Last month, Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire organizer, Learning is for Everyone, teamed up with the local interactive art installation group, Urban Conga, also a Maker at the Faire, in a collaborative 48 hour build project called The Deconstruction. The dates of The Deconstruction conveniently coincided with the University of South Florida Engineering Expo, so we thought we’d turn it into a crowdsourced effort, and literally made it into a “deconstructon” project. The inspiration for the idea came from another TBMMF Maker, Chuck Stephens, the Ring Master behind the Noise Circus and a Maker of incomparable proportions, who had seen a similar effort at a local school.
The project was successful beyond all our wildest dreams! Busloads of kids dug in with a deconstructive fervor comparable only to that of Ugors in the Paradise System. (See Star Wars Trivia) Many had rarely or never experienced the joy of taking something apart just for the fun of it. Chuck proved an encouraging deconstruction guide, showing students everything from how to properly handle tools to providing guided tours of the insides of everything from computers to cell phones.
Urban Conga proved adept at re-imagining the detritus of old equipment remains and from their ruins grew the Tree of Technology – and our team of Crowdsourced Creatives actually won The Deconstruction!
Since then, the Technology Tree has been on the road with Urban Conga – to the Tampa Downtown Market and the Gasparilla Arts Festival, and it’s coming to Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, too.
And we’ll be deconstructing some more, just for the pure fun of it! This time, we’ve got a lot more stuff , more tools and a more measured approach to making the most out of taking things apart. We’re providing for metal salvage and e-waste, and attendees will be invited to take any parts they want for hacking or reuse, later.
So if your kids – or the kid in you – have always wondered what’s inside that old CD player, computer tower, keyboard, phone, or any number of various and sundry electronic and mechanical things, be sure to stop by the Deconstruction Zone on Saturday, grab a pair of safety glasses and hang out for a while!