Akron Makes 2021 -- Fun Time Learning From Creatives!

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Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

Akron Makes 2021 -- Fun Time Learning From Creatives!
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Akron Makes
This free, interactive, family-friendly event is a completely unique opportunity to engage with Akron’s curious and creative.

Since 2013, children, adults, and families have enjoyed hands-on exhibits at the Library’s annual celebration of makers. Past exhibitors have included coding, robots, drones, skee-bowl, egg drop, vortex cannon, guitar pedals, 3D printing, crafting, knitting, cosplay, modified Nerf guns and so much more!

Here's what you can find at this year's Akron Makes:

  • Print making with Rubber City Prints!
  • Robots with KSS Robotics!
  • Needlework with Stan Hywet Needlework Guild!
  • Summit DD's mobile sensory bus!
  • Trains! Western Reserve Speed-MO/Free-MO will set up a huge train table and talk about how to build basic modules, create scenery, and get started on your own model train set at home in no time.
  • Coding bracelets, Makey Makey and other interactive activities in our Children’s Library!
  • Marshmallow and toothpick challenge in the Teen area!
  • And more!

Come early to Akron Makes and attend a special screening of Hearts of Glass, an intimate portrait of social entrepreneurship at the intersection of disability rights and sustainable, local food production. The show starts at 10:30 am in the auditorium.

Interested in maker materials from the library? Check these out:

I have enjoyed attending Akron-Summit County Public Library maker events many times over the years. Thankfully, I learned that Akron Makes would be held Saturday, November 13, 2021, when I saw the following tweets from the Akron-Summit County Public Library (@AkronLibrary) and Summit Artspace (@Summit_Artspace). I also visited Summit Artspace after the Akron Makes event.  If not for these tweets, I would have missed this fun event!



Saturday, November 13, 2021 - Akron Makes




Greater Summit County Early Learning Center (S.C.O.P.E. Academy)
NIHF (National Inventors Hall of Fame) STEM Middle School

Welcome to S.C.O.P.E. Academy
In 2008, the Greater Summit County Early Learning Center (locally known as S.C.O.P.E. Academy) opened as a Public Conversion School within Springfield Township in Akron, Ohio. It was established to serve as a free, full-day early learning center, demonstrating an innovative 21st century framework for early learners in grades K-2 across Ohio. . . . Over time, our families, business partners, and universities, encouraged the center to expand its grade offerings to provide an even stronger and longer experience. Those requests, led us to our present day K-4 school, that emphasizes S.T.E.A.M. principles through Project-Based Learning as a place for visible teaching and visible learning.

About the NIHF STEM Middle School

To provide the highest quality education experience for students that ensures creativity and inventive thinking through a focus on science, mathematics and technology.

To nurture a community of empowered learners who will succeed in a global society.

Six pioneers are inventing the future.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School is the result of an innovative partnership between:

  • Akron Public Schools
  • the City of Akron
  • the National Inventors Hall of Fame® Foundation
  • The University of Akron
  • Akron Tomorrow
  • the Greater Akron Chamber

It is a future that leaves 20th-century education practices behind. It is a time when students must be free to think, create, communicate and innovate in a rapidly changing world. It is a place that opens its doors to a new generation of teaching, learning and problem solving.

I was very impressed with the kids who demonstrated their Scratch (@Scratch) programming. It is fun to stop and listen to kids as they teach you about their programming projects.

A BIG thank-you to @AkronLibrary for sending me a Twitter direct message with information about S.C.O.P.E. Academy (@_SCOPE_Academy_) and NIHF STEM Middle School (@AkronSTEMschool).



TechZone -- Library’s Makerspace

TechZone is also Akron-Summit County Public Library’s makerspace. What is a makerspace? It’s a place for making, learning, exploring and sharing.

TechZone is open to artists, entrepreneurs, small business owners, hobbyists, and creative types of all kinds.

Creating something yourself is what a makerspace is all about. You have the idea. We have the tools. Come make your thing.

It was very appropriate that a lot of the Akron Makes took place in the library's TechZone makerspace, so visitors to the event would also know what is available at the library year-round.



Internet-Controlled Christmas Light Display

Using low-cost hardware and free software, you can build an interactive light show that can be viewed and controlled by anyone in the world! You can use existing traditional Christmas lights, store-bought digital lights, or generic lights used by enthusiasts all over the world.

Not only can you see and control my lights this holiday season, but this website provides complete instructions on how to build your own holiday display.

Control Tom's Christmas lights

Thank you to Tom Hammond for taking time to show everyone attending Akron Makes how to create your own Internet-controlled Christmas light display. Please share my following tweets by retweeting them, so more people can learn about the resources he shared with me.



It is important to share on Twitter! @AkronLibrary shows how it is done:



Summit Artspace - Akron Art Mail

. . . artist-made postcards and the blank postcards will be available in Fall 2021 at the Akron Art Museum, Akron-Summit County Public Library, and through partner organizations in Akron.

I talked to the development intern from Summit Artspace, and also with a former intern who was volunteering today passing out blank postcards on which attendees were encouraged to create their own art. Scanning the QR code in the photo in the following tweet will take you to the Akron Art Mail web page located at: AkronArtMuseum.org/AkronArtMail/

Learn more about some of my visits to Summit Artspace by reading my "Summit Artspace" blog posts.



Dungeon Studios Prototyping -- SkeeBowling & Wooden DDR Pad

Welcome to Dungeon Studios Prototyping Located in Ohio. I am a builder / maker of many things but I also know how to have fun.

Come with me as I
* Design renewable energy sources,
* Race Slot Cars,
* Travel to Conventions and Maker Fairs,
* Fend off wild "urban" animals!
And much more!

It is always good to see Andrew Buczko (@Aquaoptics - calvinthedestroyer on YouTube) of Dungeon Studios Prototyping at Northeast Ohio maker events. I love watching people getting excited by playing with his SkeeBowling and Wooden DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Pad.

In addition to Akron Makes in 2021, here are some additional blog posts about where Andrew Buczko has shared his creativity:

A BIG thank-you to Andrew Buczko for taking me behind the scenes to show me the new scoreboard system!



FYI, if you want one of Andrew Buczko's Wooden DDR Pads, he does sell them online.





New “2021 Akron Makes” Button



C.H.AM.P. (Canton Hacker And Makerspace)

CHAMP Makerspace

We Make Cool Things
We want you to make cool things as well. We provide you with the location, tools, community for you to be able to make just about anything. We make 3D printers, christmas light shows, jewelry, and whatever else your heart desires.

C.H.AM.P. members at Akron Makes recommended people interested in learning about their makerspace should come on out and visit on a Thursday night. Check out the C.H.AM.P. combat robotics video in my second tweet below about @HackCanton.



Rustbelt Robotics



Library's TechZone Laser Engraver

We [TechZone] have a variety of tools available for free or little cost. Some examples include recording studios, laser engraver, vinyl printer, green screen room, design computers, button/magnet maker, media transfer station, and more.

I have been visiting the Akron-Summit County Public Library for many years now for their maker events. Over that time, I have noted how the library TechZone has increased the resources available to the community through a library card. The laser engraver that visitors were using during the event was supported by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation (@knightfdn)



Thank you, Akron-Summit County Public Library, for Akron Makes 2021!

I enjoyed talking to the kids who demonstrated their programming skills, and the creatives who shared their knowledge at Akron Makes. Thank you, Akron-Summit County Public Library, for hosting and planning this maker event!

I also want to mention that my next blog post will be about the November 20, 2021, Saturday Night Maker Faire Cleveland Showcase.



After Akron Makes, A Visit to Summit Artspace

Summit Artspace, nonprofit art galleries and studios for Summit County and the surrounding area, provides art exhibits and physical environments that promote a strong, diverse and vibrant arts and culture community.



After leaving Akron Makes, I stopped briefly at Summit Artspace (@Summit_Artspace) to see their Betty and Howard Taylor main gallery. I wish I had more time to see all their art galleries, since I really enjoyed what I saw in the main gallery from the 19th Annual Kaleidoscope Juried Exhibition.


AKRON, OHIO (Jan. 4, 2021)Summit Artspace, a nonprofit community art center and home to artist studios and galleries, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new executive director, Heather Meeker. Meeker will begin in her new role on January 4 . . .

While at Summit Artspace, I was fortunate to meet their new Executive Director, Heather Meeker, who was greeting visitors as they entered. Learn more about Summit Artspace in my "Summit Artspace" blog posts.


Related Blog Posts

I always like to end my posts with a list of related blog posts, but I have written so many blog posts about "Maker" events and locations in our community, that it is best that you just see them all by pulling them up by their tag. Here are topic links that you may be interested in that relate to this blog post about Akron Makes and Summit Artspace:

  • Maker or Hackerspace - For information about MakerSpaces/Hackerspaces, Maker Faires, and Hackathons.

  • Summit Artspace - Poe's Garden, High Arts Festival Akron, Akron Art Prize.

  • Library - Events at Northeast Ohio libraries, including everything from FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, to Superman, to NASA, to, of course, maker events.

  • Akron - What is happening in Akron? Buckeye Trail, art, Akron Water Reclamation Facility, PechaKucha Night Akron, and, of course, maker events.

Also, if you are interested in the artwork at Summit Artspace, then you may be interested in reading more art related blog posts -- please see my 77 other blog posts tagged "Art"

Thank you for reading my blog post. You can learn about my travel journeys with my wife and co-blogger, Julie, and the venues we explore in Cleveland and Akron at: sosAssociates.com/Blog