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Mark K

Member Since: January 7, 2010

Country: United States

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Engineer, Maker, Mentor.

  • I would like to see SfEducation involved in creating more competitions. A competition pulls together many of the ideas in the other comments; 1) Many (especially kids) are ‘hands on’ rather than theoretical learners. 2) Having a goal and deadline is great motivation 3) A community is formed and/or reinforced around the competition. Although robots quickly come to mind, there are other problems ranging from fun and interesting to globally meaningful that would make excellent challenges.

    I have been involved in FIRST Robotics for over 10 years, it is a fantastic program and has had a wonderful impact but having to fund-raise $20K so a handful of kids can compete puts it out of the realm for individuals and small groups that just want to learn and have fun.

    Sparkfun is perfectly poised to run with this idea, You have a growing ecosystem of customers, teachers, makerspaces that would facilitate local competitions. You have an Education department to come up with creative challenges (this is not an easy task). You have the product resources that allow even beginners to participate fully. If one of the rules was that you open source your entry, you have a growing set of tutorial info and possibly new products.

    Sorry for the long post, you hit one of my hot buttons.

  • Danger Will Robinson… If you Go Back in Time to a date before the GPS satellites, you will be trapped!

  • When my wife and I were chatting with you after the tour; I wanted to ask if you got to do any ‘fun’ projects anymore but I thought the question might have been to forward. When my kids were young it was evident that they did not care how successful I was, they only sensed if I was happy (fulfilled) and if I was available to them. This caused me to rethink and reshape my career. The outcome for me and my family (and a bunch of budding nerds in the neighborhood) was better than I could have ever imagined. I hope that this change will be ultimately fulfilling for you and will usher in a new level of success for Sparkfun. Congratulations!

  • Not only that but as Pete demonstrated; if you put a metal diaphragm next to the inductor and yelled at it you would have a FM transmitter. Great video Pete!

  • Big +1 for museum gift shops. Also +1 for American Science and Surplus, When I was 12 it was the first place my folks let me take the bus to (probably because they got tired of taking me every week). Almost 50 years and they sell the same great kinds of junk. Here in New Hampshire I can recommend ESS would carry your kits in a heartbeat and a GREAT educational toy store Imagination Village.

No public wish lists :(