototypes first Hack Camp and oh my god was it a trip of a lifetime!

The Continuing Professional Development (ah hem holiday), consisted of some of the most amazing tours around insights into conducting business in China through all the development cycles which included a Tour of the Huaqiangbei electronics market (just wow!) with a group of pros who source tools and components there on a regular basis. Talks covering how to bargain, what to eat, getting around, how to import/export. The course was so well laid out and hospitality via Ian and Jin was simply above and beyond – these guys are just so super great.

So anyway, here is a snippet of our 10 days in China/Hong Kong in what I am calling a Blogamentory (my perspective), but there is some more professional stuff from the guys on their own site you’ll dig into here

Thanks again guys and for those of you that get a chance if there is a next time be quick! its awesome!

Arduino Course

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This weekend I gave a course on the popular micro electronic educational platform Arduino to members of Reading Hackspace.

The event was well subscribed and I look forward to a follow up event soon.