News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

Experience the Robot Revolution at CES 2016

Experience the Robot Revolution at CES 2016

Oct 18, 2015

Release by CES October 18, 2015: Robots have evolved from science-fiction humanoids into intelligent autonomous machines that are revolutionizing the way consumers live, work and play. Reflecting this evolution, the Robotics Marketplace, presented by Robotics Trends at CES 2016 will see a 71 percent growth in exhibit space over its footprint at the 2015 CES. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies and will run January 6-9, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 20 exhibitors will showcase the full range of robotic technologies that are transforming the way consumers learn, do business, monitor their health and maintain their households. Major robotic companies include: Nidec Corporation, iRobot, ECOVACS Robotics, Robocare Co., Ninebot Inc., and Future Robot Co..

“Robots can increasingly move, see, hear, sense and react to the environment,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Robots will change how we approach our daily lives. We expect to see this category expand on the CES show floor, improve lives and help transform the consumer technology industry.”

Check out this cool robotics runway show from a previous CES event held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas organized by the producers of the Digital Health Summit, Living in Digital Times and Silicon Valley Robotics:

The Robotics Marketplace, presented by Robotics Trends will be located at CES Tech West within the Sands Expo. CES Tech West will also feature leading companies who are revolutionizing fitness and health, the Internet of Things, smart home and other high-growth technologies.

CES 2016 will feature more than 3,600 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies. Registration for CES 2016 is open. For more information on CES 2016, visit

About CES:

CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years-the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the technology trade association representing the $285 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed. Check out CES video highlights. Follow CES online at and on social.

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Spokester Kickstarts Making Your Bike Sound Like a Motorcycle

Spokester Kickstarts Making Your Bike Sound Like a Motorcycle

Aug 20, 2015

The Spokester bicycle noisemaker was invented by Kevin Nelson to improve on the decades ­old idea of attaching baseball cards to a bicycle to simulate a motorcycle sound. It’s a fun innovative toy that is simple, inexpensive, durable and can also be used as a safety device. Spokester is a clever one­piece design which fits all bicycles for kids and it’s the perfect snap-on exhaust for your bike! QGITS had the chance to talk with Entrepreneur, Product Director & Graphic Designer Adam Nelson and also the son of Kevin Nelson about their new Kickstarter launch campaign for Spokester.

QGITS: Tell us about the ingenious story of how your Dad Kevin came up with the concept and idea for Spokester?

Adam Nelson: My Dad had a couple of other little business ventures that he started he always wanted to be an Inventor. So he had experience with that as far as like what it takes to kind of go from idea to product. He had some friends that were engineers, he knew some CAD/CAM people and there was a little production facility where he worked out a deal with to where we could test the product and work out some of the kinks without having to go full production. This was back before we could do a one off thing like using a 3D printer. He basically just worked it out, he did a lot of sketching, prototyping with plastics that were just milled out of hunks of plastic instead of properly injecting material into a mould like we ended up doing eventually. It was trial and error until we found something that worked. He experimented with numerous materials including credit cards, paper, and metal until he settled on an injection moulded, flexible plastic concept.

Just 12 days to reach their goal! Help donate & support Spokester Kickstarter campaign. It promotes exercise and cultivates imagination by continuing the timeless tradition that many kids have shared: pretending bikes are motorcycles. Watch their Kickstarter video and help back this project.

QGITS:What are some of the safety benefits of Spokester?

Adam Nelson: Obviously the biggest use of Spokester is as a toy but we have people who use it for the safety aspect. A number of industrial and aerospace companies with large campuses use Spokesters as part of their safety programs. Their employees use bicycles to move between buildings or hangars, and the Spokesters alert others of their approach. There was also a retirement home that used it and clipped it on a special way that it was used on wheel chairs which was operated more as way to keep track of people.

QGITS:How does Spokester work?

Adam Nelson: We wanted to come up with something and make it as simple as possible, it’s all about the user experience so I think part of that was we want this product to be on the store shelf so you can grab it snap it on and not have to do any work.  You don’t want to have to use any screws or tape or a get a specific size or anything like that. We have where it’s very simple or basic while it still does what it is suppose to do. That’s what we came up with we found out a way that this particular shape bends enough that you can fit it onto a vast majority of the kids bikes out there. It snaps on and claps down so you know it’s on there and then your good to go. You just pop it off whenever you want or you can turn it out on your spokes so it doesn’t make noise and keep on your bike so you don’t lose it. Its pretty amazing that it actually worked out so well.


QGITS: How will Kickstarter help out Spokester?

Adam Nelson: We plan to do a mass production with it and the official way to do it is to make a big multi cavity of mould digs and stamp a whole bunch of them in each run which what we are going to do. We did an initial run when we first created it, but we had to create a mold which is really expensive like tens of thousands of dollars and that’s before you even actually produce product. We didn’t really know what we were getting into so we just did a single cavity one which make it a lot more expensive because it just takes longer to do each one and so a Kickstarter was all about really ramping up production and getting one that we can do four at a time and start to do volume production. Its time to take next steps and get it out there and to a retailer location and that’s what Kickstarter is all about

QGITS: Can anyone develop and start their own product idea?

Adam Nelson: It’s easier to do than you think. Especially now a days with 3D printers and 3D modeling software you can put a good idea into your modeling software then drop it in the printer and have something that evening to try out. It’s not going to be perfect like having production quality but atleast get your ideas out into the world and then you can later make some tweeks. Its something you can do it yourself, so if you got an idea certainly find yourself a little rapid protyping shop just go to talk to them and see what they can do for you.

Support American made products. Help back Spokesters reach their goal of $35,000 and donate here to help them kickstart the Spokester:




Virtual Reality Festival presented by 3opolis at the SoCal VR Expo

Virtual Reality Festival presented by 3opolis at the SoCal VR Expo

Aug 3, 2015

Virtual Reality Fest presented by 3opolis a community partner to the SoCalVR expo who was also a participating exhibitor with a booth at the tradeshow is a community organization that is designed to honor and put the spot light on the technologist, filmmakers and content creators out there who are pioneering the virtual future of the entertainment industry. VR Fest was also a presenting sponsor of the SoCal VR kickoff space-themed party prior to the main event this year. QGITS attended both the space-themed kickoff celebration as well as the conference at SoCal VR and met up with Christopher Crescitelli Founder of Virtual Reality Festival & Producer & Creative Director of 3opolis.


QGTIS:  When is the next VR Fest and who can attend?

Christopher Crescitelli: The 1st official VR Festival tent pole event, will be Jan 6-9 which is during CES in Las Vegas. One thing that’s unique about the VR Fest is that it’s not only our festival but your festival as well. Meaning, we invite the general public and community to join us! It’s free to attend. We launched our touring initiative, the VR Lounge, a year ago as a pre-cursor to the festival so that people in the community and public can learn more about the VR Festival, who we are and what we do.

QGTIS: What can people see and do at VR Fest coming up Jan 6-9 at CES, Las Vegas?

Christopher Crescitelli: We will have multiple events in multiple locations around Las Vegas focused around the CES schedule. For example, night parties in the newest and hottest clubs on the strip, workshops and film screenings as well as a VR exhibits area and special creative art installations using virtual reality. It’s consumer facing yet also B2B. We are designed to be the first consumer live event 100% focused on virtual reality and the first program of it’s kind in the world.

QGTIS: What are some other projects or collaborations VR Fest has worked on?

Christopher Crescitelli: January 8th 2015 at CES we worked in partnership with the Extreme Tech Challenge at the Bellagio where we hosted their entire team through a cooperative event with the VR Festival and the VR Lounge. We are working with that team again this year. So we are excited to announce that collaboration and will be announcing the schedule in the weeks to come.

VR fest Photo by: sbe Entertainment Group

QGTIS:What has inspired you into virtual reality technology?

Christopher Crescitelli: I am very fortunate as a filmmaker to have worked with pioneers in the field at a very young age, so I have been working in 3D, 4D and virtual reality for about 20+ years. Those specialties have been a blessing in my career that allowed me to be on the front lines. During the 2D revolution I was working with one of the first 24P HD electronic cinematography solutions created by Panavision and George Lucas. And we made one of the very first movies ever to be shot in 2D 24P HD digital video. We also shot the first slow motion 24P HD shot ever back in the day. We were around when 3D started up again so I was working with the very 1st 3D television and first 3D gaming system. Then with virtual reality we are on the same track we are helping to build community and support the industry at large. We are also pioneering our own creative and technological pathways for our own projects.

More info and a message from Sir Richard Branson about the Extreme Tech Challenge:

Extreme Tech Challenge from Extreme Tech Challenge on Vimeo.

The Extreme Tech Challenge brings together targeted resources and world class advisors to help high-energy, wicked-smart entrepreneurs that are executing on big ideas. We aim to “lower the friction to your success” by providing exposure and capital to accelerate product and free infrastructure and other start-up boosters from world class vendors to scale. Importantly, we aim to have extreme fun along the way – the final pitch and feedback session will be held at Necker Island – with Sir Richard Branson as our special guest judge. Are YOU ready to give it your best shot?

Virtusphere at SoCal Virtual Reality Expo 2015

Virtusphere at SoCal Virtual Reality Expo 2015

Jul 30, 2015

At the inaugural SoCal Virtual Reality Expo & Conference with so many things to do, see and demo; however, one thing that stood out and you couldn’t miss at the exhibitors hall entrance was a very cool interactive completely full body immersion attraction called the Virtusphere. Attendees were able to not only try on an oculus rift headset but they were also able to immerse themselves into a virtual experience by physically walking through a virtual environment. Michael Douglas from Innersphere VR brought in and demonstrated the Virtusphere at SoCal VR 2015. Michael said,”It’s been around for about 10 years, military and colleges has purchased them but for the public they are no where to be found, they are too big and too expensive. So I travel around showing it at different conventions trying to promote virtual reality and motion.”

Check out this video with Michael Douglas demonstrating and talking some more about the Virtusphere with some help by Rudy Delgado a volunteer from SoCal VR conference.

To learn more about Virtusphere:

FEAT Socks Making Socks Fun | Support on Kickstarter

FEAT Socks Making Socks Fun | Support on Kickstarter

Jun 19, 2015

FEAT Socks is making socks awesome and fun. The company started in 2014 by Founder Parker Burr; Partners Taylor Offer and Elijah Grundel. They were undergraduate business students from the University of Massachusetts and began the company their senior year. While balancing 21 credit classloads, the three of them were able to sell over 15,000 pairs of socks and get into 45 retail stores! They just graduated and the business is still growing. FEAT Socks recently launched a Kickstarter campaign and have already raised over $11,000. QGITS had the opportunity to chat with one of the Partners, Taylor Offer to hear about their inspiring entrepreneurial success story of FEAT Socks and how they got started.

Feat Socks pic Photo by MassLive: Partners and founder of FEAT Socks, Taylor Offer, Parker Burr, founder, and Elijah Grundel with their products.

QGITS: The FEAT Socks brand makes wearing socks cool, how did you guys come up with the idea to sell socks?

Taylor: Actually my business partner Parker came up with it, we met the first day of class my senior year and he said I have this idea to sell socks. He already had a custom lacrosse uniform business called Promo Lacrosse where he would make custom jerseys and everyone kept asking him for custom socks for their jerseys. He realized instead of making 20 pairs of custom pair of socks for a team he could make pretty cool socks that could sell and make more of them. Parker told me that he had this idea and I said “Yea right, I don’t think people are going to pay $12 for a pair of socks.” So we said lets go try it, and we went out on campus where we set up a stand and sold over $1,500 worth of socks in just a couple hours..we sold out.

Check out their Kickstarter video:
Help back FEAT Socks reach their goal of $25K and donate here to support:

Build & Program Robots with Rokit Smart by Robolink | OCMMF 2015

Build & Program Robots with Rokit Smart by Robolink | OCMMF 2015

May 12, 2015

Rokit Smart is a user-friendly robotics kit that teaches building and programming of robots without soldering or prior experience. A few years ago, Robolink developed its first prototype of Rokit Smart to teach students how to build and program robots the easy way. This past weekend, Robolink showcased Rokit Smart at the OC Mini Maker Faire (OCMMF) at Irvine Valley College. The OC Mini Maker Faire is a celebration of the Maker Movement to inspire others to innovate and become Makers themselves. QGITS talked with founder Hansol Hong of Robolink at OCMMF to talk more about their inventive & creative robotics after school program for students and new product launch.

QGITS: Tell us about Robolink.

Hansol Hong: I run robotics education company in San Diego. We have been teaching over a thousand students on how to build and program robots. We are very excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday and release our robotics kit – Rokit Smart. We teach in San Diego but basically our idea is that we can go everywhere and share this innovative kit with everyone. So we released all of our know-hows online for free, as long as they have the kit, they can just use this.


QGITS: How does Rokit Smart work?

Hansol Hong: Students get a kit, with one box you can make twelve different robots with it. We included all of the building and programming instructions online, so the students can just simply follow along just like Khan Academy style, following youtube videos, then building and programming along with that. They will make twelve different exciting robots with Rokit Smart and it’s really fun.


Please help support Rokit Smart set the foundation for future generations of robotics education and make it affordable for everyone. Watch their Kickstarter video campaign and click here to help support this project at Kickstarter.



Teaching for the 21st Century: Meet Dr. Philip Janowicz

Teaching for the 21st Century: Meet Dr. Philip Janowicz

May 2, 2015

Most people cringe and/or gag involuntarily when they hear the words “organic chemistry“.  For those of us who have been through the course, it brings back painful memories that probably manifested in stereochemical nightmares during those college years.   For those who have never taken the course, organic chemistry seems daunting and impossible, like trying to get from San Clemente to Santa Monica during rush hour without hitting any traffic.  These are just two groups of people.  The third belongs to a class (pun intended) entirely of their own and it is those who have taken Dr. Philip Janowicz’s organic chemistry class.  Those people do not have panic in their eyes when the term is brought to mind and it is not just because Dr. Janowicz is a fantastic teacher, but because he is an innovator for the 21st century.



Philip Janowicz has his B.S. in Chemistry, Brain, and Cognitive Science with a minor in Psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  He has his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Organic Chemistry with a focus in Online Education.  He currently teaches at California State University Fullerton, where he also conducts research in online education.



Andrea Kuipers - I am a well versed, interdisciplinary scientist with a background in marketing, media, & journalism. I am currently finishing up degree number five at Cal State University Fullerton & working in a biochemical/biotechnology lab engineering proteins. Linkedin

Tesla Product Launch Unveiling 2015

Tesla Product Launch Unveiling 2015

Apr 30, 2015

Today at 8pm PST watch a livestream of Tesla product launch event from the Design Studio in Hawthorne, CA. Catch the livestream at the Tesla Motors website for a much awaited announcement to be unveiled that is “not a car” stated by Elon Musk himself on Twitter.

Early April, Tesla introduced the Model S 70D, an all-wheel drive electric car with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds and a 250 mile range at 65 mph. Tesla also has the world’s fastest Supercharger stations with multiple chargers at each station. Currently there are 425 Supercharger stations with 2,338 Superchargers. They are free connectors that charge Model S in minutes instead of hours. Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops during long distance travel and Superchargers provide 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes.

We will surley find out today what new product venture is next for Elon Musk.



Deezmaker 3D Printer Hacking Day & New Makerspace Preview

Deezmaker 3D Printer Hacking Day & New Makerspace Preview

Apr 5, 2015

Deezmaker 3d Printer & Hackerspace retail store located in Pasadena, Ca was the first 3-D printer store on the West Coast in 2012 and today attendees were able to preview behind the scenes of new upcoming Makerspace expansion. Deezmaker will now also be a community center with a strong focus on education and resources for all types of fabrication. The new added space will offer over 1000 sqft of self-service equipment, tools, and more. Makerspace members will have access to 3D printers, laser cutting, soldering equipment, vinyl cutters and more to bring their projects to life. At the preview, QGITS talked with Diego Porqueras, Founder of Deezmaker and Creator of Bukobot & Bukito 3D Printers.


QGITS: Deezmaker has monthly events, what’s different about today’s event?

Diego Porqueras: Were having our 1st Sunday’s of the month meetup here at Deezmaker but today we are having something a little special…people are able to preview our new Makerspace, our new extension to our shop. We are growing, getting a little bigger, it’s not totally complete but were almost there. We are going to start membership so people can create projects in the new space and be next door to our production area. Our official grand opening date to the public will be May 3rd.


QGITS: This is pretty cool right here, I heard you made this 3d printer scanner?

Diego Porqueras: It’s based on something we have seen on the internet and Rich one of the makers here at the shop, made a 3d printer scanner that is portable and telescopic. I decided to make one less complicated. It can’t be moved very easily but it 3d scans people with the Xbox Kinect. It’s very simple and fun.

IMG_0493 3d scan

3d scan Metal Photo: Metal 3d scanning James at Deezmaker.

QGITS also talked with Metal, Production Manager at Deezmaker who was also 3d scanning people at the event. Here’s what he had to say about the new extension to the Hackerspace.

“People can come into the new space and make awesome cool stuff and have all the resources. This is the perfect environment for allowing people to try things without having all the prereqs. If you have a task we will help you get there, you dont have to know how to do it, just have the desire to want to learn. – Metal, Production Manager at Deezmaker


2015 OC Mini Maker Faire Announced at Film Screening of “Maker” at OCMA

2015 OC Mini Maker Faire Announced at Film Screening of “Maker” at OCMA

Mar 1, 2015

Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) recently offered a special screening of “Maker,” a feature-length documentary on the Maker Movement and its impact on society, culture and economy in the U.S. From the producers of the internationally acclaimed “Design & Thinking,” “Maker” looks into a new wave of Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together culture fueled by passion and powered by the advent of new technologies. The film explores the ideas, tools, and personalities that are driving the Maker Movement – and returns with a timely snapshot of one of the transforming influences of the current age.

Movie Maker

After the film screening there was a Q&A panel moderated by Leslie Feibleman Director of Special Programs & Community for the Newport Beach Film Festival talking with local makers discussing the importance of community, creativity, making, networking, maker & hacker spaces, entrepreneurship and how anyone can be a part of the maker movement. On the panel was Bequi Howarth, Co-organizer and Core Team Member of OC Mini Maker Faire (OCMMF), Founder/CEO Steve Trindade of Urban Workshop, Ravin Kumar, Manager of 23b Shop, Kameron Campbell & Michele Lujan founders of Open House Creative, and Lindsey Zindroski, General Manager of OC Makerspace. Next upcoming event by OCMA mentioned on panel is March 22nd “Meet the Makers” a self guided tour of local maker studios of unique behind the scenes interactions.

ocmmf 2

Also a special announcement made by Bequi of the OC Mini Maker Faire at the “Maker” film screening event. “The OC Mini Maker Faire is excited to say we are official now. Our call for makers is open for tinkerers, inventors, hackers and do-it-yourselfers for the 3rd annual 2015 OC Mini Maker Faire event, May 9th located this year at Irvine Valley College. The OCMMF is an opportunity to make, create, a place to be hands on interactive, learn, invent, craft, build, think, play and be inspired.” – Bequi Howarth, Co-organizer/Core Team Member of OCMMF

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Photo by Leslie Feibleman of NBFF: Some core team members of OC Mini Maker Faire at OCMA screening of “Makers.” (From Right) Bequi and James Howarth, Anil Pattni, Arman Bastani, Chris Reyes, Amanda Garcia and Candice Nunez.

About the Maker Faire & Mini Maker Faires: Mini Maker Faires are independently produced celebrations of local maker culture. The first Maker Faire started in 2006 in San Mateo, California, organized by the editors of MAKE magazine. Maker Faire creates opportunities for conversations with Makers. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and entrepreneurs all come together to show their projects and to talk about what they have learned. It is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker, and connect with people and projects in their local community.

Apply and showcase your work at OC Mini Maker Faire:

To read more about the movie “Maker” and how you can watch or purchase the movie go to

For more information about Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) and upcoming events visit:

Randa Milliron: Launching Inspiration and Innovation Through Rocket Science

Randa Milliron: Launching Inspiration and Innovation Through Rocket Science

Jan 23, 2015

It’s not every day you stumble across a rocket lady, especially one that has a background in television, academia, and electronic music.

Randa Milliron, Chief Executive Officer of Interorbital Systems, is exactly that and so much more.  Lucky for us at QGITS and some very special STEM students at Cypress College here in Southern California, we got to hear this woman’s inspirational story as well as get some inside information about her innovative company, Interorbital, which engineers rockets and currently is part of an ambitious team working towards Google Lunar’s X Prize , of which Milliron was a founding member.

To read Randa Milliron’s full bio, click here.

Here is the video of Randa Milliron inspiring STEM students at Cypress College, shot by our very own QGITS founder, Ms. Candice Nunez:

“Re:Imagine Garden Grove” 1st Ever Downtown Open Streets 3-Mile Community Event

“Re:Imagine Garden Grove” 1st Ever Downtown Open Streets 3-Mile Community Event

Jan 5, 2015

First time ever “Re:Imagine Garden Grove” downtown open streets event sponsored by the City of Garden Grove in Orange County celebrating community, innovation, diverse cultures, and a healthy lifestyle. The event was a temporary open streets of three mile car-free environment for people to walk, bike, run, skate, play and enjoy in a public space. There was also live entertainment, tasty food and drinks along with fun interactive programs for the whole family that took place in the heart of Downtown Garden Grove like never before. The City partnered with Los Angeles-based Community Arts Resources, Inc. (CARS) to produce the inaugural event. CARS produces L.A.’s CicLAvia open streets event and other acclaimed cultural programs with parallel missions to Re:Imagine Garden Grove.

“The City of Garden Grove started a reimagine downtown website a year before this event. We asked the community to participate in the website and share their ideas on how they would like to see downtown evolve over the short term and next 10 years. The idea came out of our website to reimagine the future of Garden Grove if we could continue on with these improvements so the community could have that feeling in downtown on regular basis..that is the ultimate goal.” – Susan Emery, Community Development Director of City of Garden Grove

QGITS attended Re:Imagine Garden Grove with various partners such as the OC Mini Maker Faire, Deezmaker Hackerspace & 3D printing shop, Mathobotix Robotics and STEAM Powered Education at the Garden Grove Regional Library Innovation area. Check out video to hear from them and see what cool and fun activity they demonstrated at the event to share with the local community in Garden Grove, Ca.

Re:Imagine Garden Grove

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DIY Girls Social Celebrating Access to Innovation at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, Ca

DIY Girls Social Celebrating Access to Innovation at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, Ca

Dec 10, 2014

DIY Girls organization started by Founder Luz Rivas, empowers girls and women into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) fields by developing educational programs and events designed to encourage exploration with technology, promote self-confidence and support aspiration into technical careers. Since 2012, DIY Girls has inspired nearly 400 girls in learning new technical skills and creating innovative projects. The organization held a spectacular social offering event “celebrating access to innovation” for underserved girls in Los Angeles at venue & coworking space - Cross Campus in Santa Monica. Throughout the evening supporters and attendees were able to try out cool and cutting edge tech demos by companies Oculus Rift, virtual reality headset and, drone quadcopters, whiskey and tequila tastings and a silent auction.

“We are here tonight to support DIY Girls to help raise funds to support the efforts of Founder Luz Rivas and the number of other staff members that are serving young latino girls in the San Fernando area and making sure they are receiving exceptional after school STEM programming” – Liliana Monge, DIY Girls Board of Directors

In photo (left): Luz Rivas, Founder of DIY Girls; Claudia Espinosa, DIY Girls Board Member/Secretary; Liliana Monge, DIY Girls Board of Directors; Megan Westerby, DIY Girls Board Chair.

“We are really happy to be here to showcase and introduce drones to girls because it’s been a guy thing predominantly since the beginning of our industry, now we are starting to see a lot more girls get into it and it’s really awesome to see more female operators and interest ” – Adam Gibson,


“One thing that we have seen value in as a society is sending kids on field trips to do things, for most people reading in a text book is not the most efficient way to learn something, the problem is that right now, the people who can do these things are really geographically and socioeconomically limited. Virtual Reality is a technology that potentially enables students to experience education in other places and to get them on an even playing field so it’s not just for the elite few to learn about the arts and science.” – Oculus Rift Founder Palmer Luckey,

IMG_2073 Photo taken by Matt Terndrup at DIY Girls social event.

“DIY (“Do-It-Yourself”) Girls’ mission is to increase girls’ interest and success in technology, engineering and making through innovative educational experiences and mentor relationships. Our Goal is to help young girls create, build and experience technology from 5th grade – high school graduation.”-DIY Girls Organization

Donate & Support


diy girls

Innovation Lounge: Demoing Virtual Reality at Garden Grove Library

Innovation Lounge: Demoing Virtual Reality at Garden Grove Library

Dec 2, 2014

Recently we organized a virtual reality demonstration at an Orange County Library which resulted in some spectacular reactions. Previously, Qgits has hosted web development, 3D printing workshops at this library as well as giving students a hands on look at remote controlled drones. Now, it was finally time to show them what VR could do as we continued our recurring Innovation Lounge series.

See also: Flying Quadcopters with High School Students at Garden Grove Library

We choose Garden Grove library because we wanted to start introducing the exciting concepts of virtual reality to people who were already immersed within a world of education. This particular location was directly across the street from an Orange County high school meaning that kids were studying there on a daily basis.

Since virtual reality naturally allows for people to depict stories, the idea that VR would be regularly used in libraries in the future was something that we wanted to spark. These people were surrounded by books already, it only made sense to introduce them to something that would give them the ability to jump into a world and explore a story like no other.

STEAM Carnival Recap: Inspiring Young Inventors of the Future

STEAM Carnival Recap: Inspiring Young Inventors of the Future

Nov 15, 2014

The entertainment engineering company known as Two Bit Circus threw a ‘Carnival of the Future’ mid October 2014 and sparked a fire of innovation that surged into an exciting environment of gizmos, gadgets, education, and STEAM. It was flooded with immersive amusement experiences that dazzled the crowds of thousands of people that attended. The beginning of the festivities started on Wednesday when a creative black tie Gala was held at a pristine building known as Crafted at the Port of LA. Food was served as business owners and government officials got a chance to try out the games before the event opened up on Saturday. See also: STEAM Gala Preview for Upcoming STEAM Carnival for Kids

On Thursday, software developers from all over showed up for a morning hackathon. The goal was to make something useful utilizing the IBM Bluemix platform. Although coding was accomplished, the focus tended to stray primarily over to  where the Two Bit Circus team was building. The STEAM Carnival carnies were setting up the remaining experiences as programming in the other room went on.

At the end of the day, more community members from from the surrounding areas streamed in as the open bar started serving drinks. Hardware hackers made a strong presence as a few were spotted in the crowd. An online open source hardware blog called Hackaday had a few of their employees drop in later that night to help document what was being marketed as a Hacker Preview Day. Their Community Manager Jasmine Brackett led the way as writer and programmer Ben Delarre tested out the games first hand. His report along with spectacular photos taken by Eren Kanal surfaced a couple days later on the Hackaday blog which showed a handful of the games that Two Bit Circus had made.


One of the guys that runs the industrial hackerspace 23b in Fullerton showed up a little bit before that to check out what was happening. Anil Pattni, who helps setup events for a local open source meetup known as OC Hackerz, was at the Hacker Day Preview too.

It was nice to engage with people interested in hardware mechanics and engineering that night. All the games there were handmade by the Two Bit Circus team in their warehouse workshop. Out of all the people there, the hardware hackers knew exactly what they were looking. They could dissect the games without having to literally open it apart because they work with similar electronics on a regular basis. Granted, all these experiences at the STEAM Carnival were completely unique, but boiled down they all shared a foundation with open source electronics that of course hackers love to use.

The following day was the Student Preview Day where kids had the opportunity to play with the games. They also made their own with Makey Makey kits during the day.

CEO Steven Trindade of Urban Workshop at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

CEO Steven Trindade of Urban Workshop at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Nov 2, 2014

Mechanical Engineer & CEO Steven Trindade of Urban Workshop recently exhibited at the 1st-ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire produced this year by Vocademy in celebration of creativity, innovation and the local maker culture. Urban Workshop is a community DIY workshop and Makerspace located in Irvine, Ca and their members have access to just about every machine, tool and process that you can think of including milling machines, Epilog laser cutters, welding equipment, sheet metal equipment, CNC machining, sood shop equipment, 3D printer, engineering and design software, and much more. Check out video interview with CEO Steven Trindade of Urban Workshop by Matt Terndrup Tech & Art Journalist at the IEMMF in Riverside, Ca.

urban workshop

23b and MAG Lab members at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

23b and MAG Lab members at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 22, 2014

While at IEMMF, we stumbled across a couple of hackers in the midst of the evolving maker movement. They were sitting at the 23b tent, which is a heavy industrial hackerspace that focuses on the mechanical arts. This means there’s a lot welding, machining, fabricating, and making of circuit boards that is done at their warehouse. Not only that, but they like to open the space occasionally for nights of lock picking as well.One of the guys that runs the space is named Chris and is an active influencer in the local hacker community. He spotted us in the crowd and promptly told us the exciting tales of his recent DefCon conference trip that occurred in Las Vegas a few months before. Eventually, we got to talking with him and another hackerspace owner named Trent about the maker movement and how it is taking off like a wild fire.

Watch the video with Chris and Trent to learn more:

As we chatted, it became clear that public awareness is being stirred up with the help of events like the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire. These large meetups, along with the open access of tools at places like makerspaces and hackerspaces, are showing people that they can practically create whatever they want.

Like Chris says in the video, people are starting to see items including 3D printers and laser cutters in their everyday life. Practically every newspaper and online media now a days is continuously publishing stories about these type of high-tech machines and what they can be used for. The word is getting out, and environments like makerspaces and hackerspaces are appearing on people’s radars. This has produced the need for places like 23b and Mag Lab. The demand for these types of coworking workshops is reaching a high enough level where diversity between spaces is starting to form. Each spot now has their own unique community, its own special feel, and its own variety of tools. Still, the most encouraging aspect here is that people are finally getting to know more about the maker movement through events like this.

SoCal MakerCon at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

SoCal MakerCon at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 17, 2014

SoCal MakerCon was recently at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Just like Vocademy and the IE Mini Maker Faire – they all share a common belief in celebrating inventiveness, innovation, creativity, resourcefulness and the celebration of the emerging Maker Movement. SoCal MakerCon is an up and coming event on November 8th at the Los Angeles Fairplex,that is inspired by the Maker movement. The Maker Movement is the future of how innovation and invention will occur and empowering people all over the world to collaborate and take initiative on their own ideas. See full list of speakers, exhibitors and demos at SoCal MakerCon. Also watch video interview with Matt Terndrup technology and art journalist talking with Aaron Berg, Event Manager of SoCal MakerCon from recently held Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire in Riverside, Ca.

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Gene Sherman Founder of Vocademy & Organizer of 1st-Ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Gene Sherman Founder of Vocademy & Organizer of 1st-Ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 13, 2014

Gene Sherman the Founder & Organizer of Vocademy Makerspace recently held the 1st-Ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at his facility Oct. 4th in Riverside, Ca. The IE Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and a celebration of local maker culture. What a perfect place for the event to be held at Vocademy as they are the place where people come together to learn new hands on skills, a place to take an idea to create new innovative things and a place that wants to help create a “community of makers.” At the IE Maker Faire there were atleast a 100 different makers & exhibitors displaying projects from LED light displays, 3d printing & printers, electric vehicles, lots of robots, a cool Batmobile, even an electric giraffe that has visited the white house. View the full list of makers that attended this year’s 1st Mini Maker Faire in the Inland Empire. Also check out this video with Anil Pattni from OCHackerz who spoke with Gene Sherman at the maker faire located at Vocademy Makerspace.



Screening of Space Shuttle Endeavour “Three Nights, Three Days” at 10th Annual Film Festival Hollyshorts

Screening of Space Shuttle Endeavour “Three Nights, Three Days” at 10th Annual Film Festival Hollyshorts

Sep 4, 2014

The HollyShorts Film Festival (HSFF) is an annual film festival showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe of 30 minutes or less. The biggest names, celebrities and Oscar winners have participated in the festival in the past 10 years also a destination to help filmmakers to connect with industry pros and advance their careers in movie making. This year’s 2014 10th Annual Film Festival Hollyshorts presented the screening of “Three Nights, Three Days: Endeavour’s Journey Through Los Angeles.” The ‘mini-film’ is an incredible documentary chronicling Endeavour’s final journey, a three-day voyage to the California Science Center with a cheering crowd of over 1.5 million who lined the route. At the film festival QGITS had the opportunity to video interview some of the cast and film crew after watching “Three Nights, Three Days” on the big screen.


On the red carpet, I caught up with Astronaut Garrett Reisman who flew on Endeavour mission STS-123 to the International Space Station (ISS); Director Paul Bozymowski; Executive Producer David Knight; Producer Melissa Ayn Eccles and Cinematographer, Mark August. Check out video interview at the Hollyshorts event:

For more information please visti:

Film “Three Nights, Three Days

Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Track through L.A.

California Science Center




HS 4

Mandalay Bay Hosts 2015 CES Press Day, CEA Market Research Presentations & CES Unveiled Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay Hosts 2015 CES Press Day, CEA Market Research Presentations & CES Unveiled Las Vegas

Sep 3, 2014

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today announced its official Press Day schedule for the 2015 International CES. Open exclusively to registered CES media, Press Day will showcase 2015 CES exhibitor press conferences with major product and company news from 8 AM-5 PM on Monday, January 5, at Mandalay Bay. Owned and produced by CEA, the International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. The 2015 CES is scheduled to run January 6-9, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.


“Every year, we are energized by the innovative product unveilings at Press Day that reveal the trends we’ll see on the CES show floor and the technologies that will fuel our industry and excite consumers in the year ahead,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “We’ve got a terrific group of companies that are part of the dynamic 2015 Press Day lineup, including first-timer ZTE, all of whom will announce the next generation of breakthrough innovations in consumer technology.”

The 2015 CES will feature more than 3,500 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies. For more information on the 2015 CES, visit

Rick Tumlinson Chairman of Deep Space Industries | National Space Society ISDC 2014

Rick Tumlinson Chairman of Deep Space Industries | National Space Society ISDC 2014

Aug 3, 2014

One of the world’s top visionaries and influential people in the space field Rick Tumlinson Chairmain of the Board at Deep Space Industries. Deep Space is a renaissance company that combines veterans in space commerce, policy, asteroid missions, and risk management with young leading edge leaders from the “maker” and nanosat communities. Rick has also led the team that took over the Mir Space Station as the world’s first commercial space facility, signed up financier Dennis Tito to become the first citizen explorer to stay on the International Space Station and was a Founding Trustee of the X Prize. He co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation and founded the Texas Space Alliance, the EarthLight Institute and Orbital Outfitters – provider of commercial space suits to the new industry of suborbital space travel. He has testified on space policy issues twice for the US Senate, four times in the US House of Representatives and assisted NASA in the creation of its plan to return to the Moon and the formation of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group.


QGITS had the chance to talk to Rick Tumlinson after his presentation at the ISDC International Space Development conference 2014, here’s what he had to say:

For more information visit:

Deep Space Industries

Space Frontier Foundation

International Space Development Conference

Interview with Entrepreneur Techie & CEO Neel Murthy of Swapbox

Interview with Entrepreneur Techie & CEO Neel Murthy of Swapbox

Jul 30, 2014

Originally from Huntington Beach, Ca Neel Murthy studied in the technical field at Stanford University where he started his first entrepreneurial venture videocrank with a few other Stanford students as a front-end and back-end developer. From there he leveraged his experience to become a lead developer of mylinkpower a startup from one of Stanford’s top entrepreneurial programs on campus called StartX and in his latest venture he is Co-founder & CEO of Swapbox a San Francisco-based startup that’s received $800,000 in seed funding from the Y Combinator accelerator program. Swapbox has now become a trending Bay Area startup that’s led by a team of engineers from Stanford, Google, Microsoft, and Zynga. I had the opportunity to have a phone chat with Neel Murthy and talk to him about his entrepreneurial experience and Swapbox easy convenient way to send/receive packages.

QGITS: What exactly is Swapbox?

Neel: Swapbox is a fully automated post office that is located inside places you already go – grocery stores, convenience stores, laundromats, etc…it’s like an atm for packages. It allows you to send and receive packages in a fraction of the time it took before and at your own convenience. To receive a package simply sign up at and choose your closest swapbox (you can change it later) and we’ll give you a new address to ship packages too and notify you via text/email when it arrives. To send packages, just take your item to your closest Swapbox, answer a few onscreen questions and drop off your item (packaged or not – we’ll professionally pack it up for you if it’s not packages) – That’s it!

swapbox 3Photo credit by: Swapbox

QGITS: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and start working on your own ventures?

Neel: I think I was just fortunate enough to go to a place like Stanford where I was exposed to a lot of good people that inspired me to do something that has meaning and purpose. Before going to Stanford, I was on this path to become a doctor and that’s what I thought I would do my entire life. Since going to Stanford I connected with some cool people, worked on a couple of projects there and tried a couple of my own ventures also while in school. Eventually, I came across the genesis of Swapbox and worked on it for quite some time in school but then it just took a hold; it became something that I thought about all the time. I ended up dropping out of school in the MSCS/MBA program to pursue Swapbox full time. That was a hard decision and I am pretty thankful that I was able to do that.

QGITS: How did you and your team come up with the idea of swapbox?

Neel: Swapbox was not actually the first iteration it sort of evolved into it’s concept. The initial inspiration for both me and my co-founder Nitin Shantharam who I have known for 15 years, was that we would talk about how we thought transactions were broken. There are two things: 1) the global transaction, you buy from an ecommerce site and receive your package; 2) the postal system that was designed for a different age and purpose. Family dynamics are different today. I still have a stack of missed delivery notices that we keep as reminders and inspiration of why we started Swapbox.


QGITS: Where we can find Swapbox locations?

Neel: So right now we have 21 kiosks in San Francisco area, we just got started a little bit over a year ago and we are working pretty hard to expand. We are targeting LA then New York next. We still have a small team and we want to make sure we get this right, to stay customer focused and make sure we don’t expand to quickly. We have locations in 7-eleven stores and also have plans to be in big grocery store chains. The biggest thing is we are so technology focused and we have algorithms for figuring out where the packages went, being able to dynamically route and store packages. It’s all suppose to be very hassle free and the biggest thing we like to do is make sure the interface is really easy to handle for our customer’s user experience.

Check out video by Swapbox:

CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

Jul 1, 2014

California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) hosted its first inaugural Champions of Manufacturing Summit with more than 150 people in attendance and 300 watching the live broadcast online hosted by comedian and manufacturing enthusiast Adam Carolla helped recognize seven Champion companies for their commitment to California, their workers and innovation. The honorees covered a spectrum of specific industries and different regions: Vista Metals from Fontana; Keystone Engineering from Long Beach; Sierra Nevada Brewing from Chico; California Steel Industries from Fontana; California Custom Fruits & Flavors from Irwindale; FATHOM from Oakland; Parallax from Rocklin. View more about the Champions.

Photo by CMTA: Adam Corrolla with Intel and Fathom -3D Printing & Advanced Prototyping for Product Development.

QGITS last met with Board of Director Chairman and Executive Committee member of CMTA & President of Bishop-Wisecarver Group Pamela Kan at the Automation Technology Expo and recently caught up with her again to chat about the Champions of Manufacturing Summit in Sacramento June 18th, here’s what she had to say:

QGITS: How important is it for Bishop-Wisecarver to participate in events such as the Champions of Manufacturing Summit?

Pamela Kan: Anytime we can get a positive message around manufacturing out, it’s a win for anybody involved, it’s a win for employees, it’s a win for the manufacturers and a win for our state economy. I am starting to get a sense that the tide is starting to turn back in support of manufacturing and I find that really exciting. I think it’s important not just for a business but for a state in general to really understand the importance of manufacturing and technology in a state economy as well as our country’s economy.

PK Blog

QGITS: During the summit, Adam Corolla talked about more hands on learning education in our schools, what did you think about what Adam had to say?

Pamela Kan:  Everything Adam was talking about was really music to my ears. I think it’s been a real disservice to our kids that we have taken out those opportunities in High School. For kids that really are more kinesthetic learners who really love to create and make things, it’s a real injustice. Most schools now don’t have the opportunity of having industrial arts, wood shop or auto shop the type of things that give kids that applied learning…the hands on learning experience. I also think it’s not realistic that every kid is suited to go to a four year college and I think Adam was really spot-on in that comment. The reality is not every kid is suited to go to college and not every kid wants to go college. Our economy needs kids and needs people that want to be making things. As our aging employee population start to retire out, we have a real skill set brain drain happening in our companies and I am bit fearful for our state, to be honest. The supply chain around skilled labor is really lacking in our state and we need to figure out how to get these kids opportunities to start learning technical skill sets and keep them engaged and give them opportunities in the class environment to have them want to go to school and at least graduate high school. That it’s ok if they want to make things. The trades are important and they are vital, on average they earn around $20K more for jobs in manufacturing. It’s a very liveable salary and viable career for kids and they do not get that message in our school system right now. The message shouldn’t just be about that in order to succeed in life that you have to go to a four year college because that’s not the case and maybe they go back later when they really have a clear path but they do not have to be pushed into going to college right after high school.

QGITS also had the chance to talk with CMTA Vice President, Communications Gino DiCaro.

CMTA Adam Corolla Photo by CMTA: (Left) Gino DiCaro, Mike August and Adam Carolla.

QGITS:  What’s different about this year’s CMTA Champions of Manufacturing summit compared to other events you have put together?

Gino DiCaro: We thought it was time to start highlighting the wide range of the very innovative manufacturers that California does have, as well as highlighting the incredibly talented workers these companies employ. There is more than 1.2 million manufacturing workers in California and we would like the companies that employ these workers to certainly continue to operate here and find ways to grow even more in the golden state. We met with countries manufacturing investment members over the last couple years and in 2013 California received only 1.5% out of the countries manufacturing investments, so its clear that while we are a great manufacturing state, we do have a job to do to make sure that were making California a competitive place to operate and attract that growth. We have been doing a lot of complaining for a long time and we really needed to show the legislative community, the regulatory community and the media that there’s a reason why we got to fight for California manufacturing because these companies are great, there workers are incredible, they are the most innovative in the country, they are the most efficient in the country in terms of energy consumption, and we got a find a way to help make these great companies stay here and grow here.

QGITS: I asked Pamela same question, what did you think about what Adam had to say about education in our country?

Gino DiCaro: I really appreciated his comments on that stuff as well, Adam Corolla really kind of found a way to his own success through working with his hands. The biggest problem in California is the state, public high schools have all but given up on vocational and career technical education in our high school curriculum and we got a find a way to prioritize those classes and extend those classes. We find out to often that within the manufacturing communities that these companies just can’t find skilled workers. The lack of skilled workers is a grand problem for the manufacturing community so we got to find a way to instill those courses back into the schools but also maybe work on the perceptions of these types of classes and jobs. These are very rewarding skills and jobs…on average they pay $77,000 a yr in California. We really hope that this event Champions of Manufacturing will help underscore the need for that focus of skilled workers in California.


CMTA invites you to join the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting manufacturers ability to operate competitively in California.

Interview with Vocademy’s Founder Gene Sherman at the 1st-ever White House Maker Faire DC 2014

Interview with Vocademy’s Founder Gene Sherman at the 1st-ever White House Maker Faire DC  2014

Jun 24, 2014

Congratulations to our friend and one of QGITS favorite local Entrepreneur, Maker and Inventor -Vocademy - The Makerspace founder/CEO Gene Sherman received an official invitation as an honored maker to attend the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18th. In 2011, he did a TEDx Talk titled “The Importance of Making Things” and it felt very surreal to him that he was at the White House listening to President Obama saying the exact same thing. He represented Vocademy and their mission to promote “education-focused” makerspaces. He was one of the 80 Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs selected to attend the first White House Maker Faire.

QGITS spoke with Gene via phone to ask him about his incredible experience at the White House Maker Faire and what it meant to him to be at the forefront in celebrating a nation of makers that day.

Maker Faire DC
Photo by: Vocademy

QGITS: What is it like to be there in DC for the 1st-ever Maker Faire Summit and to hear the President speak in person?

Gene Sherman: The amazing thing is that they are doing this. The White House is finally acknowledging how important making things are for this country. To hear the President use the same words I have been using for years is really very reassuring. It was very cool to see him in person,  I was about 20 ft away in a room full of maybe 120 people and he spoke at the State Floor in the East Room of the White House. He has a great sense of humor, he said some really nice things, he made a lot of sense, he wasn’t very political and what he said was very common sense.
Click here to watch or hear President Obama speak at the White House Maker Faire.

QGITS: As a Maker, Innovator & Entrepreneur what were some of your favorite highlights from the Maker Faire event?

Gene Sherman: Everyone at this event, really felt that this whole maker movement is about to go big. For years I have been trying to teach people about the term “Makerspace” and what it means and now the President actually used it in his speech and then in his proclamation. He also just announced June 18th is the official Day of Making and to be just a part of that – was just incredible. Most of the people attending were the leaders of the Maker Movement and to be around that and smiling at each other that this is about to go very special. The goal is getting more adults and kids involved into hands on making things.

Gene Sherman & Bill Nye Photo by Vocademy. Cool snapshot of Gene Sherman and Bill Nye the Science Guy at the White House Maker Faire.

QGITS: Anything else you would like to mention that you took away from the Maker Faire?

Gene Sherman: We all realize how important this is too our country, we all realize that is goes beyond just entertaining ourselves by tinkering. That as a country we need to have more Makers and Innovators. Almost everyone agreed that we need to get our kids using their hands whether they are going to college or not..if they want to be a doctor, a mechanic or anyone else we need to start letting them play. We also thought that schools are becoming very boring and rigorous and we agreed that playtime also becomes your passion eventually in life. Until middle and high schools bring back hands-on shop classes, we would like to fulfill that role and offer our facility to everyone.

Vocademy  summer pack 2014

Vocademy logo

Entrepreneur Video Game Mogul & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Entrepreneur Video Game Mogul & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Jun 18, 2014

Entrepreneur, Adventurer, Online Video Game Mogul – Richard Garriott followed in the footsteps of his father, NASA Astronaut Owen Garriott paying $35 million dollars for the opportunity to go into space. On October 12, 2008 he launched from a Russion Soyuz TMA-13 rocket to the International Space Station for 10 days as the 1st second generation American Astronaut and the sixth private astronaut client of Space Adventures. Growing up in the space community, his passion and dream has always been to go to space, as he devoted from an early age his own personal investing towards the privatization of space travel. Richard is also an Investor and Vice-Chairman of Space Adventures, the world’s premier private space exploration company and he hopes to see the cost of getting private citizens into space come down dramatically.

QGITS had the chance to catch up with Richard at the National Space Society ISDC conference after the opening reception and his presentation talk “Opening the Floodgates to Entrepreneurial Space Exploration.” Here’s what he had to say:

To learn more visit:

Richard Garriott

Richard in Space

Space Adventures

Apogee of Fear Film made in Space

International Space Development Conference (ISDC)

Joe Caravella Jr. at the 2nd Annual Fly Your Ride Competition | SD Air & Space Museum

Joe Caravella Jr. at the 2nd Annual Fly Your Ride Competition | SD Air & Space Museum

Apr 22, 2014

The San Diego Air & Space Museum held the Fly Your Ride!” finals competition for students in middle school and high school teams from all over San Diego County. Teams design and build “flying cars” to compete and test launch them over a ramp that is 6 ft 1/2 inch tall by 2 ft and 9 inches wide and 6 ft long to see which team can clear the largest gap.

Joe Caravella Jr., founder of Caravella Aerospace is currently working on a ‘flying car’ roadable aircraft called the Caravellair. He was one of the judges for this year’s 2nd annual competition and last year’s inaugural “Fly Your Ride” competition. Joe has been involved with the rocket industry and project engineering. He is providing leadership experience by taking teams and hardware from concept-to-demonstration. His passion for aviation inspired him to found Caravella Aerospace with the distinct goal of developing an affordable roadable aircraft. QGITS met up with Joe at the Fly Your Ride competition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum and a had chance to chat with him after the event.


QGITS: How did the Caravella Aerospace become a supporter of the fly your ride competition?

Joe Caravella Jr: We reached out to the San Diego Air & Space Museum when he heard about the inaugural “Fly Your Ride” competition last year. We decided that we would love to support them and they were generous enough to offer an opportunity for us to publicize what we were doing. So last year I was a judge and we actually drove the prototype Caravellair down and displayed it during the competition. It was a very synergistic approach when we were working with the kids and keeping them engaged in math and science. That carried forward to this year when they asked me again to be a judge with a little bit of extra activity involvement. The teams were welcomed to reach out through the museum to the panel of judges of which I was one of four this year and we were able to provide some insight and advice during the building and testing phases of their vehicles.

In photo: Joe Caravella along with three other judges awarded teams with prizes for not only the vehicle that can reach the furthest gap but also most creative design and idea.

QGITS: Will the Caravellair be on display next year?

Joe Caravella Jr: We are looking forward to next year’s “Fly Your Ride” competition and hope to bring the prototype Caravellair down here and put it on display again. This year we were unable to do that because we are working on connecting the propeller to the motorcycle engine. The vehicle is in a state of dis-assembly so we can reassemble it to it’s next stage of development.

In photo: The competition begins with teams having their vehicles go down the ramp to jump the widest distance. Click Here for more details about the competition.

QGITS: What’s new with the CaraVellair flying car roadable aircraft?

Joe Caravella Jr: There are two parts: the first part is that last year we spent doing a little bit of a PR campaign driving the roadable aircraft prototype around to show the public what a folded up airplane will look like when it drives next to them on the highway and street..following that we started working heavily on the engineering and design of the mechanisms and the parts that will connect the motorcycle engine to the propeller. We are now in the process of manufacturing and installing those parts. We hope to get that concluded by the end of summer 2014 and we are looking forward to accelerating the development of the Caravellair and testing the propeller drive system. That will be our first time we spin the propeller using the motorcycle engine.

In photo: Ben Dinklage 2nd place winner for distance with judges Joe Caravella Jr., founder of Caravella Aerospace; Brooks Pauly, Chemical and Civil Engineer; Taylor Olson, Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum; Chuck Niskey, Manager of the San Diego Wind Tunnel. View more photos here of the event.

Thank you Joe for catching up with QGITS at the “Fly Your Ride” competition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum and we look forward to see what’s next for Caravellair.

Caravella Aerospace


For more information about the Caravellair flying car roadable aircraft please visit:

OCHackerz Hardware/Software Hackathon using Arduino arLCD

OCHackerz Hardware/Software Hackathon using Arduino arLCD

Apr 8, 2014

OCHackerz held a hardware/software hackathon weekend event of fun and learning with the goal of creating a startup product at the Eureka Building in Irvine, Ca. Anil Pattni founder of OCHackerz spoke with QGITS to talk about who can participate and get involved in a hackathon and what the event all entails. He explains,”Orange County has many medical device companies and hardware companies and that I wanted OCHackerz to be the first (and ONLY) hackathon that promoted a product that was innovative, cutting edge and groundbreaking in addition it was born in Orange County. OC Hackerz is a community for technical and non technical as we need an assortment of expertise in order to complete a product that can be brought to market for successful execution. Everyone gains something different depending on their level of participation. They may learn a new skill, develop a new relationship or completely start a new company product or service over a weekend.” Check out video of day one of team building, creating new ideas and preparing for presentations at the OCHackerz hackathon event:

Randy Schafer founder of Earthmake one of the sponsors of the hackathon supplied everyone with  Arduino arLCD touchscreen LCD for the team projects.

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Team One presenting their wearable tech idea in front of the four panel judges: Peter Polydor is an entrepreneur, investor, tech enthusiast and a founder of ERGO Capital Partners; Michael Sawitz is a serial entrepreneur and founder of; Dave Gullo is the founder and Chief Geek at Command Line Interactive; and Naomi Grange Founder and CEO of GIVEvolution.
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Factory Enova in the house help sponsoring the event. Factory eNova is a membership based laser engraving studio located in Fountain Valley, Ca.
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Photo Credit by: Dannie Phan from Factory Enova and Bergwind.

Jacob Christ founder of Pontech also supported the hackathon. Pontech specializes in embedded software, electronics, and controllers.
Photo Credit by: Dannie Phan from Factory Enova and Bergwind

1st prize winning team called Grindz giving some high fives. Grindz won for creating most innovative idea using the Arduino arLCD touchscreen LCD to automate your coffee controls. They took away with awesome prizes from @SpaceX, @Xpa|_Power, @FactoryEnova, and more!

Stay tuned for the next Hackathon and if interested in supporting and preparing for the next one, please contact Sign up for the next #Hackathon at


Let’s Help Keep the OC Mini Maker Faire Going for 2014

Let’s Help Keep the OC Mini Maker Faire Going for 2014

Mar 17, 2014

The OC Mini Maker Faire has announced to the local Maker community for their support to make this year’s show happen and without the help of the community we may have to say goodbye to 2014. The OC Mini Maker Faire is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, commercial exhibitors and for anyone who wants to know what the Maker Faire is all about. The local community and makers come to the Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. Please help keep this year’s 2014 OC Mini Maker Faire going so they can continue to provide a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement across the spectrum of Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math.

OC Mini Maker Faire
Photo Credit: OC Mini Maker Faire

There are critical leadership roles that must be filled as well as volunteer roles in various areas that may suit your skills, talents and interests. Unless the OC Mini Maker Faire can fill the leadership roles, a future Faire is unlikely.

soldiering 2
Kids and Families learn to soldier at the Maker Faire. Photo Credit: Laboratory B Hackerspace

Please join the OC Mini Maker organizational meeting on March 27th, 7PM currently a meeting has been scheduled to be at Del Taco Office 25521 Commercentre Dr. Lake Forest in the downstairs training room. To find out more information please visit:

Maker Faireocmmf logo

Hands-on opportunity for Students to Explore Careers in STEM & STEAM

Hands-on opportunity for Students to Explore Careers in STEM & STEAM

Mar 9, 2014

Vital Link of Orange County announced that they will host the 2014 STEM and the Arts Career Showcase, in partnership with OC Fair Imaginology, at the OC Fair & Event Center on April 11th, 12th, and 13th. The showcase will be a collaboration of sponsors and exhibitors from the corporate, education, and non-profit worlds coming together to create an engaging, interactive career exploration experience for students emphasizing careers in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and the arts. Vital Link provides hands-on, career exploration experiences for high school, middle school and college students, helping them carve out their own unique career path. Not sure what you want to study in school or what you want to do for a living, attend a Vital Link program and sort through your interests, get excited, and literally try on a career for a day.

This is a free event for students and families featuring hands-on exhibits, experiential workshops, speakers, and industry and education displays focused on inspiring middle school, high school, and community college students to explore, discover, and connect to their future careers. For additional information visit: &

Vital Link’s President and CEO, Kathy Johnson, reminds us that, “Youth today need to see the relevance of the information they are getting in school. Making the connection between what they are learning and how they can apply it to their life and future career is essential. Interactive exhibits, meeting the experts, college demonstrations, and opportunities to build their skills are only a part of what attendees will experience during the three-day showcase.”

The showcase will include: Vital Link’s hands-on career exploration exhibits (for design, engineering, environmental sciences, health sciences, and transportation), industry speakers, industry demonstrations and interactive exhibits, student science and engineering displays, an interactive robotics competition featuring student-built robots, alternative fuel vehicles designed by Orange County high school and college student teams for the 2014 Energy Invitational, digital media arts competition displays, a student-designed fashion show hosted by Fashionomics Live!, a movement workshop led by Tim Stevenson (choreographer for A-list musicians), community college exhibits, STEM-related nonprofit organization exhibits with information about internships and paid positions, a job recruitment area, live entertainment featuring successful young performers, and much more.
vital link oc

Save the date  April 11-13 and we would like to invite you to come & explore future career opportunities at the 2014 STEM & the Arts Career Showcase.

What do you want to study in college or a career path you would like to take?

CiBots Inc. CEO Babak Azad presents “Virtual Healthcare Avatars in the Palm of Your Hand” | MD&M West 2014

CiBots Inc. CEO Babak Azad presents “Virtual Healthcare Avatars in the Palm of Your Hand” | MD&M West 2014

Feb 27, 2014

QGITS had the chance to meet with serial Entrepreneur CEO Babak Esmaeli-Azad of DNAmicroarray Inc. after presenting “Virtual Healthcare Avatars in the Palm of Your Hand” at ATX West – MD&M West Conference. He spoke about his affiliate company Cibots Inc. that was launched to develop virtual human avatar assistants for personalized health care & medical diagnostics. It was incredibly exciting to hear from Babak that he and his team at Cibots are part of the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE global competition that will stimulate innovation and integration for precision diagnostic technologies helping consumers make their own reliable health diagnoses anywhere, anytime. The announcement was made at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) during Qualcomm Incorporated Chairman/CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs’ keynote address along with Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman/CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation as he joined Dr. Jacobs on stage to introduce the competition. By launching this incentivized competition, the XPRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Foundation seek to make 23rd century science fiction a 21st century medical reality. See video of CEO Babak Esmaeli-Azad of DNAmicroarray Inc. and Cibots from the ATX West – MD&M West Conference as he talks more about the medical assistant virtual avatar that will soon be used for personalized health care.

DNAmicroarray MDM West

Solid Concepts shows the larger side of 3D Printing | ATX West 2014

Solid Concepts shows the larger side of 3D Printing | ATX West 2014

Feb 17, 2014

At ATX West 2014 & MD&M Pacific Design & Manufacturing (PDM) show at the Anaheim Convention, a blue super hero “Robocop” like figure caught my attention that was 3D printed by Solid Concepts. At the tradeshow Solid Concepts showcased their full product solutions line including aerospace production manufacturing and materials, medical cast urethane production offerings, and full range of application and 3D Printing solutions. Founded in 1991 by Joe Allison, President of Solid Concepts’ inception began with engineers and programmers who were integral in developing the first Stereolithography (SLA) additive manufacturing machines also referred to as rapid prototyping, solid-free-form fabrication, or most popular term used today 3D printing. The company has grown from a rapid prototyping bureau to a full-service custom manufacturing operation capable of seeing projects through from prototype to finished production offering both additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies.


“There is a tendency to think small when it comes to the capabilities of 3D Printing,” says Vice President Marketing, Scott McGowan. “It’s good to step back and look at how long the industry has been here. Look at the larger scale, the larger format, of many of these 3D Printing industrial systems. Creators, inventors, and makers can start looking beyond small desktop 3D printers and consider what is achievable on the industrial scale with service providers that have decades of experience.”


To Learn more visit:
Custom Manufacturing Learning Center

solid concepts

OCHackerz Flying Car Roadable Aircraft Lego & Paper Airplane Competition | OC Mini Maker Faire

OCHackerz Flying Car Roadable Aircraft Lego & Paper Airplane Competition | OC Mini Maker Faire

Feb 12, 2014

Anil Pattni founder of OCHackerz, team members Classbrain, Oval Integration, QGITS and volunteers participated at the OC Mini Maker Faire by helping kids build flying car roadable aircraft out of Legos and paper airplanes from various design styles to learn about “Flight” inspired theme of the CaraVellair flying roadable aircraft created by Caravella Aerospace.

“At the OCHackerz booth kids and families built some of the most amazing assortment of vehicles transforming into aircraft throughout the day from Legos. Although this competition was designed for kids in our younger generation of tinkerers, we also had a number of Adult submissions too (I think the parents role of assisting their kids reignited memories of their first experiences with Lego during their early years and how much fun it was building out their dreams). One of the other cool challenges we did was to build a paper airplane and fly it the furthest distance on the landing strip we created in front of our booth.” – Anil Pattni founder of OCHackerz.

Check out video to hear more from Anil Pattni at the event as he chats with founder Cynthia Kirkeby from Classbrain and demonstrates the awesome aircrafts made from legos by some really creative kids at the OC Mini Maker Faire also find out who won “The Best Flying Roadable Lego Aircraft” and “Who Flew the Furthest Paper Airplane” competition. Winners received Inventables gift cards.

OCHackerz is a local organization looking to innovate, educate and collaborate on technology and startups in the community here in orange county. To learn more and find out about latest events visit:

OC minimaker faire

The First White House Maker Faire

The First White House Maker Faire

Feb 7, 2014

In years past, firing a marshmallow cannon might have landed you in the principal’s office. On Tuesday, it landed 16-year-old Joey Hudy in the First Lady’s box at the 2014 State of the Union Address.

At the 2012 White House Science Fair, Joey wowed the President by using a homemade cannon to send a marshmallow flying across the State Dining Room. Joey then handed the President a business card reading, “Don’t be bored, make something.” The saying became a rallying cry for the President’s efforts to grow a generation of students who are “makers of things, not just consumers of things.” In December, Joey became the youngest Intel intern, after he amazed Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at a Maker Faire, which is an event that allows tinkerers, entrepreneurs, and inventors like Joey to haul their creations out of the garage and into the spotlight.

Inspired by “Joey Marshmallow” and the millions of citizen-makers driving the next era of American innovation, the White House is thrilled to announce plans to host the first-ever White House Maker Faire later this year. There will be more details released on the event soon, but it will be an opportunity to highlight both the remarkable stories of Makers like Joey and commitments by leading organizations to help more students and entrepreneurs get involved in making things. Read more at

maker faire

2014 Doodle 4 Google competition

2014 Doodle 4 Google competition

Feb 7, 2014

Before there was an airplane, there were doodles of cool flying machines. And before there was a submarine, there were doodles of magical underwater sea explorers. Since the beginning of time, ideas big and small, practical and playful, have started out as doodles. And we’re ready for more. One talented young artist will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school. Closing date for entries is Thursday, March 20th.

Where did the idea for doodles 4 Google come from?

Doodles are the spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo in celebration of holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists who have helped shape history. In 1998 Larry and Sergey, Google’s founders, placed a stick figure drawing behind the second ‘o’ in the word Google as a message to users that they were “out of the office” attending a music and art festival. From there the idea of decorating their logo to mark cultural moments was born. Users really enjoyed this quirky change to the clean Google home page. As a result a turkey was added on Thanksgiving in 1998, two pumpkins for the ‘o’s appeared for Halloween in October of 1999 as well as a few others. Check out all of Google’s homepage doodles from 1998 to present:

Here’s how to submit your Doodle:

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Easy Mill CNC Mill Building | OC Mini Maker Faire

Easy Mill CNC Mill Building | OC Mini Maker Faire

Feb 3, 2014

Meet 15 year old Ben Baral from Easy Mill one of the Makers who showcased an innovative creation at the OC Mini Maker Faire at the University Irvine’s Beall Center for Art + Technology, and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. When Ben first began his project he set out to make a CNC mill yet he knew that he would need some help and he didn’t think he could do it alone. He approached his Dad for his help but he essentially said that they couldn’t make one since it was too complicated and his Dad was worried that he didn’t have the tools or abilities to make such a machinist-quality machine. But Ben didn’t give up so easily. He started scouring the Internet looking for an easy to make, fairly accurate CNC mill that didn’t require a large amount of precision. That’s when he found Tom’s Easy Mill. It looked simple enough, and the Instructables claimed it was precise enough, so he brought it to his Dad who then agreed that they could probably do it with the tools they already had, so they set out to make it. He completed his project while working on it during his winter break and 2 full days a week during the summer. Check out Ben’s finished Easy Mill project at the OC Mini Maker Faire as he talks to Andrea Kuipers from QGITS and Anil Pattni from OCHackerz/QGITS.

To learn more about Ben’s project visit

OC minimaker faire

Jeremy Blum Entrepreneur Maker & Author of “Exploring Arduino” | CES 2014

Jeremy Blum Entrepreneur Maker & Author of “Exploring Arduino” | CES 2014

Jan 27, 2014

QGITS was thrilled to meet up and have a chat with Jeremy Blum while attending the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV. Jeremy spent most of his time during CES catching up on the latest industry trends; he particularly enjoyed the 3D printing Tech Zone, given his background building and designing 3D printers at Cornell and MakerBot. Jeremy alternated between full time and consulting positions at MakerBot Industries from 2011 to 2013, while finishing his undergraduate and Masters degrees at Cornell University. While at Makerbot he was responsible for designing an all-new electronics platform for the 3rd generation MakerBot (the original replicator), which was announced and launched at CES 2012. Jeremy has been into science and engineering most of his life and is a very strong believer and promoter of the “learn by doing” motto.

He recently wrote a book titled “Exploring Arduino,” which teaches readers about the Arduino electronics prototyping platform. He hopes the book will enable him to reach a large audience of people – both kids and adults. He is an Entrepreneur/Maker, produces a popular Arduino Tutorial video series, has built a ton of open source projects, and is presently working as a hardware engineer on the GLASS team at Google [x]. On December 16th, he announced that he would be donating 100% of his royalties from sales of his book to support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education with the support of Google matching his donations.

Check out this video with Jeremy Blum as he talks about CES, SUNN, Arduino, and more.

To learn more about Jeremy visit

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Check out his new book “Exploring Arduino”


Bequi & James Founders of the OC Mini Maker Faire | The Year of 100 Maker Faires 2013

Bequi & James Founders of the OC Mini Maker Faire | The Year of 100 Maker Faires 2013

Jan 22, 2014

2013 was a banner year for Maker Faire hitting its stride, ending up with a magic number at the end of 2013 exactly 100 Maker Faires across the globe! More than 530,000 people experienced a Maker Faire in 2013. But the rise in “Mini” Maker Faires smaller scale, independently produced, local events is where the story is. A total of 93 Mini Maker Faires graced the globe in 2013, compared to just 56 in 2012. “Communities are getting involved in charting their own future and celebrating making in so many ways that make sense in their own unique regions,” said Sherry Huss, vice president of Maker Media and co-founder of Maker Faire. Local Maker Faires are creating a new center to showcase local startups and maker businesses and are influencing local education initiatives, encouraging hands-on learning in Science, Technology, Math, Science (STEM) and Art (STEAM) curricula.

See video interview of Founders Bequi & James of local OC Mini Maker Faire their 2nd year organizing the event at the University of Irvine talking with Andrea Kuipers from QGITS and Anil Pattni from OCHackerz & QGITS.

OC Mini Maker Faire


OC minimaker faire

Vocademy Makerspace Founder & Organizer Gene Sherman | OC Mini Maker Faire

Vocademy Makerspace Founder & Organizer Gene Sherman | OC Mini Maker Faire

Jan 20, 2014

Vocademy is an idea that Gene Sherman Founder & Organizer has had for many years. A place that teaches “hands-on” vocational, shop and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) skills.  A “dream workshop” for those in the community that want to learn, build, create and become “Makers.” Gene wants to bring back the “shop class for everyone!” Vocademy is a brand-new local makerspace located in the heart of the Inland Empire. Vocademy is part of the growing movement of hands-on, collaborative learning environments in which people come together to share knowledge and to design, create, and make anything they want. Vocademy offers many different classes such as wood shop, machine shop, 3D printing, welding and fab, sewing, and much more.

New year, New skills, New you – 2014 is bringing a calendar packed with new classes, new equipment, SkillSets, and big savings for you – all at Vocademy. See Class Schedule.

Check out video interview with Gene Sherman Founder & Organizer/Vocademy, Andrea Kuipers/QGITS and Anil Pattni/OCHackerz & QGITS at the OC Mini Maker Faire.

1635 Spruce St, Riverside, CA 92507

(951) 266-6630

Vocademy logo

OC minimaker faire

MakerBot Unleash your Creativity with New 3D Printing Platform | CES 2014

MakerBot Unleash your Creativity with New 3D Printing Platform  | CES 2014

Jan 13, 2014

MakerBot the global leader in desktop 3D printing recently announced at International CES 2014 conference a new strategic innovative partnership, MakerBot Apps & Digital Store and three new Fifth generation 3D printers. The strategic exclusive partnership announced is with SoftKinetic the leading provider of 3D vision and gesture recognition solutions. This relationship between MakerBot and SoftKinetic is focused on the development of next generation 3D cameras based on SoftKinetic’s technology for inclusion in future MakerBot 3D scanning products. “It’s really exciting for the future of 3D scanning and 3D printing to exclusively partner with SoftKinetic,” said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.

Three new MakerBot Fifth generation 3D Printers announced are the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer and MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer. MakerBot believes these new MakerBot 3D Printers are exciting additions that will accelerate MakerBot’s mission to put a MakerBot on the desktop of every engineer, architect, industrial designer, entrepreneur, and educator, as well as in every home. See video clip of Bre Pettis CEO of MakerBot Industries after his talk at CES 2014 conference and read more at the bottom.

2013 Los Angeles Region First Lego League Championship

2013 Los Angeles Region First Lego League Championship

Dec 30, 2013

The Los Angeles Region First Lego League (FLL) Championship Tournament was recently held at South High School in Torrance on December 14-15th. FIRST is a global robotics program to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, promoting innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. FIRST provides the FIRST Robotics Competition for high-school students and the FIRST LEGO League for 9 to 14 years olds.  Nature’s Fury was this year’s challenge where teams from over 70 countries will discover what can be done when intense natural events such as storms, quakes, waves and more affect the places people live, work, and play. Teams are required to complete and present four steps to the FLL judges: 1. Choose a Community 2. Identify a Problem 3. Create an Innovative Solution 4. Share with Others. What an excellent program for young people to gain experience in technical creativity, teamwork, friendly competition and entrepreneurship.


QGITS TV had the chance to learn more & talk with Leroy Nelson Operational Partner of Los Angeles Region FIRST LEGO League and one of the teams participating in the tournaments FLL & Beyond: 2 Squared +3 who was getting ready to present their project in front of the FLL judges. Check out video:

View QGITS Flickr photos of event by Andrea Gutierrez.

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FLL Lego pic event

To learn more about FLL program:

2013 Nature’s Fury Challenge


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Getting Aquainted with Arduino 101 by Jeremy Blum

Getting Aquainted with Arduino 101 by Jeremy Blum

Dec 17, 2013

Jeremy Blum was approached by element14 electronics; they were looking to contract enthusiastic engineers to generate an all-new community around electrical engineering and design. He was already planning on launching a new web series for budding electronics enthusiasts, so this was the perfect opportunity to get it rolling. Having had extensive experience with the Arduino, and other atmega development environments, he decided to base the series around the much-beloved Arduino, a perfect platform for starting to learn about microcontrollers, programming and basic EE concepts. This first episode will get you acquainted with the arduino uno (the current “flagship” arduino), introduce the programming language, and help you get your first program running!

You can download the files associated with this episode, click here

Check out his new book:

Exploring Arduino by Jeremy Blum

Jeremy Blum

AIAA evening event with Steve Isakowitz President of Virgin Galactic

AIAA evening event with Steve Isakowitz President of Virgin Galactic

Dec 4, 2013

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presenting another cool evening event in Pasadena, Ca at the Beckman Grill Restaurant with guest speaker Steve Isakowitz President of Virgin Galactic. In Steve’s career path before joining Virgin Galactic he was formerly appointed as the United States Department of Energy CFO, CIA Directorate of Science & Technology, former Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA, also serving as Branch Chief for Science and Space at the White House Office of Managment & Budget, he graduated from MIT with a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering with additional leadership roles at Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton. Joining Virgin Galactic in 2011 as Executive Vice President and CTO and in his current role as President of Virgin Galactic the world’s 1st commercial spaceline.

In video clip from recent AIAA event Steve talks about his book,”International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems” 4th edition he created for the AIAA as an active member (see if you can find his trademark hidden in his book), SpaceshipTwo proven technology rocket performance design & built and a partnership with NBC for a reality tv show with Virgin Galactic plus more…

View QGITS Flickr photos of AIAA event

More about Virgin Galactic:
1st Commercial Flight to Space
Technical Innovation
Galactic Unite
Reserve your Spaceflight


Virgin Galactic

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SpaceX Launch of Falcon 9 Rocket with SES-8 Satellite

SpaceX Launch of Falcon 9 Rocket with SES-8 Satellite

Dec 3, 2013

SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 Rocket with SES-8 Communications Satellite. Article by Tariq Malik Fox News, “The private spaceflight company SpaceX launched a critical commercial satellite mission from Florida Tuesday after two delays due to technical glitches. An upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the huge SES-8 communications satellite into orbit from a pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:41 p.m. EST (2241 GMT). The mission marks SpaceX’s first Florida launch of its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket, its first major communications satellite launch and its first flight to a high geostationary transfer orbit needed for commercial satellites.

Tuesday’s launch was SpaceX’s third attempt to launch the SES-8 spacecraft for satellite communications provider SES World Skies. SpaceX aborted the two earlier launch attempts last week, first on Nov. 25 and again on Nov. 28, due to technical glitches.”  Read more

Video by SpaceVids of today’s SpaceX launch of Falcon 9 rocket carrying SES-8

SpaceX Webcast


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“We the Geeks” Student Startups

“We the Geeks” Student Startups

Nov 23, 2013

President Obama declared November as National Entrepreneurship month, globally it is Entrepreneurship week and on November 20th it was Entrepreneurship Day with no better day to have “We the Geeks” set up a Google+ Hangout called “Student Startups” where leading student entrepreneurs and business moguls will talk about how anyone can cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship in his or her own community. Watch video Google+ Hangout moderated by Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and five teenage finalists of the 2013 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Additionally a panel of pioneering entrepreneurs which includes: Barbara Corcoran Real Estate Mogul & Celebrity Investor on Shark Tank; Daymond John Entrepreneur, Author & Celebrity Investor on Shark Tank; Jenny Corbin Co-Founder of TNG Pharmaceuticals; Jared Karp Co-Founder of Design Engineering Collaborative & BetaVersity; Spencer Quinn Co-Founder of FiberFix and Jolijt Tamanaha Co-Founder & COO of Farmplicity.

we the geeks

President & Founder Diego Porqueras of Deezmaker – 1st 3D Printer Shop on the West Coast

President & Founder Diego Porqueras of Deezmaker – 1st 3D Printer Shop on the West Coast

Nov 12, 2013

QGITS TV had the opportunity to stop by and meet with President & Founder Diego Porqueras of Deezmaker 3D Printing retail shop & Hackerspace in Pasadena, Ca. Diego is the creator of Bukobot & Bukito opensource portable 3D Printers. Bukobot is their first successful Kickstarter project leading them to Southern California as the first pioneers to open a 3D printing shop on the West Coast last year and the 2nd one in the U.S. Diego strongly believes, “3D printers will help teachers and parents excite and inspire kids to pursue careers involving science and engineering. And for those students, hobbyist and makers that love 3D printing as I do, I’m sure a 3D printer will further expand the realms of your imagination in what you can create.”

Watch video interview to hear Diego Porqueras Founder of Deezmaker talk about 3D Printing, Bukobot & Bukito portable open source 3D printers and more.

Read more to learn more about Deezmaker and Bukobot/Bukito portable 3D printers.

Congratulations to Lisa Kristine Humanitarian Photographer | 2013 Lucie Awards Honoree

Congratulations to Lisa Kristine Humanitarian Photographer | 2013 Lucie Awards Honoree

Nov 10, 2013

Lisa Kristine was honored at Carnegie Hall in New York as the 2013 Humanitarian Photographer of the Year! The awards are presented by the Lucie Foundation, honoring the world’s top photographers in a range of categories, including fashion, fine art, humanitarianism, photojournalism and documentary. An article written by Free the Slaves, “Lisa has gained broad recognition for her collaboration with the NGO Free the Slaves,” the foundation notes on its website, calling her 2010 book Slavery (published by Free the Slaves) a “breathtaking body of work.” Lisa traveled to the front lines of slavery with FTS activists to capture images that reveal the pain of slavery and the hope of freedom.

2013 Lucie Awards Honoree, Lisa Kristine from Lucie Foundation on Vimeo.

AIAA evening presentation with Dr. Sandra Magnus “Perspectives from Space”

AIAA evening presentation with Dr. Sandra Magnus “Perspectives from Space”

Nov 3, 2013

The (AIAA) American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics held an evening event in Pasadena, Ca at the Beckman Grill with former Nasa Astronaut Dr. Sandra Magnus, Ph.D. speaking on “Perspectives from Space.” Dr. Sandra Magnus has flown aboard two space shuttle missions STS-112 in 2002, STS-135 in 2011 and in 2008 she flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on board the STS-126 as she stayed on the ISS for 4.5 months serving as Flight Engineer and Science Officer on Expedition 18, returning home to earth on STS-119.  She began her NASA career in 1996 with training for flight assignment as a Mission Specialist later following the space station she served as Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA Headquarters and in her current role she is the new Executive Director of the AIAA organization the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession, with more than 35,000 individual members in 79 countries.


Click to read more as Dr. Sandra Magnus shares her “Perspectives from Space.”

Endeavour Fest | Danny Olivas former NASA Astronaut at the California Science Center

Endeavour Fest | Danny Olivas former NASA Astronaut at the California Science Center

Oct 18, 2013

In celebrating the one year anniversary of the Space Shuttle’s arrival at the California Science Center there were so many cool family fun exhibits to see for everyone such as one time only exhibit SpaceX Dragon, Red Bull Stratos capsule and pressurized spacesuit worn by Felix Baumgartner, film screening of Endeavour and daily Astronaut guest speakers. Saturday Oct 12th former Astronaut Danny Olivas PhD, PE was speaking about his experience in space inspiring the audience advocating the importance of education and to “Work hard and never give up.”

Danny has traveled more than 11.6 million miles in space aboard two U.S. Space Shuttle missions STS-117 on Atlantis and STS-128 on Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS), including five space walks. In an effort to support the encouragement of Science Engineering Technology and Mathematics (STEM) in today’s youth he supports numerous projects dedicated to its promotion. Watch interview of former Astronaut Danny Olivas as he talks about his journeys in space, his new book for kids “Endeavour’s Long Journey” and how he made water and electricity in space:

Endeavour Fest | David Knight Executive Producer of “Three Nights,Three Days”

Endeavour Fest | David Knight Executive Producer of “Three Nights,Three Days”

Oct 16, 2013

October 11-13 was the one year celebration in commemorating the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s historic arrival at the California Science Center – Endeavour Fest. QGITS had the chance to meet with David Knight Entrepreneur and Executive Producer of the film “Three Nights,Three Days” who was there speaking at the event after his movie screening featured in the Shuttle Pavilion. The film is an incredible documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the monumental feat of moving Endeavour through the streets of Los Angeles. David Knight has been a frequent participant in high-tech startups, an early executive of the XPrize Foundation, most recently a board member of the California Science Center, heading a film effort documenting the journey of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the new space industry going forward. In addition, he is committed to providing STEAM education for youth of all ages. In this interview David Knight talks about Endeavour’s epic journey and what’s new to come at the California Science Center for Endeavour.

The  compelling film of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final journey follows the shuttle as it flies over Los Angeles – transported on top of a NASA Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft – before landing at Los Angeles International Airport and taken on its 12-mile, three-day voyage to the Science Center with a cheering crowd of over 1.5 million who lined the route. The Space Shuttle Endeavour flew 25 missions into space, deployed three satellites and orbited Earth 4,671 times. Mission 26 refers to its final journey through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles to its permanent home at the Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, where it will inspire future generations of scientists, innovators and engineers.

Click here to watch David’s film Mission 26:




New Science logo

Please visit:

QGITS team: Eric Chu (Host); Candice Nunez (Film Coordinator); Makena Costlow Productions (Film Editor); Nick Johnson (Videographer).

Malala Yousafzai | The Courage to Advocate Education for Girls

Malala Yousafzai | The Courage to Advocate Education for Girls

Oct 9, 2013

Malala Yousufzai is the youngest person to ever be nominated for the nobel peace price an advocate of education for girls and at 16 years of age she is the world’s bravest teenager. Malala had the courage to speak out publicly against the Taliban raising her voice on every platform media channel newspaper she could to let the world know that in her hometown they were suffering from terrorism.

Malala is from Swat, Pakistan and in the 7th grade she began to write an online diary in early 2009 about the critical situation she was facing at the time. The Taliban had blown up more than 400 schools banning the education for girls and slaughtering people. She also began working for children rights, the education for girls in Swat and on October 8th 2012 she was shot in the head by the Taliban riding the bus on her way home from school.


Malala was on The Daily Show with John Stewart recently on Tuesday, October 8th –  Read more to watch her exclusive interview on the show of her remarkable inspiring story – Part I.

TEDx OC speaker Lisa Kristine Humanitarian Photographer | Modern Day Slavery

TEDx OC speaker Lisa Kristine Humanitarian Photographer | Modern Day Slavery

Oct 1, 2013

Lisa Kristine acclaimed humanitarian photographer uses photography to expose deeply human stories creating more than images but a connection of who she sees and to inspire change. For more than twenty-five years she has traveled the world in more than 100 countries on 6 continents, documenting indigenous cultures looking for the peoples and places that time forgot, creating memorable and unforgettable images. Her work resonates in the heart and moves us to act.

Recently at the TEDx Orange Coast 2013 conference held at the Segrerstrom Center of the Arts, Anil Pattni from QGTIS TV met with Lisa Kristine at the venue as she was there to speak on social causes such as modern day human slavery while encouraging the beauty, diversity and hardship of our inter-locking world that connects us all. Her powerful and awakening images were exhibited at TEDx as we had the chance to hear her story up close and personal as she walked us through each image displayed to help eradicate slavery through bringing about awareness and learned about her work in collaboration with NGO Free the Slaves.

TEDx Orange Coast 2013 “Beautiful Minds” Conference

TEDx Orange Coast 2013 “Beautiful Minds” Conference

Sep 25, 2013

Inspiring leaders, innovators, artists, educators, scientist, students and visionary entrepreneurs were brought together at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, Ca for the TEDx Orange Coast 2013 “Beautiful Minds” conference this past weekend sharing their ideas and point of views to encourage continuous conversations that lead to value generating actions. The TEDx program gives communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level and they are planned and coordinated independently. Starting in 1984 TED is a nonprofit bringing the world’s leading thinkers and doers that are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes in three key categories: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Talks are then made available free online.

Deepak Atyam Founder, SEDS @ UCSD – 1st 3D Printed Rocket Engine

Deepak Atyam Founder, SEDS @ UCSD – 1st 3D Printed Rocket Engine

Sep 25, 2013

At the AIAA Space Conference in San Diego Exhibition Hall QGITS met with SEDS USA Chair Mike Zwach and Deepak Atyam Founder/President of UC San Diego SEDS chapter. Deepak’s team recently participated in and won the DIY Rocket Competition which challenges to print a metal rocket engine from rapid protyping 3D printer. They had some assistance from NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center and this is a perfect example of what SEDS students can accomplish in the pursuit of space exploration and development. Deepak shares his story of how he and his team achieved this goal and what inspired him to follow his passion in the propulsion sector. The UC San Diego SEDS chapter will be testing their rocket engine starting Oct. 5th.

Women in STEM – Vivy Chao, Educator and advocate for Girls in Stem

Women in STEM – Vivy Chao, Educator and advocate for Girls in Stem

Sep 13, 2013

A compelling article by Vivy Chao at Huffington Post as she expresses her experience in the classroom first hand the imbalance girl-boy ratio of students enrolled in STEM courses at the University where she teaches in Long Beach, Ca. Vivy is a native of Southern California, an educator with a background in student affairs who has spent countless hours teaching, mentoring, scribbling over students’ resumes, and learning about the psychology of the human communication and who is an advocate for more girls in STEM.

“This Spring Semester at the California State University, Long Beach I taught seventy-six engineering students in two course sections. What saddened and shocked me the most was the number of female students in these two sections–eleven. That accounted for less than fifteen percent of the entire two classes combined.

Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet

Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet

Aug 26, 2013

A recent tweet by Bobak Ferdowsi systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Mars Rover flight director, also known as “Mohawk Guy” posted on twitter an article from “Office of Science and Technology policy” of a Google+ Hangout this August called “We the (Immigrant) Geeks” “Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet.”

People can tune in on the Google+ Hangout and hear about extraordinary immigrant pioneers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), who have made amazing discoveries, developed new inventions, founded high-growth companies, and conducted remarkable research.  This Hangout will be moderated by Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Read more and watch Google+ Hangout video “We The Geeks: Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet”

Entrepreneur Adam Rifkin Co-Founder 106 Miles & PandaWhale

Entrepreneur Adam Rifkin Co-Founder 106 Miles & PandaWhale

Aug 18, 2013

106 Miles an 8000-person network of startup founders, engineers and friends held a recent event in Newport Beach where Andrea Kuipers and Anil Pattni had the chance to catch up and meet Adam Rifkin, Co-Founder of 106 Miles and CEO/Co-Founder/Director at PandaWhale while he was in town from the San Francisco Bay area. In this interview you will hear about Adam’s start as a Software Engineer at Nasa and Hewlett Packard, a Doctoral Candidate from Caltech, Researcher at Microsoft followed by multiple startup ventures on cutting edge technologies such as CEO/Co-Founder of Renkoo working with top social networking giants Facebook and MySpace and more.

AR Video

Watch inspiring Part I and Part II video interviews with Adam Rifkin Co-Founder of 106 Miles and Pandawhale.

Elon Musk & Richard Branson 1st Google Hangout Interview

Elon Musk & Richard Branson 1st Google Hangout Interview

Aug 13, 2013

Check out 1st Google hangout entrepreneur interview posted at Richard’s blog with Elon Musk, Richard Branson and questions from entrepreneurs around the world, from the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship in South Africa and the Caribbean, the Start-up Loans initiative in the UK’s North East and Virgin Mobile Colombia.

Part II CaraVellair Flying Car Demo | Caravella Aerospace

Part II CaraVellair Flying Car Demo | Caravella Aerospace

Jul 29, 2013

Joe Caravella Jr. Founder of Caravella Aerospace demos the CaraVellair propeller drive, steering and pedal system in part II interview with Andrea Kuipers and Anil Pattni.  In this interview Joe also talks about how he is getting ready to display the CaraVellair at the San Diego Air & Space Musuem to inspire kids 6th-12th graders who will participate in the flying car competition sponsored by Ford Motors. This competition was a huge success and the San Diego Air & Space Museum will be ready for the next one in 2014. To view more information from most recent flying car competition for kids, please visit:

Joe Caravella Jr. Founder of the CaraVellair “The Flying Car Roadable Aircraft” | Caravella Aerospace

Joe Caravella Jr. Founder of the CaraVellair “The Flying Car Roadable Aircraft” | Caravella Aerospace

Jul 18, 2013

QGITS TV debut of launching it’s first expert interview with Joe Caravella Jr. Founder of Caravella Aerospace. Joe has been in the project engineering rocket industry for over ten years providing leadership experience taking teams and hardware from concept-to-demonstration. His experience and a passion for aviation inspired him to found Caravella Aerospace with the distinct goal of developing an affordable roadable aircraft. His specialties are design innovation and problem solving in aerospace engineering from concept-to-demonstration. Software: TurboCad, Load Design, SolidWorks,etc. Andrea Kuipers and Anil Pattni had the opportunity to fireside chat with Founder Joe Caravella Jr. from Caravella Aerospace as he talks about his CaraVellair flying car/roadable aircraft, crowdfunding, entrepreneurship and more.

Stay tuned for part two to watch Joe demo propeller drive, steering and pedal system of his flying car/roadable aircraft the CaraVellair.

qgits interview


More about the Caravellair

QGITS team: Andrea Kuipers (Host); Anil Pattni (Host/OCHackerz); Arman Bastani (Videographer/Oval Integration); Isaac Rosales (Video Consultant at MovieNomics); Candice Nunez (Film Coordinator)

Richard Branson – Business Magnate

Richard Branson – Business Magnate

Jul 16, 2013

Richard Branson grew up in Surrey, England starting with entrepreneurial projects in the music industry and expanded into other sectors making Branson a billionaire today.

Early in is life Richard struggled with dyslexia, he had a hard time with educational institutions. He nearly failed out of school and he continued to still struggle, therefore dropping out at the age of 16 to start a youth-culture magazine called Student.

By 1969, Branson had the idea to begin a mail-order record company called Virgin Records to help fund his magazine efforts. He expanded his business venture, adding a record shop and with it’s success, the high school drop-out was able to build a recording studio in 1972 in Oxfordshire, England. Richard Branson bootstrapped his way from record-shop owner to head of the Virgin empire.


Steve Jobs – Pioneer Creative Thinker

Steve Jobs – Pioneer Creative Thinker

May 29, 2013

Steve Jobs best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. started Apple in his parent’s garage with his friend Steve Wozniak (Woz) when he was just 20 years old, he loved what he did early in his life they worked hard and in 10 years Apple grew from just the two of them in a garage into a 2 billion dollar company with over 4K employees.

Woz one of the most important persons in Steve’s life they first met when he was 13 and Woz was 18 years old.  They soon crossed paths again after Steve’s first and only semester in college, he was currently working at Atari at the time as a video game maker.  Woz  interest in electronics had grown stronger, he was regularly attending meetings of a group of early computer hobbyists called the Homebrew Computer Club. They were the real pioneers of personal computing, a collection of radio jammers, computer professionals and enlightened amateurs who gathered to show off their latest prowess in building their own personal computer or writing software.

SpaceX – Entrepreneur Visionary Elon Musk

SpaceX – Entrepreneur Visionary Elon Musk

May 18, 2013

SpaceX is a privately funded company that designs, manufactures and has successfully launched the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Entrepreneur Visionary Elon Musk with the ultimate goal to revolutionize space transportation enabling people to live on other planets. Today, SpaceX is advancing the boundaries of space technology through its Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft.

The company made history in May 2012 when its Dragon reusable spacecraft attached to the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth — a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments.

Legendary Astronaut, Rocket Scientist and more…

Legendary Astronaut, Rocket Scientist and more…

May 12, 2013

Buzz Aldrin – Explorer, Rocket Scientist, American Astronaut and the second person to walk on the Moon will be in Southern California this month May 2013 for his book premier tour “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.”

Buzz Aldrin was the lunar module pilot  with his friend/commander Neil Armstrong of the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned lunar landing in history.  At the age of 82, he continues to wield influence as an international advocate of space science and planetary exploration. He has written three nonfiction books, two science fact/fiction novels, and two children’s books.

Flying Car Roadable Aircraft Design | The CaraVellair

Flying Car Roadable Aircraft Design | The CaraVellair

Jan 6, 2013

Science/Innovator fans please join the The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Thursday, January 17th, at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems to hear about the CaraVellair Flying Car/Roadable Aircraft by Joseph R. Caravella Jr.

Joseph R. Caravella, Jr., Founder of Caravella Aerospace, from Sherman Oaks, California.  He is a young entrepreneur who has always been interested in Aviation and before graduating high school, he built his own jet powered skateboard.  I had the opportunity to hear him speak recently at a conference through the The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)society, presented at Microcosm, space mission engineering facility located in Hawthorne, California. 

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