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A Maker Summer to remember 2013: Part 1

Submitted by TechNinja on July 16, 2013 - 8:04am

TV show appearances, Multi-Maker Faires, and Crazy Robot Adventures? All part of a regular summer for us here at SSAMS.

When we last left our heroine “Super-Awesome” Sylvia, she had just started to recover from a whirlwind trip from RoboGames to the White House with her Watercolor painting CNC platform, the WaterColorBot. Now in only a short 2 and a half months, we’ve gone around the country and back again. Here’s the highlights, in reverse chronological order:

The contents of the WaterColorBot kit

July 16th: Sylvia launches her very first original product, the WaterColorBot, as it’s own educational kit on Kickstarter. Supported and manufactured by the incredible staff at Evil Mad Scientist, this one is sure to be a game changer, not to mention it’s fun and incredibly educational, but we’ll have to make our goal of $50k before August 15th! Can we make it? Check out the widget on the front page, or just tell all your friends, family and teachers to go to for more info.

July 16th: Sylvia and Lenore of Evil Mad Scientist will appear on Maker Camp! Sylvia will be driving up to Makezine HQ and talking all about the bot, and taking questions from viewers around the world. Check the Maker Camp event page to ask questions and see them in action!

Sylvia standing with the jib camera operator on stage at ABC studios in New York for the Katie Couric show.

July 11: To New York, for a quick appearance on the Katie Couric show, airing Tuesday July 16th, 2013! Sylvia shows off a few awesome science demos, and the WaterColorBot tries to draw the Katie show logo. To a nation looking to improve their science and engineering literacy, hopefully this will help to inspire them all. Check out more and some web exclusive content from Sylvia on

July 6: Sylvia turns 12! This anniversary also marks the beginning of her fourth season of Maker Show, this year is going to be spectacular.

Sylvia standing behind her table at Maker Faire Kansas City

June 29: To Missouri, for Sylvia’s third year at the Show me state’s greatest show and tell, Maker Faire KC! Sylvia and her bot painted over 35 portraits over 2 days, not to mention we had a great time at Hammerspace, playing with the robots, and playing around at Science City.

Sylvia poses in front of a giant poster for Atmel bring your kids to work day.

June 19: To Atmel, microchip headquarters of the world! Sylvia was featured at their bring your kid to work day, celebrating education, engineering of all kinds, and awesome experiments, most involving microprocessors like our favorite, the Arduino. Read more about Sylvia's jaunt into integrated circuit fame on the EMSL blog post.

Sylvia sits on stage at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 being interviewed by Mark Frauenfelder, Editor in Chief of Make Magazine.

May 18: Maker Faire Bay Area, and incredible bustling non-stop exciting amazing everything at once kind of thing. Lots more makers this year, so much to see. Sylvia manned the booth for a while, but still got a chance to escape and really enjoy the faire, always a good thing. Thousands came to see the bot, and almost everyone walked away with a smile.

To the future!

This summer isn’t over yet, Sylvia will be co-leading an Extreme Engineering camp July 22 to 26 with Gary Stager, then off to Space camp in August thanks to the amazing support of fans. Not to mention so, so much more to come, like new episodes (really, we mean it!), books, and things we can’t even imagine. See you all soon, and don't forget to breath... and get out there and make something!

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NYC Tour, fundraiser budget, and upcoming awesomeness

Submitted by TechNinja on October 13, 2012 - 11:11pm

Aaaand.. we’re back! Thanks again to every single person who tweeted or donated directly to make our New York adventure a reality. You guys rock!! Here now is the short recap, and full budget breakdown.

I’m sure a few of you are curious about spending, and I want to be as transparent as possible when it comes to donation going toward their goal, so here’s the real and actual cost of Sylvia’s Amazing New York Adventure!

Cost breakdown:

  • Airfaire: $1,735
  • Hotel for 6 days: $1,350
  • Transportation around the city: $100
  • Shuttle to/from airport: $120
  • ~2 meals a day for 10 days x 3 people: $622
  • Entertainment: $125

That puts our New York Adventure grand total at only $4,052!

Our complete take away (after fees) from IndieGoGo was $5,074, less that total, leaves us with $1,022. We’re estimating perk fulfillment to be about $200 in shipping and other costs, leaving us with $822 to help make the next few episodes absolutely super-awesome!

To celebrate, we’re going to start planning! I know, I know.. it’s a crazy idea.. but how about we release the gift guide on or before December 1st? (instead of the 15th like last year!), also, we’re putting up all the photos we can of our various adventures into Google+ albums here, check em out! Comment, +1 and let everyone know how great everything went.

While in New York, we took the Staten Island Ferry, toured the streets, subways and ad filled squares, strolled through central park, visited the most amazing museum and even built a bunch of cardboard robots with new friends at the Smithsonian Design Museum! Also checked out the Makerbot store, Adafruit HQ, NYC Resistor, not to mention Sylvia spoke at the Open Hardware Summit and did her part at Maker Faire NY. Such an incredible, unforgettable adventure, all thanks to you guys.

Thank you!!!

In the coming weeks we’ll be writing up all our past adventures this year (Maker Faire KC, CMK 2012, TEDx Redmond and all our special New York destinations), along with new upcoming destinations like the TEDx San Jose Women on December 1st, and the Brentwood School in LA next March. Not to mention new episodes, new ideas, and lots lots more.

We'll keep you posted. =)

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Look out road: Here we come!!

Submitted by Super-Awesome Sylvia on September 13, 2012 - 10:10am

Thanks to all the awesome people out in the world who helped me get to my fundraiser goal of $5,000, me and the family are heading out on the road immediately!

We're driving up Interstate 5 through Oregon, making a stop in Springfield, then early tomorrow morning we'll be in Redmond Washington for my very first TEDx Talk! I'm super excited (and nervous) but I know it's going to be awesome no matter what!

Then next week on Friday we fly out to spend the whole rest of the month in New York City! Saturday I'll be teaching how to make Cardboard Robots with MakeDo at the Smithsonian National Design museum's Target Design workshop for kids!!, then I'll be visiting Makerbot, Adafruit, NYC Resistor, then off to the Open Hardware Summit at Eyebeam, then Maker Faire New York and Education day!!

Did I mention it's been busy? I think I did. But, at least I will have the best trip EVERRR!!!

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