Mini Maker's Faire 2012

Mini Maker's Faire 2012 at Swinburne University, Burwood

Here is a short message to summarise Robogals Melbourne's participation in the Mini Maker's Faire held on Saturday January 14, 2012 at Swinburne University, Burwood by our volunteer, Nicole Brown:

Volunteers in attendance was limited to 4 by the organisers and we would like to thank all those who expressed interest and especially to Mun-Xin, Karlo, myself and Nan Su for attending on the day.

We arrived at 9am to set up, which did not take long due to Karlo's amazing organisational efforts leading up to the day. By the time people started arriving at 10am we were ready to go. We had a stall set up for the entire day within the faire hall itself, but we also ran two robotics session at 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm for those who were interested in attending.


We had a wide range of people attending our stall and were very pleased with the reaction Robogals seemed to have on them, will many expressing their admiration to the organisational and how it was 'exactly what we need, there are nowhere near enough women in engineering!', with one gentlemen doing so far as to say 'woman have a different way of thinking that greatly benefits engineering team, this initiative is perfect!' Throughout the day we had many signing up to attend workshops to secure their place because the didn't want to miss out. Furthermore we had a few teachers and parents inquiring about the possibility of Robogals running workshops for their schools.

We were approached by a gentleman from the Mornington Shire Council. He has inquired about two prospects for Robogals to become involved in. However, we can only make it to only one event, which is running a stall and workshops at Western Port Festival in the Mornington Shire on 25th of February 2012.

Also, a few other people approached the stall:

  • Amea from Marita's entrepreneurship organisation in which she left to form Robogals - he was extremely interested to see what Robogals actually did and what robots we used!
  • Joel Gory, a law student studying at Monash who would like to volunteer with Robogals and is willing to travel to attend training and teaching sessions.
  • Tracey Carter from The Peninsula School which we have attended previously to run workshops, but is interested in more sessions to be run at their school and also very interested in participating in any Science Week activities we may be having.
  • A lady who started Robogals at Imperial College in London with Marita.
  • A gentleman from an organisation called the DA initiative who are interested in possibly forming a connection with Robogals.

As I mentioned previously, we ran two workshops for people that were interested with both having a great response! As there were many different age groups, the programs were adjusted accordingly, but many different techniques and programming tools were used. If you would like more information, please contact Karlo as he ran to the sessions with Mun-Xin and Nan Su.

Also, we were given a challenge by the event organisers to program a robot to navigate a maze made out of cardboard as they wished to film it from the inside. Since this requires us to control the robot remotely, we ended up programming the robots to communicate with each other via bluetooth!

We were filmed by two gentleman, in which we promoted Robogals for a podcast called Animal Logic and also for the Maker Faire website!

All in all I believe that the day was extremely success and was great fun to be apart of. Hopefully we will have more events like this in the future and Robogals can reach more people.


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