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MakerCon: Makers Are the New Explorers of the Universe

Exploration is a field where makers are really pushing boundaries.

In only two short weeks, MakerCon is set to commence at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City, CA. While I’m excited about everything happening at this event—running Tuesday-Wednesday, May 13-14—one of the more recent additions to the agenda has me very eager.

New Explorers of the Universe

Drones, submersibles, satellites, mesh sensing networks, and all sorts of projects are bubbling up everywhere in the maker community. Makers are rivaling some of the most well-funded tech groups out there in terms of their ingenuity and tenacity. There are many items to discuss in this area including the technical sides of construction as well as ethical questions that arise when building surveillance devices. A special three-hour Tuesday morning workshop, “Citizen Exploration: Makers, Discovery and Science,” will be completely focused on those aspects.

We have been fortunate enough to engage two fantastic hosts for this section:

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David Lang
OpenROV (co founder) and author of Zero to Maker

David Lang is a co-founder of OpenROV, a community of citizen ocean explorers and creators of low-cost underwater robots. He is the author of Zero to Maker and a contributing editor to MAKE: Magazine where he chronicled his journey from under-skilled beginner to manufacturing entrepreneur and ocean explorer. The book is a guide for anyone—regardless of experience level—to get involved with the maker movement and digital fabrication tools, like 3D printing. He lives on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay.

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David McKinnie
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (Senior Advisor)

David McKinnie is senior advisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. His expertise includes development of domestic and international external partnerships, moving concepts to operations, and translating science for decision makers.
A former carpenter and cabinetmaker, David first learned about the maker movement through his grandfather’s collection of Popular Science magazines from the 1920s.

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While our hosts are experts on their own, we’ve also pulled in some extremely talented and knowledgeable people from several different fields:

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Ben Howard, Aerospace Engineer at Planet Labs

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Manu Prakash, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Bioengineering Living, Stanford University

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Mac Cowell, Founder at Genefoo

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Chris German, Ph.D., Senior Scientist Geology & Geophysics Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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Ariel Waldman, Founder of Spacehack.org

Of course, this isn’t all there is to see at this year’s Makercon. The first conference by and for leaders of the Maker Movement, this two-day event is so packed full of things to learn and interesting topics to discuss that you’ll just have to go take a peek at the agenda yourself. While you’re there, you might as well just sign up and attend!

Caleb Kraft

Community Editor for Make:
I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I’d always love to hear about what you’re making, so send me an email any time at caleb@makermedia.com


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