What was the "World of Makers" up to in July 2012? We're keeping a finger on the pulse of the worldwide Makers' movement for you. Other than these monthly roundup posts, you'll want to join our facebook page for the latest news.

In July and August we spotted a bicycle made of cardboard, some excellent funding for "the next Lego", a summer camp for Makers and more. If there is a theme to be found here it is a cheesy quote from Whitney Houston, hacked: "I believe the children are the future [Makers]".

The cardboard bike

Izhar Gafni, a kibbutz resident in Israel, has developed a bicycle out of recycled cardboard. Although this does not use digital manufacturing techniques, Gafni is a Maker since he is using a disruptive and green solution to his area's problems. The bikes will cost 9-12 USD to make, reducing the desire of theives to steal them. If only the public sale price could be lower - it's planned at 60-90 USD. (A note about the date: the video is from February, but it hit news in Israel and the USA in late July/ early August 2012.)

Izhar cardboard bike project from Giora Kariv on Vimeo.

Maker camp on Google+

Maker Camp Badge

--What did you do this summer?
--Oh, I went to camp
--Really? Me too. We went swimming and learned how to canoe. What did you do?
--Uh, well, I built a cannon that fires potatoes, visited NASA, made an origami bird with LED lighting, stuff like that.
--Oh.

Typical conversation between normal kid and geeky kid who attended Make Magazine's awesome summer camp on Google+.

Little Bits finds funding

Little Bits

Little Bits

Just 6 months ago, we saw a TED talk by Ayah Bdeir, an engineer and artist and inventor of Little Bits, simple electronic modules that snap together with magnets, allowing anyone, especially children, to make things that do things. Tears came to our eyes. We've been wanting a starter kit from them ever since - it's on our Christmas list, hear that, Santa?

Fast forward to July 18, 2012 - Little Bits announced that it has raised 3.65 million dollars (US), which will help them produce way more little bits of composable creativity. Hooray!

A classroom of makers in Italy?

Teaching innovation (insegnare l'innovazione): the Italian journalist Stefano Micelli comments on Dale Dougherty (editor of Make Magazine) 's Slate article of the previous month, the title of which is "American kids should be building rockets and robots, not taking standardized tests." After summarizing the article in English, Micelli comments on it from an Italian point of view: in the Italian school system there is even less hands-on practice and even more theory than in the American counterpart, requiring thus an even larger investment in labs and teaching. To stay competitive in innovation, he says Italy needs to start taking seriously the American Maker movement. It's nice to see that we are not the only people looking in this direction. The more attention there is to Makers in Italy, the better it will be for all of us.

 

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