Tag Archives: Ayah Bdeir

Just visited the inaugural @littleBits retail store with @donbuckley! Here are photos:

The first littleBits store opened today, and I was so excited to visit the space with my former boss and mentor @donbuckley! It’s so well designed! This pop-up store’s location is 355 West Broadway in the SoHo district, and it will operate there for the next 7 months. The actual grand opening will be in mid-August. Read more about the opening here: http://www.psfk.com/2015/07/littlebits-store-retail-electronics.html 

Besides being able to buy pieces in the retail section, there are demo areas peppered with inspiring projects next to correlating paper recipe cards (with starter instructions on one side and a shopping list on the other) and an open lab area in the back where you can work with a littleBits ambassador in a lab coat to build something amazing. There’s a wonderful opportunity to either leave your creation behind or take it with you (and you pay for all the pieces). Either way, there’s a wired photo org area where you can document your masterpiece and share it with the wider littleBits community online.

Creative opportunities abound here! I’m hoping to organize teacher outings to come and play. @AyahBdeir, superstar founder of litteBits, was at the store today and chatted with me and Don for a while. I’ve been a fan of Ayah’s since her TED Fellow days, and it’s been amazing to watch her build her dream company. littleBits’s flourishing business, perpetually expanding product offerings, growing popularity, and spreading community are a joy to observe through their kicking Instagram account. Check it out here: Instagram.com/littleBits

littleBits Store info:
355 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
917-924-2302 ext 102
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am–7pm, Sat-Sun 10am–7pm

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Thanks to @jason for launching #Launch Education & Kids!

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I’m at Microsoft’s Conference Center for Launch Education & Kids. Jason Calacanis is a self-professed “serial entrepreneur” and brought together designers, developers, educators, kids, parents, and sponsors for a kinda Shark Tank experience for apps and products. This is the 2nd year of the conference, and I’m grateful they offered 50 free tickets for educators (and chose me).

The conference launched with a conversation between Jason and Mitchell Kapor (@mkapor) of Kapor Capital. Mitchell started Lotus 1-2-3 (!) and now seeks to “seed stage startups and social ventures.” Their back-and-forth about education, startups, schools, technology, and information security was entertaining and informative.
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Up next was @AyahBdeir, Founder and CEO of @LittleBits. Ayah is awesome. She’s an engineer who wanted kids to grow up learning how things work in this world dominated by electronics. I’ve been to LittleBits’s office in NYC, and everyone there is inspiring and innovative. ayay shared that they are beginning to develop programmable “smartbits” inspired by Scratch, Arduino, Raspberry Pi. Check them out here: http://littlebits.cc/
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The agenda for the next two days is here:
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Scenes from Sunday’s @MakerFaire:

wings and wheels

I loved going to the Maker Faire last year, and this year I organized a group of teachers to attend on Sunday, September 30th. As per their website, the Maker Faire is “a two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” There are two big ones in the US (San Mateo and New York), and many mini Maker Faires taking place all over the world.

My niece and nephew and I were intrigued by the following sights:

1. Little Bits (@littleBits) are “a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.” The founder, Ayah Bdeir, is a TED Fellow! (Her video on TED.com is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1404)
Little Bits

2. EepyBird.com‘s drenching display of what happens when Mentos and Coke Zero collide:

3. GUS 14, the basketball-playing robot, created by GUS Robotics Team 228:
basketball bot

4. The simplicity of this giant Scrabble game made from repurposed CD jewel cases:
CD case scrabble

4. The giant mechanical Thumby Wars was created by a team of identical twins, Mike and Pat Murray, from Scottsdale, Arizona:
thumb war

5. Lots of 3D printers including the the Afinia H-Series 3D Printer for $1499 which comes ready-built out of the box and has a a moving tray and a moving extruder and the Rostock Max Delta 3D Printer Kit for $849 at SeeMeCNC.com:
Rostock Max

6. Hoodies with hand-warming mittens by Toasty Time:
mitten pockets

7. The En-V electric car from General Motors:
en-V

8. The Lifesize Mouse trap created by Mark Perez:
mouse trap

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