Courses and Workshops in 2015


PiezoElementsMapping Found Sounds

Wednesday, April 15, 5-8 pm; Saturday, April 18, 12-3 pm
The workshop will meet at UVM’s Fab Lab in Votey 122 on the UVM campus. Materials Fee: $25; call the Museum Education Department at 656-0750

Track the sonic footprints of Burlington and create an experiential sound map of obscured ambient noise inspired by John Cage’s experiments with everyday sound. In part one of this two-part workshop, participants make a simple electronic listening device by repurposing the ubiquitous and inexpensive contact microphones (piezos) found in old cellphones, computers, and other devices. In part two, participants discover hidden sounds and contribute to the creation of a unique sound map of Burlington.

Jenn Karson, Project Collaborator on Staring Back, and Supervisor, UVM’s Fab Lab; Griffin Jones ’15 Electrical Engineering

Courses open to non degree and degree students at the University of Vermont.

FabLabNew-655x415Innovate, Iterate, Make: The Art + Engineering in Rapid-Prototype Design

Offered two times in 2015:  An intensive Summer program and during theFall 2015 semester

Summer as part of the  Vermont Engineering Initiative:
2 weeks on campus 2 weeks off
CEMS 295 Z2

July 13 – August 7, 2015

  • July 13-17 online with pre-reading
  • July 20-31 on campus face to face
  • August 3-7 online

Read the article  “UVM’s Fab Lab Provides Play Space for “Makers” of All ages”


The first part of the course explores how innovators in engineering, contemporary art and architecture solve problems and advance ideas. Students will learn how to design using open source hardware and programming, handmade electronics and the rapid prototyping tools in the U of Vermont Fab Lab.

The first part of the course explores how innovators in engineering, contemporary art and architecture solve problems and advance ideas. Students will learn how to design using open source hardware and programming, handmade electronics and the rapid prototyping tools in the U of Vermont Fab Lab.

For the second part of the course, students plan and execute a self-directed and designed project. Much of class time becomes dedicated to “Open Lab,” allowing students access to rapid-prototyping resources of the U of Vermont Fab Lab. Assigned readings and teachings cover project management, presentation skills, and design thinking. The final project requires documentation of a well-developed product or concept and the presentation of an early prototype.

This class is of interest to:

  • Degree students looking for an opportunity to make, design and build with new technologies.
  • Professional creatives and artists who want to explore the use of contemporary art + technology materials and methods.
  • Entrepreneurs and business professionals interested in innovation and product development .
  • K-12 teachers who need to implement common the next generation science standards in engineering.

Fall 2015
One 3 hour class per week for the full semester

fablab(1of1)Maker’s Academy

(Vermont Fab Lab Workshop)

Pre college course (open to high school juniors and seniors)
2 weeks on campus 2 weeks off
Summer Academy Website
Ask a question

Read the article “Pre-college Class Goes Deep into the DIY Maker Movement”


This course explores how innovators in engineering, contemporary art, architecture and the DIY maker movement solve problems and advance ideas. Students will learn the basics of how to design using open source hardware and programming, handmade electronics and the rapid prototyping tools in the U of Vermont Fab Lab. This course provides hands-on experience with the Arduino microcontroller, 3d printing and laser cutting and engraving. Assigned readings and teachings cover project management, presentation skills, and design thinking. The final project requires documentation of a well-developed product or concept and the presentation of an early prototype.

Happy New Year

Here’s to wishing you the best in 2015!

We have some great events, workshops and classes lined up for 2015.  Explore the events and programs section of our website for details.

Happy New Year!



Champlain Maker Faire Organizing Partners Update

Champlain Maker Faire Organizing Partners Update

By Doug Webster
Making in Vermont has come a long way since a 2011 Single Pebble lunchtime discussion with John Canning, Paul Zaloom (Nickelodeon’s Beakman’s World) Ben and Jerry, Doug Webster, Bruce Seifer, John Abele, Pat Burke, and Will Raap. Making is becoming popular in libraries, schools, colleges, museums, and communities.  Jenn Karson, who formed Vermont Makers says more than 500 students, parents and librarians attended 28 STEAM/making programs last summer and more than 1700 attended talks on making and innovation.


Lucie deLaBruere and Greg Young ran multiple workshops for public school teachers on making to more than 100 from around Vermont. And, making is becoming more popular as an economic development force where viable businesses are spurred because of new low cost and accessible technologies.  New maker spaces have emerged such as Burlington Generator and in the not too distance future the Upper Valley Maker Space (White River and Claremont) and The Foundry (Lyndon/St Johnsbury) doors will be opening.  More community makerspaces are being planned in Brattelboro, Rultand, Bennington, Shelburne, and Townshend to name a few. Thanks to supporters of the Champlain Maker Faire, the fair is the catalyst that ignites interest in making statewide and beyond.

Champlain Maker Faire 2014 was another huge success, with more than 1750 people in attendance despite the rainy Saturday.  Sunday’s ChampBot Challenge went beyond expectations with 7 teams registered and a mini champ that did circles around the course (and other Champs!).  The winners included:
#1  Robots are for Kids Too….$2,500 Cash Prize
#2  Rutland Area Robotics….$1,500
#3  Jake Nealy….$500
Honorable Mention:  Team ZMR and South Burlington High School Big Picture

The Winners:  Robots are for Kids Too, Christine and Kevin Braun, Team Leaders

Thanks and Appreciation
CMF would like to thank this year’s sponsors including:  United Technologies Aerospace Systems, Pizzagalli Properties, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, Vermont Agency of Commerce, Connecticut College of Technology Next Generation Manufacturing, University of Vermont Office of the Vice President of Research, Meach Cove Farms, FairPoint Communications, Vermont Technology Council, FabTech, University of Vermont College for Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Superior Technical Ceramics, IEEE, DesignBook, Burlington Telecom, Chroma/89 North, Hallam ICS, Hagan Marketing, Seven Days, Summit Technologies, and 97.5 Eagle Country.

CMF also wants to thank Volunteers and the CMF Operations Team who made the event happen including:  John Cohn, Jenn Karson, Ken Howell, Jon Bondy, Bruce Cowan, Chris Davis, John Abele, Cecilia Telefus, Erin Boyd, Liz Ropi, Lorrie Sulva, Heather Morris, Joshua Jackson, Abby Peterson, Jesse Krembs, and Ara Hagan.  Also, many thanks to the makers and presenters made the event cool, entertaining and exciting.

So where does Making occur?
With making among communities, schools, libraries, homes, and workplaces what are the different types of making and makers?  The figure below helps explain.

Making is about…
1 Igniting interest of all ages to inspire, create and innovate using the newest and sometimes not so new tools, technologies, and methods.  This can occur at makerspaces in libraries, museums, k-8 education setting, families, and community makerspaces.  Maker Faire simulates interest in making.
2. Novice makers share and collaborate on solutions to complex challenges that involve open, honest, and constructive dialogue – this can occur in secondary education, career and technical education, community maker spaces, households, and in college labs and makerspaces.  Maker Faires are a catalyst for bringing makers together.
3. Advanced makers create things that have a broad appeal and can be presented in the marketplace including inventions, innovations, and applications in the commercial world.  This can occur anywhere in the Maker Spectrum however is more likely in a mature makerspace, college makerspace, or high end makerspace with state-of-the-art tools and equipment.  Maker Faire connects entrepreneurs and collaborators.

Things in the Making

Wearables Mixer at Burlington Generator, 250 Main Street, Thursday December 18 5:30pm…bring items to show and share and/or wear;


Farm and Food Tech Social Meet-up at Burlington Generator, 250 Main Street, Thursday January 15, 5:30-7:30…for farmers, food business entrepreneurs, hackers and software developers;

Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change – February 18…scientists, innovative business, community leaders will look at the impacts and potential opportunities of climate change.

2015 Champlain Maker Faire – September 26 & 27 2015 Shelburne Farms Coach Barn…same fair, new twists, new maker challenges in addition to ChampBot.  What will YOU make?



CMF National Innovation Education Institute – September 28 & 29, 2015  Burlington Hilton…new endeavor to grow making education in partnership with ASU, Purdue, Connecticut College of Technology and many others;

CMF’s Renewed Culture of Innovation TV Series – “Makers on Screen”.  Production startsJanuary 21st 2015…local makers will be interviewed every Wednesday on RETN TV. if interested in being a guest;

Create, Make, Learn Summer Institute – July 13-17, 2015  Burlington Generator…is a series of professional development opportunities for educators to experience the power of learning through creating and making.  See more at;

ArtDuino Challenge Camp – August 3-7 2015 Shelburne Farms Coach Barn…2014 supported by Cognizant Inc., Making the Future.  This year is a challenge camp with focus on ROV, Drone, Ag, Dance.  See for details coming up.

Joe Chase and mentors run ArtDuino workshop at 2014 New York World Maker Faire.

Makers Academy – UVM, Summer 2015 with Jenn Karson…experience the convergence of art and technology in engineering, contemporary art, and the DYI maker movement.  Dates TBA;

Engineering Design Principles for High School Teachers – UVM, July 11-18…Next Generation Science Standards necessitate that k-12 classes weave engineering design into their science and math curricula.

For more information, contact


2014 was a STEAM-Y year for Vermont!

In summer 2014 the pilot program Vermont Librarians and Makers Spark a Culture of Innovation produced 28 STEAM programs across the State of Vermont thanks to funding by the Vermont Community Foundation and UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. The curriculum was designed by Vermont Makers, Champlain Maker Faire provided exhibition space and library participation was organized by the Vermont Department of Libraries. Here’s a glimpse at the program’s success by the numbers…download the pdf version of this report here.

STEAM Vermont Programs

2014 was a STEAM-Y Year for Vermont!
As reported by….

Vermont Public Radio:
Making it

The “maker movement” is taking hold in Vermont. That’s a somewhat odd name that captures technology, design, innovation and a strong DIY spirit. On this Vermont Edition, we talk about how communities of “makers” are using high-tech tools to solve problems, create art and start a conversation about technology in our lives. Our guests are Jenn Karson of Vermont Makers and Doug Webster of the Champlain Mini-Maker Faire.

WCAX and Across the Fence: ‪
VT Makers & Librarians showcase STEAM on Across The Fence

New England Cable Network:
Making the grade: Innovative approach to STEM Teaching

More about Spark a Culture STEAM modules and program partners can be found here

Thank you to everyone who participated and supported these programs! We certainly did “Spark a Culture of Innovation” in Vermont in 2014.

Partners on the grant included Vermont Makers, UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Champlain Maker FaireCraftsbury Public Library, Vermont Public Library Foundation, The Vermont State Department of Libraries, and the Vermont Library Association. The stats in this document are provided by Vermont Makers.

A Maker Glossary for Vermont Afterschool Conference 2014

Getting creative with Squishy Circuits: Alien Lady Gaga
Getting creative with Squishy Circuits: Alien Lady Gag

Enjoy this “Maker Glossary”  created for educators participating in Make, Create, Hack + Engineer at this year’s Vermont Afterschool Conference

You are welcome to use this glossary on your own website. If you do, please credit and link back to us. Thanks!

STEAMy Stuff! Make, Create, Hack + Engineer
Jenn Karson, Vermont Engineering Initiative + Vermont Makers
A daylong immersion in hands-on STEAM activities with time for reflection and explorations in design thinking for educators and staff working with youth grades 4-12.


  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering + Math
  • STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts + Math
  • Maker: People of all ages who make things!

Vermont Makers STEAM Modules
(Developed in 2014 with support from  Vermont Libraries and Makers Spark a Culture of Innovation, a program funded by the Vermont Community Foundation and the University of Vermont).

Communities and places for Maker and STEAM education

  • What is a Fab Lab?
  •  U of Vermont Fab Lab
  • Vermont Engineering Initiative
  • Vermont Makers
  • Champlain Maker Faire (fall event + summer camp)
  • What is a Hackerspace / Makerspace?
  • Generator – a Maker Space in Burlington, VT
  • Champlain College Maker Lab

Newsletters and Documents:

  • Design Thinking for Educators
  • Design Thinking handout
  • Design Thinking banner for classrooms


  • Electrical Circuit
  • Voltage, Current, Resistance and Ohms Law
  • Printed Circuit  Board (PCB)
  • Conductive
  • LED

 Tools you might find in  Fab Lab, Hacker Space or Maker Space:

  • 3D  Printer
  • Laser Cutter
  • Laser Scanner
  • CNC Milling Machine
  • Digital Embroidery Machine



Inspired by innovation, creativity + interdisciplinary education, we're artists + engineers. Our material is technology. Feeds managed by Jenn Karson.