Not too long ago I was asked to be a featured maker at the April monthly meeting of Young Makers. This is a program that matches young people aged 12-17 with adult mentors who coach and inspire them to become innovators and craft a variety of projects to exhibit at the Bay Area Maker Faire (which is coming up fast).
The group meets once a month to discuss their progress and exchange ideas. At the tail end of their monthly meetings, they invite folks like myself who make a variety of art and tech projects come and give a brief presentation to spark potential ideas for projects the kids can take on.
The task: give a 20-minute talk about my various projects and hobbies.
The challenge: talk about myself and all of my toys and limit it to only 20 minutes.
It was tricky, but I managed to pull it off.
Keeping people's attention is never really all that hard for me. In this case, I started with a simple Powerpoint presentation showing pictures of various projects I've finished over the years:
I talked a lot:
But no matter how fascinating I can make a slideshow, it pales by comparison to having costumed characters actually walk in and interact with the audience:
That was the Predator costume I made for Halloween back in 2005. Here's a close-up shot:
It's looking a bit worse for wear, so this might be the last time that guy goes out in public. Here's a detail pic from behind while he was waiting to enter the auditorium:
I also brought along one of my HALO Spartans:
And the Dead Space 2 Isaac Clarke costume I made a couple of years ago:
Which looks good from any angle:
Still, the real showstopper was my latest Warhammer 40K Space Marine build:
The suit looks a little stocky when I wear it, but with my 6' 4" friend Eric wearing it, it's almost lanky:
Because I was in a mad rush all day, I neglected to have all four characters pose for a photo. The best I got was three of them:
They also spent some quality time taking photos of themselves:
The Dead Space costume was worn by Dani Yuan who, despite wearing the bulk of the suit, managed to shoot a short video showing Eric being built into the Space Marine suit:
Everybody had a pretty good time, but the fun part was answering questions and interacting with the youth:
I was hoping to get a shot of some of the characters with the kids, but they were swarmed enough that I couldn't fit down the hall with a camera: