Apologies for the incredibly late notice, but we're having an impromptu welcome back BBQ for SparkTruck right now! For those of you in the Stanford area, we're in the Loft/PRL courtyard. For those of you a bit further away, we'll eat a burger and drink a beer in your honor.
Thanks again to everyone for helping us make it safely back home.
Friends! Backers! Countrymen!
Yesterday, October 18, 2012, SparkTruck pulled into the courtyard of the Design Loft on the campus of Stanford University. Its odometer reads 15,323 miles more than it did on June 26, when we first left the Bay Area.
Between then and now, we've visited over 65 schools, libraries, museums, and community centers, and run workshops with over 2,000 kids. We've driven through deserts, forests, and urban jungles, on cobblestones, fields, and interstate highways. We've been to New England in the peak of autumn colors and Houston in the peak of summer heat. And miraculously no one died. (We won't speak of the thousands of bugs we've collected on the windshield in four months.)
Along the way, we've been blogging, and we just posted our last blog from the road at www.sparktruck.org. We've also amassed quite a collection of photos for your viewing pleasure at www.flickr.com/sparktruck. Thanks to all of you who've been graciously sending us your witty commentary about all of these.
By now, most you should have received your Kickstarter backer rewards. We hope you like them!
And now, after we take a series of long and restorative naps, we've still got some work ahead of us: Didi is getting busy watching hundreds of hours of footage and editing the documentary, while the rest of us figure out how to hand off the project and make SparkTruck an ongoing, student-run initiative at Stanford and beyond.
Thank you so much for your support. None of it would have happened without every single one of you.
We hope you all stay in touch as we we figure out how the next chapter unfolds.
Whew, what a weekend! The SparkTruck spent this past Saturday and Sunday hanging out in San Mateo at the 7th annual Maker Faire, getting a lovely tan and meeting thousands and thousands of awesome people.
We got there bright and early Saturday morning to test out a crazy idea: what if we had a giant inflatable bubble that attached to the truck and could serve as a classroom in which to do our workshops? It turned out that the idea was a little too crazy and the bubble almost flew away in the wind. So we folded it up for now. More prototyping ahead!
One of the most exciting parts of the weekend was teaching workshops. We came prepared with hundreds of pager motors and coin cell batteries and taught young makers to build Vibrobots! The creatures spun in circles and danced across tabletops, battling and racing each other. We also spun in circles, handing out sharpies and retrieving sketches stolen by the wind from all over the surrounding lawn. It was magical to see all the kids' eyes light up when they saw their robot creatures come to life. A special treat was when Caine from Caine's Arcade swung by and participated in one of our workshops.
It was so cool to see some of our Kickstarter backers at Maker Faire! Thanks so much for coming out and saying hi! The truck couldn't be prouder to finally be adorned with Sponsor Sprockets from all of its amazing supporters.
Now that Maker Faire is over, we're focusing all of our attention on getting ready for the Super Amazing Summer Cross-Country Road Trip of Making and Awesomeness! (we're still working on the title). So now it's back to work continuing to make sure that the truck is fully outfitted and functional, setting up our shiny new laser cutter (!!!), calibrating the 3D printers, and finding some way to affix the hammers and screwdrivers to the wall without sending them flying across the truck when we make a hard left turn. We'll also continue to run workshops in local schools, to get more Bay Area kids excited about making and to test out some of the workshop ideas for the summer.
As we're planning our cross-country route, if you know of a place where we should stop along the way, let us know!
Thanks so much to the 400+ of you that have contributed to making SparkLab a reality. It's been quite a journey to $25k, and your generosity and encouragement has made us even more excited to start building out the truck, and rolling out to schools.
When we began this campaign, we never could have predicted the tremendous amount of support we'd receive from people from all across the country passionate about changing education. Just this morning, we heard from a group of parents in Baltimore trying to raise enough money to fund a SparkLab visit to their community (the $5000 reward tier). They've made good progress so far, and hopefully, with your help, we'll be able to make a trip across the country, spreading the joy of making as we go.
We'll post a more exciting "we made it" update once our campaign ends, but we just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you. We couldn't have done it without you.
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Thanks for keeping us going! We'll dedicate a gallon of gas in your honor and give you a virtual high-five.Estimated delivery:
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Your name on the truck! We'll put a personalized Sponsor Sprocket with your name on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
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A truck in your mailbox! We'll send a personalized laser-cut truck postcard anywhere in the U.S. and put a personalized Sponsor Sprocket on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
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A gift from a student! We'll send you a personalized gift created by a student during one of our workshops. You'll also get a laser-cut postcard from us, and a Sponsor Sprocket on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
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Visit us at Maker Faire! We'll send you a ticket to Bay Area Maker Faire (May 19-20) so you can come say hi to us and get a personal VIP tour of the truck. There, you'll get to put your own Sponsor Sprocket on the side of the truck, and create your own laser cut mini truck. (Special thank you to Maker Faire for donating tickets!)Estimated delivery:
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Special edition truck poster! We'll send you a very special interactive poster that you can turn into your very own mini truck. We'll also send you a personalized gift created by a student during one of our workshops. A Sponsor Sprocket with your name will also be placed on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Let's go fly a kite! Join us for a special afternoon of kite making and flying, as well as a classy picnic at the beach. You'll leave with your very own kite made using our laser cutter as well as a gift from a student. You'll also get a chance to place your own Sponsor Sprocket on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
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Sponsor a workshop! We'll use your contribution to hold a workshop for students in your name. We'll send you a special group thank you made by all the participants in the workshop and put a special commemorative Sponsor Sprocket on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
A visit from the truck! Beepbeep! We'll visit you or any school of your choosing in the Bay Area and run a custom workshop in your name. You'll get a special Sponsor Sprocket commemorating this event, and a collection of other keepsakes made during the workshop.Estimated delivery:
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Road trip! We'll come visit you ANYWHERE (in the continental U.S.) and run a special workshop for the group of your choosing. You'll get a deluxe set of keepsakes from this event as well as a super special Sponsor Sprocket (whew, that was a lot of Ss) on the side of the truck.Estimated delivery:
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