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We delivered two Make Mobile visits to IBM’s IGNITE Camp (an enrichment program for boys), and to ~50 teens at the Latino College Prep Academy (through Maker Tom Zimmerman who splits his time between LCPA and IBM). Our featured Maker was once again Scott Gasparian. This time, he brought along two fantastic demos to emphasize the connections between pressure and propulsion in the bottle-rocket-making activity: he started with a fire cannon “to get the kids’ attention,” and he also weaved in a demo of a solar-powered hydrogen harvester (using electrolysis.) Gaspo has been spearheading modifications to the fire truck and plans to attach the fire cannon to the roof soon. A few kids at each site also did Blinkybugs with me, when they finished the primary activity, and this helped clarify how we can more easily to do them as a classroom project with dozens of kids at once.

Our favorite story is the girl who took the rocket design and decided to build a rainbow colored butterfly around it–although admittedly it took some persuasion to get her to launch it.

We’re looking ahead to our next steps. We’ll be expanding our programming to include different kinds of projects from the Make universe. And soon we’ll going to public schools! We already have 5 after-school programs whose staff members have invited us to come make stuff with their kids. All of them work primarily with kids who come from under-resourced communities: 3 around Oakland, 1 in SF’s Tenderloin, and the 5th in SF’s SOMA neighborhood.

Photo set – On the afternoon of August 14th, 2008, the Make Mobile traveled to the Latino College Prep Academy, a program associated with the National Hispanic University in San Jose. Fifty kids made bottle rockets which they launched with pressurized air, air + water, and hydrogen that had been collected from solar-powered electrolysis.