News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

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:

NASA Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) Project

NASA Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) Project

Jul 29, 2015

NASA hosted a behind-the-scenes tour of the Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) project at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California on Edwards Air Force Base. Media was invited to take a tour and attend a briefing to hear about the current status and objectives of the VIPR project. On panel were Paul Krasa, VIPR Project Manager, John Lekki, VIPR Principal Investigator; Jack Hoying from the U.S. Air Force & Volcanic Ash Environment Principal Investigator and also Cheng Moua, Armstrong VIPR Project Manager. QGITS had a chance to talk with some of the panelist after their discussion before taking a tour of the NASA Engine Shop and VIPR testing setup.

c17 Photo by: U.S. Airforce

Here is what some of the panelist from the NASA VIPR team had to say about the project:

NASA Photo (left): John Lekki, Jack Hoying, and Cheng Moua.

QGITS: What were some of the highlights discussed today.

John Lekki: What we were talking about here was an upcoming test that we are having, we are going to be introducing volcanic ash into an aircraft engine. The reason that we are studying volcanic ash is because it’s not really well understood what low concentration volcanic ash will do to an aircraft engine. We definitely know if there is a high concentration that you do not want to fly in it at all, it’s an issue. At low concentrations, there’s been a lot of difficulty in determining where the threshold should be, its all because we don’t have some control tests to do this at low concentration volcanic ash. So what we are going to be doing is introducing volcanic ash into an aircraft engine, it’s a military engine but it’s very similar to the engines that are used in civilian aircraft. We are going to be studying that and we have a number of measurement diagnostic and prognostic technologies on the aircraft engine. While the engine is being degraded by the volcanic ash we will try very closely to monitor what’s go on with the engine. So really what we are talking about is that we have a very interesting task, we are getting ready to do that. We know that it will help folks in making decisions if there is a volcanic eruption. How to utilize air space, when to close it, when to have it open and generally where you want to fly and not fly.

QGITS: Tell us about your role with the VIPR Project and what inspired you to work at NASA?

Cheng Moua: I’m one of the VIPR Project Managers at NASA Armstrong, we are responsible for the planning and conduct of the task. So a lot of the researchers bring their equipment out here and we are responsible for integration, planning and working with the airforce side to use their C-17 airplane. Our role at Armstrong is to plan the task, work out the logistics and make sure that whatever testing the researchers want done will be done to their specifications. We conduct tests here and using sensors to incorporate all of that into the engine airplane. So we work through all the planning and safety related issues to ensure it’s a safe test and successful test. And what has inspired me is going back to the old days the moon just being part of an organization of that caliber is always inspiring.

IMG_1333Photo: Volcanic ash being tested on the C-17.

QGITS: How do you feel about the VIPR project and how it’s helping the industry?

Jack Hoying: This project is great, it sounds maybe not so much because we are dealing with ash but the entire project from start to finish has been so interesting, learning how different it is and how to feed the simplest machine to feed it into an engine became extremely complicated. Every single thing that we did was a mini project in it of itself. The fact that we are going to be able help the industry, to help the military understand things..up until now this knowledge has been lacking. The policy guidance that exists in Europe and in the United States is just not where it needs to be. So the fact that we can now in a very careful control way put small amounts of ash into an engine for a long period of time for hours and hours. That’s the missing piece of information that we have, so its kind of exciting on the backend too because now we can help policy. We are not writing the policy, we are the researchers that give the data and that help the policy writers be able to write the new standards..’Can you fly close to the ash?’..’How long can you fly in the ash?’ VIPR is a great project.

From there we took a tour of the NASA Engine shop and the test setup which involves ground testing of a C-17 cargo transport plane.

IMG_1342 Photo: NASA F18 test engine for research

At the engine shop we were able to get up close with the engines used in the F18 and F15 to get a better understanding and visual of how the ash effects the airplane engines. I spoke with some of the technicians who work at the engine shop and Kevin Rohrer, Spokesperson for NASA Armstrong.

QGITS: What are some key take a ways from today’s tour?

Kevin Rohrer: There is two really key things we are doing with VIPR and the research that we are doing. The first is engine health monitoring of a jet aircraft knowing real time what an engine is doing. Also developing the multiple sensors that are put on jet engines moving in very harsh environments in extreme temperatures of hot and cold coming together. So the question is can you develop sensors to give you feedback and data real time? Second part is what happens when you actually ingest volcanic ash into a jet engine? We know from history there’s been several aircrafts that have experienced going through plumes of volcanic ash at various levels. What we don’t really know with any degree of confidence is how much ash causes what type of damage? We don’t know the why? We know that it could clog up engines, initially as the ash is going through an engine. It’s corrosive and could scrape even thought it’s a fine powder, it can degrade first parts of the fans on the engines. Once you go into the combustion chamber of the jet engine you have extreme heat of 1200 degrees and that heat would take the dust like volcanic ash and basically melt it and turns into a glass type of substance. So when it goes over some of the fans on the back part of the engine it could actually stick to it and that becomes a problem when you have to much accumulation you lose efficiency and you could possibly lose an engine.

IMG_1351IMG_1355 Photo (right): Rich, Technician at NASA Engine Shop and engine compressor in the shop to check out.

Kevin Rohrer: So what you will see on the animation video is the fan blades they are in front of the combustion chamber that’s where you will have the corrosion affect with the volcanic ash flowing over that we would expect it to etch and degrade those fan blades.

Check out the animation video Kevin mentioned and also VIPR time laspe video that was shown from the VIPR behind-the-scenes tour and briefing at NASA Armstrong:

More info provided by NASA Armstrong: NASA has partnered with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Research & Technology, Pratt and Whitney, General Electric Aviation and Rolls-Royce Liberty Works on the VIPR project. Researchers from four NASA centers are involved in various aspects of research and testing – Armstrong, Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

To learn more about the VIPR project:

NASA’s aeronautics research:

Space Meets Virtual Reality for the SoCal VR Con (July 11 – 12)

Space Meets Virtual Reality for the SoCal VR Con (July 11 – 12)

Jul 6, 2015

During the weekend of July 11th and 12th, Southern California’s very own VR conference and expo (SoCal VR) is shooting for the stars – literally.

Developers, content creators, artists, engineers, and VR enthusiasts of all types will take part in a celebration of all things virtual. At the forefront of the event is an outer worldly theme, which looks to combines space exploration and virtual reality.

It all starts the evening of July 11, 2015 in Long Beach, California with a space-themed kickoff party.


Doors open at 7pm. Shortly after people start arriving and have their drinks in hand, a special fireside chat panel discussion begin around 7:30pm. Speakers include a couple local space experts. Of those who will be there is Jacki Morie (Founder, Chief Scientist at All These Worlds).

As her Wikipedia page states, “Jacquelyn Ford Morie is an artist, scientist and educator working in the areas of immersive worlds, games and social networks. Until 2013 she was a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Creative Technologies. In 2013 she started a spin-off company called All These Worlds, LLC to take her work in virtual worlds and avatars to a broader audience.

jacki morie

Jacki Morie

According to a recent Motherboard interview, “All These Worlds, is currently working on virtual reality experiences for NASA that aim to ease the social and psychological difficulties of long term space travel. At the moment, NASA’s installing an early version of All These Worlds’ simulation at the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.”

Since there’s a 40-minute delay in communication between Mars and Earth, subjects won’t be able to interact with people outside the experiment in real time, but the simulation will sync up with Earth once a day. This will allow family members to leave recordings of their avatars which the astronauts can then interact with, and leave their own recordings in response.

At the end of the summer, “a group of scientists and engineers” will participate in a year-long Mars simulation at the HI-SEAS Habitat in Hawaii. The test subjects in that experiment will use Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 to visit virtual worlds where they can visit art galleries, swim in coral reefs, and ski on a mountaintops.

Another speaker for the event is Liam Kennedy, Inventor of the ISS-Above. His device lights up and increases the flashing frequency when the ISS is nearby, allowing users to run outside and see the space station fly over in the sky above.

Liam Kennedy

Liam Kennedy

As the website for the ISS-Above describes, “the brains of the ISS-Above is a very small Single Board Computer called a Raspberry Pi. It’s like a regular computer that you have in your house – just a LOT smaller…The ISS-Above works with numerous add-ons display devices that light up / change color and/or displays information in some way.”

The project was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $17,000 – well above the orginial $5,000 goal. Now, the devices turns up a bars, parties, and events. There is even an installation in local cafe near that’s been there since November 27th 2013. Liam Kennedy has also created a new wearable option as well.

Liam Kennedy is now looking into putting 360 degree cameras in orbit and will discuss his thoughts on the powerful nature of allowing people to teleport themselves into space to look around.

Mike Murdock, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Otherworld Interactive, will also speak on the panel.  He has worked everywhere from a small, award-winning video production house to Microsoft Research (and consulting / freelancing in between) MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in Interactive Media.

Mike Murdock

Mike Murdock

Murdock even helped develop the UX / UI and virtual reality designer for the Oculus Home app for Samsung GearVR while he was at Oculus. His recent project heavily revolve around space-related environments.

Now, Murdock is working on a wide variety of content at Otherworld Interactive’s. One of their early projects was Spacewalk; a exploratory virtual reality experience set in space. The viewer is an astronaut drifting around the International Space Station. Another experience named ‘GWC: Drop the Bass‘ is a lightly interactive virtual reality animation with funny spacemen who dance to intergalactic music.

Otherworld developed a classic twin stick shooter for Google Cardboard as well. Gamers become a member of the Galactic Wrecking Company (GWC) who has been called in to exterminate an immense horde of deadly, malfunctioning robots in outerspace. User get to blow them to bits while avoiding being crushed by their sheer numbers.

Starport, a two-player social experience for mobile VR, is another space-related game by Otherworld. Players get paired with a random player and join in a series of collaborative and competitive mini games – “destroy asteroids, build castles, make friends!” Mike Murdock will provide his thoughts on space and VR from a creative design perspective.

RSVP to the Kickoff Party here


Inside a Space Shuttle: The EndeaVR Project (July 12)

In continuation from the space-themed kickoff party, a VIP keynote will take place at the main SoCal VR event on Sunday, July 12. QGITS readers get an exclusive promo code to get them into this VIP talk.

Promo Code: vrspace

Register here:

The EndeaVR Project utilizes leading-edge imaging technology to film, photograph and LIDAR-scan the entire Space Shuttle Endeavour, resulting in the most comprehensive captures of a Space Shuttle interior ever assembled – the goal is to render ultra-res VR experiences by which individuals will be able to don eyewear such as the Oculus Rift, and walk or ‘fly’ through the Shuttle, able to ‘look’ anywhere, even touch surfaces and turn switches, via eventual haptic feedback gloves etc.

The EndeaVR Project

The all-volunteer project involves the most advanced capture systems available, and is being done by Academy Award-winning visual effects gurus from films such as Star Trek Into Darkness, Hugo and others with participation by executives and developers with Oculus, Samsung, RED and NASA itself.

Executive Producer David Knight will show footage derived from the VR systems capturing the first comprehensive scoping of a Space Shuttle interior ever done, and talk about the plans for the new Air & Space Center being constructed in Southern California where all of it will be utilized. He will also discuss planning for a VR camera unit to go up on the International Space Station, a first and potentially revolutionary experience for everyone on the ground.


Matt Terndrup – I’m a virtual reality, wearables, and technology art journalist who focuses on emerging trends in the maker, hacker, and inventor cultures. I like to travel around from place to place researching what is being made. Twitter; Linkedin

Taking You Inside a Space Shuttle: The EndeaVR Project | SoCal VR 2015

Taking You Inside a Space Shuttle: The EndeaVR Project | SoCal VR 2015

Jul 5, 2015

Come down to the Institute for Innovation, University of California Irvine Sunday, July 12th for the debut of SoCal Virtual Reality Conference & Expo in Orange County. The event will bring together speakers, companies and individuals to discuss the VR space along with a day filled of fun immersive demos, giveways and more. To kickoff the event Sunday at 11am, entrepreneur, filmmaker & supporter of STEM education, David Knight CEO of Terbine will ‘Take You Inside a Space Shuttle’ with the EndeaVR Project. He will show footage derived from the VR systems capturing the first comprehensive scoping of a Space Shuttle interior ever done. Take a look at a sneak peak of some video footage from the project:

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


Drones, Cameras & VR at Woodbury University Media Technology Program

Drones, Cameras & VR at Woodbury University Media Technology Program

Apr 1, 2015

Woodbury University’s School of Media, Culture + Design (MCD) in Burbank, Ca hosted a free hands on Creative Workshop for high school and college students to experience the campus, meet the faculty and the chance to win some cool prizes like Raspberry Pi, Art books and supplies. Woodbury MCD is a thriving dynamic school with the special mission of educating the next generation of creative professionals. At the Creative Workshop there were 10 workshops to select from such as Filmmaking, Game Art & Design, Media Technology, Pschology, Animation, Graphic Design and Fashion Design. QGITS stopped by the Media Tech Workshop, “Drones, Cameras, and Remote Cinematography” and talked with Jesse Gilbert, MFA/Chair of Media Technology and Joey Arcaro, 1st year Media Tech student at Woodbury. Watch video with Jesse and Joey to hear about the Media Tech workshop and program for students.

Some photos taken from the Media Tech Workshop of activities that students were able to experience like the immersive virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.

Oculus 4

During the earlier part of the workshop, students were working on sending footage to their phone via a free app to remote cinematography by a drone. Also in the video with Jesse and Joey, you can hear what happened to the drone.
Drone 3

Video of MediaTech Final Showcase which demonstrates some exemplary work produced by students in the program at Woodbury MCD.

MediaTech Final Showcase (Updated) from kassey cordoba on Vimeo.

For more info about Woodbury University’s School of Media, Culture + Design:

Woodbury University

Bell High School Students Learning Arduino at STEM Lab School

Bell High School Students Learning Arduino at STEM Lab School

Mar 26, 2015

It was an amazing and inspiring experience to attend STEM Lab School on a Saturday at Bell High School and meet the mentors and community partners that made this event happen for students at the school. The class was held in the cafeteria where there was a lot of space for mentors to interact and teach students the fundamentals of Arduino to have them start working on their project that’s part of the STEM program. QGITS met and spoke with the STEM mentors running the program for Bell High School that day which was Laura Avendano, Lab School Adminstrator & Teacher Support Coordinator of STEM Institute for Innovation & Improvement at Cal State University Dominguez Hills; Geoffrey Payton, Robotics Lab School Lead Teacher; Michael Lusk of LAUSD Physics & Chemistry Teacher at Washington Prep High School and Tim Laren of Hacker Development Arduino & More.

QGITS: Tell us about the STEM program at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Laura Avendano: We assist with teacher preparation programs for Science, Math, English and Special Ed Teachers. We provide a training ground for our teachers while serving the community by hosting STEM Lab Schools where students are immersed in STEM activities. Students work on project based learning, robotics, computing curriculum and it’s facilitated by expert teachers who serve as mentors for our new teachers.

Photo (left): Laura Avendano, Geoffrey Payton, Michael Lusk and Tim Laren.

QGITS: What’s unique about the program?

Laura Avendano:  We service the students in a holistic experience while concentrating on a theme and address it in Science, Math and English. Here at Bell High School the students are working with the Arduino boards. They are working on developing a robot that will be able to respond in an emergency as a first responder of some sort. In their English class, they develop a Marketing plan as well as gather information on different disasters and the different types of responses that are necessary after the disaster occurs. In Math, they tie in more of the theory behind the coding, they get to experience the pieces come together while working on their robots and they understand that every subject is important and you can apply each subject to whatever you are doing whether it’s robotics or if you decide to go into the field as an engineer perhaps.

IMG_0250Photo: High school students working on Arduino at STEM Lab School.

After the STEM Lab School program wrapped up for the students, QGITS also chatted with Tim Laren of Hacker Development Arduino & More.

QGITS: How awesome to see the high school students working on an ongoing Arduino project.

Tim Laren: It started with Mr. Lusk at Washington Prep High School and recently they wanted to bring his class from Washington Prep into LAUSD as a standard program. Mr. Lusk asked me to get involved. So the two of us designed the curriculum and then designed the kits using Arduino, for the student robot building project. Then he asked me to come down to Cal State University Dominguez Hills STEM program with all the mentors so they can see the kits and discuss how it was going to work. Stem Lab School lets students figure out how to build, create and engineer things. The students are able see things they didn’t think they could do or knew they existed. A program like this can show them that they can do it.

Photo: STEM Lab School at Bell High School.

To learn more about the STEM program at CSUDH, check out:



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

5 ocmmf
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:

NASA Hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ Event at the Agency’s 10 Field Centers

NASA Hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ Event at the Agency’s 10 Field Centers

Feb 10, 2015

NASA hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ event inviting press to one of the agency’s 10 field centers. Guests invited were able to go behind the scenes at the respective NASA center and experience the diverse work of the agency through tours and presentations with scientists, engineers and managers. The event highlighted the work of the agency’s journey to Mars, testing of cutting-edge technologies, making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency makes progress on the next generation of air travel. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at Kennedy Space Center addressed the progress made and the exciting work ahead on the agency’s exploration initiative that secures America’s leadership in space.

Image Credit: NASA

QGITS had the opportunity to attend the 1st ‘State of NASA’ event that was held at Armstrong Flight Research Center which is the primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations in Palmdale, Ca.


The day begins with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivering a speech from NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida reaching us at Armstrong and all other NASA locations via TV Broadcast. Bolden announced details of the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2016 agency budget proposal recently submitted to Congress. He emphasized that the recommended increase of about a half-billion dollars over last year’s enacted budget would provide the necessary resources to continue advancing America’s bipartisan space exploration plans. The ongoing programs will ensure that the United States remains the world’s leader in space exploration and discoveries benefiting all humankind. Watch full video of state of the agency address by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden:

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

Colonel (Ret) Richard Graham flew the world’s fastest and highest flying aircraft SR-71 Blackbird

Colonel (Ret) Richard Graham flew the world’s fastest and highest flying aircraft SR-71 Blackbird

Dec 6, 2014

Colonel (Ret) Richard “Rich” Graham, SR-71 Pilot and prior Commander of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, recently spoke at the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) San Gabriel Valley Section (SGV-AIAA) dinner event at the Beckham Grill in Pasadena, Ca. Col. Graham has flown the world’s fastest and highest flying aircraft, the SR-71 Blackbird, for 7 years during his 25 year Air Force career. He is author of four highly revealing and informative books on the SR-71: (1) Flying the SR-71 Blackbird: In the Cockpit on a Secret Operational Mission; (2) SR-71; (3) SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales, and Legends; (4) SR-71 Revealed. Before and after Colonel Graham’s presentation everyone had a chance to network and talk with him some more or purchase a signed copy of one of his books. QGITS also had the opportunity to talk with Col. Graham at the AIAA event after his presentation. rich graham

QGITS: Lockheed Skunkworks has developed innovative breakthrough technologies and continues to redefine flight today, what was it like to fly the revolutionary aircraft Blackbird SR-71 designed by renowned aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson?

Colonel Graham: A dream come true to be able to fly it and Kelly used to come to some of our crew meetings and come up to Beale Air Force Base, which is where we were based. You could ask him any question that you had in mind and he was very good about answering them. I never had to work for him but those who did said that basically he was a task master he gave you all the authority the latitude and all the where with all to get results but he expected results. He was a great boss, Kelly never had his engineers in a building up in some office, many yards or miles away from the SR. He had everyone of his engineers on the ground floor with the mechanics and engineers where they were building the SR plane so if they had any problems they could see the exact problems while they were describing it on the floor. His engineers were not in some ivory tower somewhere, they were on the floor the entire time watching the airplane being built. That was one of the biggest success stories from an engineering standpoint having his engineers directly involved working with the building of the airplane.


During Colonel Graham’s presentation he played an inspirational video by Lockheed Martin, a tribute to the legendary Clarence “Kelly” Johnson of Lockheed Skunkworks one of the preeminent aircraft engineers of the twentieth century, and his Skunk Works team.

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.

The SoCal MakerCon Photo Roundup


On Nov 8, 2014, what was being called “the largest event celebrating inventiveness, innovation and ideas in Southern California” was held at the Los Angeles Fairplex building in Pomona, CA where a couple thousand people interested in the world of making showed up.

While we were at the event, we took a whole bunch of photos to document the growing maker movement as it flourished right before our very eyes. Embedded below is some of our favorites:

Let the Robot Battles Begin!

Mounds and mounds of electronics parts spread throughout the exhibitor booths where robots were created. Some battled each other in a clear box as crowds of enthusiastic people cheered nearby. Others flew into the air of the conference while eager individuals waited to control it on their own. Practically wherever one would look there would be some form of an electronically rigged robot.

3D Printers, 3D Printers Everywhere

A major theme that was seen at the SoCal MakerCon was a growing 3D printer trend. Companies were manufacturing their own custom 3D printers, providing 3D printing services and classes in a community makerspace or hackerspace and also distributors of 3d printers and supplies. 3D printing companies were printing items on the fly throughout the event for everyone to see and learn more about 3d printing. The amount of printers was a good sign the market is starting to proliferate causing the competition to go up and the consumer prices to go down. There were a lot of cool 3D printing companies to check out like Deezmaker, CoKreeate, Airwolf, Triaxisart, Purple Platypus, AIO Robotics, Vocademy, Urban Workshop, Factory Enova, Creatorspace, UMakers, MAKEiT 3D and OC Makerspace.

See also: Flashforge Easy-to-Use Desktop 3D Printers at SoCal MakerCon

More to see: OC’s MatterHackers 3D Printing Shop at SoCal MakerCon

Flashforge Easy-to-Use Desktop 3D Printers at SoCal MakerCon

Flashforge Easy-to-Use Desktop 3D Printers at SoCal MakerCon

Nov 29, 2014

Flashforge USA was recently at the SoCal MakerCon event in celebration of makers and inspiring innovators, showcasing their disruptive 3D printer series the Creator & Dreamer. The Creator series 3D printers target hobbyists and tinkerers who enjoy customizing their 3D printers and truly calling it their own. The Dreamer series is intended for beginners and those who just want to get things done. Flashforge recently contracted with Dremel to produce their Idea Builder as well as Monoprice’s 3D printer, which was the giveaway prize at the SoCal MakerCon event for a lucky winner. Tech Journalist Matt Terndrup talked with Peter Hsiao, Marketing Specialist at Flashforge about their different 3D printers featured at SoCal MakerCon.


Matt Terndrup: Tell us about Flashforge.

Peter Hsiao: We started in 2011, our headquarters is located in China but we have our regional office here in Los Angeles where we have our service center support, placement parts and printers. FlashForge currently offers two 3D printer series: Creator and Dreamer. Dreamer series is the first 3D printer to be released with IPS LCD touch screen, and one of the first in the industry to have Wi-Fi printing capability. It is close-sourced and uses our own software FlashPrint. The Dreamer is beginner friendly developed with simplicity and straightforwardness in mind.


The Creator series printers which include the Creator, Creator X, and Creator Pro, are based on open-source platform, meaning that there is more flexibility in terms of customization, your able to print ABS, PLA, soluble materials such as PVA, HIPS, nylon, or even wood filament or bronze filament. The advantage of owning a Creator series is that your able to make modifications to the extruder and you have the freedom to use other 3rd party software and firmware.


Matt Terndrup: What do you have displayed here?

Peter Hsiao: We 3d printed chess pieces or even mechanical functional gears. All of our printers come with two print heads that allows you to print two colors at the same time. What if you want to print more complex objects for example like a bridge. There’s going to be over hang where areas have gaps but with dual extruders, what you can do is print the actual bridge with build materials like ABS for example and then build the support structure for the bridge using like soluble materials like PVA and HIPS. Once your finished building basically submerge it in water, give it like an hour and it will dissolve everything. Your bridge will have a completely smooth finish… Really cool stuff.


Matt Terndrup: What are people printing for the most part that you have seen?

Peter Hsiao: Our customers are very broad. We have enterprises doing prototypes for their business. We are trying to get into medical, for example dental offices they are demoing 3d printing molds for their own application. Hobbyist are printing drone parts and DIY products they want to customize and even the average joe who wants to make household products like shower head replacement, tooth brush holders or anything to make their life easier.




Circuit Scribe “Draw Your Own Circuits” at SoCal MakerCon

Circuit Scribe “Draw Your Own Circuits” at SoCal MakerCon

Nov 28, 2014

Circuit Scribe was one of the innovative companies exhibited at SoCal MakerCon, an event that took place to inspire and empower people to collaborate and take initiative on their own ideas. At the Circuit Scribe exhibit, kids and families were having fun learning more about electronics by drawing with a conductive ink pen and placing magnetic modules that snap right onto circuits that you have just drawn on paper, bringing them to life. Michael Bell COO/Co-Founder and PhD student at Harvard School developed all of the modules, packaging and lessons for Circuit Scribe. He was there to help anyone with questions and demonstrate how Circuit Scribe works. QGITS talked to Michael to learn more about creating circuits with conductive ink and how they got started.

circuit scribe 3

QGITS: How does Circuit Scribe work?

Michael: Circuit Scribe is a conductive ink pen so you can draw circuits on paper with nothing but our pen and the electronic magnetic modules that we sell with the pen. So really the innovation is in the conductive ink inside of the pen. The ink formulation is from our research group, PhD students from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Harvard University. The ink inside of the pen was formulated actually for a different application and one of the other co-founders stuck it in the pen and suddenly we had a pen that could draw circuits.

Photos by: Matt Terndrup

QGITS: What inspired you guys to create this?

Michael: One of my co-founders which is Anna Lisa was finishing her PhD and she had developed this about 3 or 4 years ago. We thought one of the good things when she finished school was to start the company based on the product, so we launched a Kickstarter campaign last November. We rounded out the pen with all the modules so it’s really a learning tool and not just a high end hobbyist conductive ink pen with nothing to go with it.  We really wanted to lower the barrier of entry for electronics, it’s really hard to get younger kids interested into electronics because they wire up something wrong, it breaks, it smokes, it gets not interesting very fast but now we have something that we can see 4 year olds use easily. We hope Circuit Scribe will make it uncomplicated for anyone to start learning about circuits as well as inspire creativity among students, makers, artists, designers, and engineers.



OC’s MatterHackers 3D Printing Shop at SoCal MakerCon

OC’s MatterHackers 3D Printing Shop at SoCal MakerCon

Nov 27, 2014

MatterHackers recently exhibited latest 3D printing technology at SoCal MakerCon held at the Los Angeles Fairplex in celebration of inventiveness, innovation and ideas in Southern California. MatterHackers is an Orange County based 3D printing company and they do everything from software to supplies to services carrying the widest selection of 3D printers, 3D printer filament and they have developed a 3D printing software platform called MatterControl. When it comes to 3d printing, they work mostly with desktop 3d printers and they are pushing the envelope to make this technology available to as many people as possible. Kevin Pope COO of MatterHackers was there at the event demonstrating to people 3D printing capabilities and their open source software platform used for 3D printing. QGITS stopped at their booth to talk with Kevin some more about MatterHackers, here’s what he had to say:

QGITS: What do you hope people learn today about MatterHackers?

Kevin: Today we are at SoCal MakerCon showing people the technology and what 3D printing is all about. At MatterHackers we are passionate about 3D printing and it’s potential as a game-changing technology and we want people to get hands-on experience with different printers and materials, see them working in live demonstrations and understand what it takes to create a 3D object.

airwolf3d printer

QGITS: How did MatterHackers get started?

Kevin: My partner Lars Brubaker first introduced me to this as long ago as 5 years. We sold our last company Reflexive Entertainment to Amazon and after we finished there, we hooked back up again and this was the thing we wanted to do. 3D printing additive manufacturing – it’s so trans formative, has such a power to make people’s lives better and enable them.




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.

Flying Quadcopters with High School Students at Garden Grove Library

Flying Quadcopters with High School Students at Garden Grove Library

Nov 2, 2014

In a recent Qgits adventure, we organized a quadcopter demonstration for several high school students at a local Orange County library who have never seen these devices in person before. The rising, widespread use of remote controlled aerial devices made this a perfect opportunity to introduce the capabilities of these flying vehicles to people that have only heard about these things it on the news. The hands-on experience was led by Kim Nielsen and Stuart Stevenson from a Venice-based multirotor products company known as Ctrl.Me Robotics. We sat down with them for a fireside chat which can be seen in the video below:


During the Ctrl.Me presentation, Kim and Stuart showed how professional filmmakers are currently utilizing these types of technologies to gain previously unreachable perspectives that can now be grasped by flying cameras steadily through the air.

This Venice-based UAV company has delt with a lot of well-known brands and celebrities. For instance, Beyonce is among one of the people who have consulted with Ctrl.Me in the past. During that time working on the ‘Beyonce project’, Ctrl.Me Robotics’ engineers produced a custom quadcopter that captured amazing views that only a drone can achieve while at a performance of the 2014 Video Music Awards (VMAs). The multirotor vehicle that was made was fashioned out out a carbon fiber material and was designed to protect anyone (and itself) from unexpected collisions. Rarely does an incident like this happen, but if it did, it was necessary to ensure that a high-profile artist like Beyonce was not harmed in any way. Their specialized remote controlled quadcopter was able to address all those issues of safety and durability in a creative way that was polished off with a nice slick design that was laser cut in their in-house workshop.

The Beyonce carbon fiber drone is slick and easy to fly.

The Beyonce carbon fiber drone is slick and easy to fly.

Another ‘drone’ that Crtl.Me brought to the Garden Grove Library was their Halloween-themed configuration that outfited an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a boney skeleton figure and a dark hoodie for a ghoolish flying creature that hovered in the sky. It was named the ‘Skeledrone‘ and its eyes would glow red while it flew through the night captivating whoever it encountered.

During the quadcopter demonstration at the Garden Grove Library, the students listened attentively to the presentation with an anxious anticipation ready to get a hands-on look at one of the vehicles. As it took off into the area above their heads, the sounds of the multirotors buzzed a steady hum while it hovered nearby. The view from the attached GoPro was streamed through a wifi connection straight to the handheld controller. An LCD screen showed that the drone could see.

Some of the high-schoolers said that it looked like a video game. Others looked silently and imagined what they could do with this technology. Later, when asked about what they might achieve with something like this, one kid said that he would just like to explore his neighborhood. A fellow aspiring inventor wondered what would happen if he strapped a paintball gun to the front. Another person questioned if packages or letters could be delivered with a flying quadcopter like this.

The end of the day concluded with a lot of smiles as the students went home thinking about all the wonderful possibilities that surrounded remote controlled quadcopters and UAVs. They were inspired by the new technology thanks to the innovative leaders at the Garden Grove Library along with the assistance from the wonderful team over at Crtl.Me Robotics.

To learn more watch full class presentation by at the library, also be sure to visit the main Garden Grove Library website to see what they have coming up next. They hold events all the time, including an upcoming virtual reality demonstration later in November.

For additional information about the services that Ctrl.Me provides, check out their website. You can also follow them on Twitter @Ctrl_Me, and they host meetup events from time to time as well in collaboration with the LA Robotics Club. Ctrl.Me has a great introduction video on their Youtube channel about what they do too at Youtubechannel/CtrlMeRobotics.

Matt Terndrup - I’m a virtual reality, wearables, technology art journalist and STEAM Educator who focuses on emerging trends in the maker, hacker, and inventor cultures. I like to travel around from place to place researching what is being made. TwitterLinkedin 

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

STEAM Gala Preview for Upcoming STEAM Carnival for Kids Oct. 25-26

STEAM Gala Preview for Upcoming STEAM Carnival for Kids Oct. 25-26

Oct 23, 2014

Kicking off mid week was the STEAM Gala hosted at the Crafted at the Port of Los angeles for a sneak preview of the upcoming STEAM Carnival by Two Bit Circus Oct. 25-26. The evening was a celebration to inspire the next generation of great minds. The STEAM Gala brought together community leaders, elected officials, top innovators, and business professionals in support for science, technology, engineering, art and math – STEAM education focused on K-12 STEAM-based programs. It was a spectacular night from aerial performers, games, amazing metal art sculptures, live music and awards presented to eBay CMO Richelle Parham for STEAM Leadership and engineering doctoral student Albert Manero and Limbitless Team for Innovation. QGITS caught up with CTO and co-founder Eric Gradman of Two Bit Circus at the STEAM Gala about the upcoming STEAM Carnival event this weekend.

QGITS: What is STEAM Carnival?

Eric Gradman: STEAM Carnival is our opportunity to inspire everyone with what we do which is science, technology, engineering, arts and math. We have what we consider to be the most fun jobs in the world, we get to make amazing things and we want to give everybody else the opportunity to do that too. When you walk into to STEAM Carnival we want you to say “Wow!” and when you walk out we want you to say “Aha!” We want you to learn something, to be inspired by what it means to create and to invent, to make amazing things because that’s what this world needs..more amazing things.

Two Bit Circus
In photo (left): CTO and co-founder – Eric Gradman, Event Producer – Molly Waseka and CEO Brent Bushnell.

“We want kids to leave inspired. The most important thing is that they leave with a smile on their face and the next time someone talks about electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software, science or chemistry. They can say I saw that in action at the STEAM Carnival, let me tell you more.” - CTO and co-founder Eric Gradman of Two Bit Circus

STEAM Carnival – October 25-26, 11am-7pm
Located at the CRAFTED at The Port of LA
Purchase Tickets Here

STEAM Carnival

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.

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify 3D Printing at Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify 3D Printing at Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 19, 2014

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify Inc. and his team recently attended the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Thingify a product development company offers 3D printing services to help take your concept idea and translate it to a working 3D model that is 3D print ready. They promote innovation by helping anyone to express their ideas in 3D that enables them to shape their ideas from “Think Tank to Thing Tank.” Thingify attended the 1st-ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire in celebration for what makers do — what they make, how they make it and the enthusiasm and passion that drives them. At the event Embedded Hardware & Software Engineer Arman Bastani spoke with Brian Arandez from Thingify a bit more about the different additive manufacturing 3D printing technologies and client artwork showcased at the IE Mini Maker Faire.


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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CEO Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

CEO Brent  Bushnell of Two Bit Circus at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 14, 2014

A lifelong engineer and entrepreneur CEO Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus a high tech circus attended the recently held 1st-ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Two Bit Circus engineers entertainment that is imaginative and interactive, blurring the line between physical and digital playgrounds to create a new world of social amusement. They have developed various experiential entertainment platforms like the STEAM Carnival that is a modern take on the traveling circus, using high-tech amusement and project-based kits to inspire kids of all ages about science, technology, engineering, art and math. See video interview by Matt Terndrup, technology & art journalist talking with Brent Bushnell while at the IE Mini Maker Faire event .

Two bit circus

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.



RapidTech 3D Printing at Garden Grove Library STEM Innovation Lounge

RapidTech 3D Printing at Garden Grove Library STEM Innovation Lounge

Oct 5, 2014

RapidTech is the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for the development and advancement of Additive Manufacturing (AM) 3D printing and related technologies. RapidTech is in the UC Irvine Engineering building and has been teaching students advanced manufacturing techniques, promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and providing national training workshops targeting educators. Director Ed Tackett and Engineering Director Benjamin Dolan of RapidTech both recently gave a presentation and demo on 3D printing to Garden Grove High School students at the Garden Grove Library Innovation STEM Lounge. Check out video from the event by RapidTech, as Ben and Ed talk about “What is 3D printing?” and 3D laser scan a student.

Here is more information on 3D printing by RapidTech: Click here for presentation slides.


Dr. Michael Werner Project Scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope speaking at AIAA Dinner Event in Pasadena, Ca

Dr. Michael Werner Project Scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope speaking at AIAA Dinner Event in Pasadena, Ca

Sep 25, 2014

Dr. Michael Werner Project Scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Chief Scientist for Astronomy and Physics at JPL Caltech, recently spoke at the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) San Gabriel Section dinner event at Beckham Grill & Bar in Pasadena, Ca. The Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, is an infrared telescope that studies the early universe, young galaxies and forming stars, and is used to detect dust disks around stars, considered an important signpost of planetary formation. The mission is the fourth and final observatory under NASA’s Great Observatories program, which also includes the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. It is also the first new mission under NASA’s Origins program, which seeks to answer the questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone?

Gregory Smetana, Ph.D. student in Aeronautics, Explosion Dynamics Laboratory at Caltech interviewed Dr. Michael Werner while at the AIAA dinner event right before his presentation started:

To Learn More, visit:

Dr. Michael Werner

2014 AIAA Space Science Award

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope

Spitzer discover largest ring around Saturn

Spitzer Science Center

spitzer logo

Mathobotix presents First Robotics to High School Students at the Garden Grove Library

Mathobotix presents First Robotics to High School Students at the Garden Grove Library

Sep 15, 2014

Recently Mathobotix presented to high school students at the Garden Grove Library information about First Robotics and how to get a team started. Mathobotix headquarted in Irvine, Ca offers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational services K – 12 linking Robotics to Grade Level Academic Success and Workplace. So it’s no surprise that CEO & President Kumar Ramajayam of Mathobotix is also the point of contact and Regional Director for First Robotics in Orange County, Ca. After the presentation, QGITS asked Teen Services Librarian of the Garden Grove Libray – Kimberly Banks what she thought about having First Robotics come out and talk to the students. “It seems like a great program that provides opportunities for teens to get real world engineering experience, as well as learn important team-building skills. It would be a excellent program for Garden Grove High School or a team from all three of the Garden Grove high schools to get involved with.”

In photo: Louis Gavidia Mentor at Mathobotix speaking to Garden Grove High School students.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and compete in games. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Students involved in First Robotics learn from professional engineers, build and compete with a robot of their own design, learn and use sophisticated hardware and software, develop design, project management, programming, teamwork and strategic thinking, they can earn a place in the Championship, qualify for scholarships at over 150 colleges.

In photo: President Kumar Ramajayam of Mathobotix and mentor Louis Gavidia.


oc public libaries

A Portable EKG Integrated with GoPro & Arduino by Inventor Andrew Wilson

A Portable EKG Integrated with GoPro & Arduino by Inventor Andrew Wilson

Sep 12, 2014

This video shows the heart activity of inventor Andrew Wilson, Embedded Engineer while making a BASE jump in Moab, Utah wearing a portable EKG, integrated with a GoPro. It’s a technical engineering project, but built for no other reason than to do it–that is an applied engineering multi media experience art! The home built electro-cardiogram is powered by an Arduino Uno and is paired with the GoPro video during the jump. He added a LED and piezo buzzer that blink/buzz at the beginning of each data capture also custom software was written to filter the data and render it into the playable video you see here. The numbers shown alongside the green heart activity trace are calculated beats per minute. When the numbers are not displayed, the data was too noisy to distinguish the heart beat.

Photo by Andrew Wilson

See this cool EKG base jump video Andrew created with filtered EKG traces and ‘beat per minute’ calculations.

To read up on the full project overview, check out:

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

13 Year old Quin Etnyre CEO of Qtechknow teaching Intro to Arduino Class at Deezmaker

13 Year old Quin Etnyre CEO of Qtechknow teaching Intro to Arduino Class at Deezmaker

Aug 11, 2014

Quin Etnyre is a maker, teacher and entrepreneur at just 13 years old, he runs his own company Qtechknow. His company manufactures electronic ArduSensors and kits that enables beginners, intermediate and advanced users to start making and programming with the open-source computing platform – Arduino. Quin recently taught a fun interactive intro to Arduino workshop class at Deezmaker 3D Printers & Hackerspace in Pasadena, Ca to both kids and adults of all ages. Diego Porqueras Founder of Deezmaker said of the event, ” It’s a really fun experience to have Quin teach a class at Deezmaker working with the Arduinos that we love to do. He is super smart, fun to hangout with and his parents are very supportive. When people see him teaching Arduino, it amazes them and makes them also feel that what he’s teaching in the Arduino system is really not that hard to work with, its pretty accessible for everybody to learn it . It’s been inspiring for the young kids to see someone their age know about it and for the adults they understand that if a younger person can do it, maybe they can learn Arduino too.” This is Quin’s 3rd time teaching the intro to Arduino class at Deezmaker, he has also taught MIT graduates how to program electronics, he has been invited to speak at the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum and he was invited to participate at the first ever White House Maker Faire.

Matt Terndrup a Writer at Hackaday spoke with Quin, CEO of Qtechknow while at the Arduino workshop event at Deezmaker, as students were working on there projects.

Quin is also the Maker of Fuzzbot a fully autonomous small Arduino robot that acts like a Swiffer Duster to pick up any unwanted dirt off of the floor. Seen here in photo demonstrated on table by one of the students in the class.


Check out more photos from the intro to Arduino class with Qtechknow at Deezmaker Hackerspace. Photos taken by Grant Keller.






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:

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Jul 24, 2014

The Spitzer Space Telescope team has been selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award during the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum August 4-7 in San Diego, California at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. This award was originally established in 1961 and is given to an individual for demonstrated leadership of innovative scientific investigations associated with space science missions. The citation for the award reads: “For outstanding science producing over 2,000 papers, 50,000+hours of observation, and significant findings such as the first telescope to directly detect light from extrasolar planets.” The award consists of an engraved medal and a certificate of citation.

spitzer space telescope Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech/SSC

The Spitzer Space Telescope is designed to detect infrared radiation, which is primarily heat radiation that allows scientists to peer into cosmic regions that are hidden from optical telescopes, including dusty stellar nurseries, the centers of galaxies, and newly forming planetary systems. Spitzer’s infrared eyes also allows astronomers see cooler objects in space, like failed stars (brown dwarfs), extrasolar planets, giant molecular clouds, and organic molecules that may hold the secret to life on other planets. Recently NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler Space Telescopes has helped scientist with the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet beyond our solar system. Their discoveries confirm Kepler-93b as a “super-Earth” that is about one-and-a-half times the size of our planet. Although super-Earths are common in the galaxy, none exist in our solar system. To learn more visit:

Join this year’s AIAA SPACE Forum: This event will give you a 360-degree view of the impacts of space activity on society. Focused on “Connecting, Protecting, and Enhancing a Global Society,” this forum will connect you with the researchers, engineers and experts who are driving our industry forward.

Attend & Register Here


bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 16, 2014

Dr. John Jaquish PhD is the Inventor of bioDensity system that rapidly enhances bone health for individuals that are affected by the bone disease osteoporosis and helps Astronauts that spend long periods of time in zero gravity. After completing many years of research on osteogenic and neurological function/response, John developed the initial prototype of bioDensity. His doctoral dissertation in biomedical engineering research is from Rushmore University. He conducted 4 years of testing with human subjects focused on user comfort biomechanics and optimal bone muscular stimulation for individuals. This device can greatly benefit de-conditioned elderly populations, high performance athletes and Astronauts living in space – for stronger bone tissue and increased muscular strength.

John was one of the Workshop Leaders for the Evo Kids program at Evolution Expo 2014 in Oakland, Ca. Check out video and hear what John had to say about the family fun event and inspiring kids in science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.

To learn more or purchase John’s book, please visit:


Evolution Expo


Evo Kids “Think Tank” with NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards | Evolution Expo 2014

Evo Kids “Think Tank” with NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 9, 2014

NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence and Joe F. Edwards presented and interacted with kids at Evolution Expo 2014 – Evo Kids program talking with them up close and personal about their experiences in the pursuit of space exploration. They also discussed new technologies like having 3D printers in space that will manufacture tools on demand or even food and the challenges for future space exploration missions. The program was enjoyable for everyone as kids asked questions to both Joe and Wendy after panel discussion and soon after in the breakout session, they worked together in groups of teams called the “Think Tank.”

Astronaut Joe Edwards is also an aviator, combat Navy fighter pilot and experimental test pilot of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. In the Space Shuttle – Mir Space Station program he set world records for flying the largest mass in Earth orbit, the most humans in space simultaneously and he flew the closest flying maneuvers in the history of manned space flight in the Orbiter Endeavour.

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence former U.S. Navy Captain and helicopter pilot. She received a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering from U.S. Naval Academy and a master of science degree in ocean engineering from MIT and WHOI. She was selected as an astronaut mission specialist and worked at NASA for 14 years. Her technical assignments included serving as the Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. She is a veteran of four shuttle missions (STS-67, 86, 91 and 114) and has logged over 1225 hours in space.

Hear from both Joe and Wendy at Evolution Expo about what inspires them and advice to others in following their dreams:

For more information, visit:

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence

Astronaut Joe Edwards

Evolution Expo



EVO Kids Program with Tony Leavitt NASA Ames STEM Education Specialist | Evolution Expo 2014

EVO Kids Program with Tony Leavitt NASA Ames STEM Education Specialist | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 2, 2014

At Evolution Expo in Oakland, Ca this past weekend Tony Leavitt, NASA Ames STEM outreach specialist & founder of The STEM-Space project worked with the Evo Kids program along with Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards also including scientist: Liz Warren (NASA Scientist); Chris McKay (Planetary Scientist & Mars Expert); Dr. John Jaquish (BioMedical Engineer); Pascal Lee (NASA/SETI Institute Planetary Scientist & Mars Expert) and Celeste Yarnall (Doctorate in Nutrition). The Evo team first presented about the challenges currently facing our ability to reach Mars and other manned space operations. Next, families and kids settled into groups in a classroom setting called the “Think Tank” as they tried to come up with their own solutions to these issues. Once the kids were in their groups, a scientist sat with them while they brainstormed ideas to see how they were able to take their ideas to another level.

Pictured (starting left): Astronaut Joe Edwards, Celeste Yarnall, Tony Leavitt, Liz Warren, Dr. John Jaquish and Astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

QGITS had a chance to chat and interview Tony Leavitt at Evolution Expo with Nora Allstedt, California Educator for Exeter Unified Schools. Check out video to hear what he had to say about the Evo Kids Program and his new project the STEM-Space project:

At the EVO kids program at Evolution Expo,Tony Leavitt presented to kids and families “Exploring the Surface of Mars: Searching for Clues of Life: Past & Present” the exploration of Mars and how the “Follow the Water” strategy has lead to evidence of water both in ancient oceans and rivers on Mars and ways to engage students with this quest for life on other planets.


To Learn more visit:

The STEM-Space Project

Evolution Expo


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)

Finding Space Treasures on Earth-an exclusive Interview with the Science Channel’s Meteorite Man | ISDC 2014

Finding Space Treasures on Earth-an exclusive Interview with the Science Channel’s Meteorite Man | ISDC 2014

Jun 8, 2014

QGITS had the opportunity of being the media present for the the 2014 ISDC National Space Convention.  This astronomical annual convention was filled with many innovators in space and many who had been to space to explore our mostly unknown universe and beyond.

Geoffrey Notkin and QGITS Staff Andrea Kuipers

Geoffrey Notkin and QGITS Staff Andrea Kuipers

There was one man, whoever, who explores space in his own backyard-Geoffrey Notkin, also known as the Meteorite Man and host of the Science Channel’s Meteorite Men.  Notkin is not only a television celebrity, appearing in shows for PBS, Discovery, NASA, National Geographic, and the History Channel, but he is also an award-winning author and owner of Aerolite Meteorites LLC, a company that provides meteorite and other spatial specimens to collectors and institutions worldwide.  While Notkin himself has never been to space, he knows more about it than most from the treasures he finds around the world and many in his own backyard in Tuscon, Arizona.

I had the joy of interviewing this well versed Meteorite Man and picking his brains on these extraterrestrial objects.  See video below.

Check out Geoffrey’s Stem Journals at:
Stem Journals

Also check out the Meteorite Men at:

Meteorite Men

And Geoffrey Notkin’s Official Page:

The First-of-Its-Kind Evolution Expo Science & Sci-Fi Event June 27-29 2014

The First-of-Its-Kind Evolution Expo Science & Sci-Fi Event  June 27-29 2014

May 31, 2014

The first-of-its-kind Evolution Expo 2014 is coming to the Oakland Marriott City Center this June 27-29 for a three-day event full of science and science fiction-related exhibits, workshops and presentations, it was announced by Science Fiction Entertainment, Inc. (SFE). Keynote speaker Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and star of the hit show “The Big Bang Theory,” and U.S. Astronauts Joe Edwards (pilot, Space Shuttle Endeavour) and Wendy Lawrence (mission specialist, Space Shuttle Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery) headline the star-studded list of celebrities, astronauts, engineers and the next generation of space exploration innovators who will be on hand to discuss “putting the Science back into Science Fiction.” The program schedule and tickets are available now at


Joining Bialik and astronauts Edwards and Lawrence at the event for onstage panels, autograph signings, photo opportunities and more are such stars as: Katee Sackhoff (“Longmire,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Oculus,” “Longmire”), Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones,” “Conan,” “Stargate: Atlantis,” “The Red Road”), Amanda Tapping (“Stargate SG-1,” “Sanctuary,” “Stargate: Atlantis”), John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings,”, “Indiana Jones,” “Sliders,” “Apocalypse Pompeii”), Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager”), Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “Andromeda,” “God’s Not Dead”), Tom Skerritt (“Alien,” “Top Gun,” “MASH”), Veronica Cartwright (“Alien,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Resurrection”) and Garrett Wang (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men,” “Star Trek: Renegades”).

Mayim-BialikWendy Lawrence

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Also confirmed to participate in workshops and onstage presentations to date are: Dr. Pascal Lee, planetary scientist and founder of the Mars Institute; Dr. Chris McKay, planetary scientist; Dr. John Jaquish, bio-medical engineer; Dr. Jenn Fletcher, molecular biologist; Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D. and Blaze Sanders, engineer.

About Evolution Expo: Development began in 2011 by SFE founders mother and son, Julie and Dustin Brown, who then brought Oakland’s famed Chabot Space and Science Center, on board as a strategic partner. Chabot, which will be a direct beneficiary of the inaugural SFE Charity Gala on Saturday, June 28, also will host the Gala at the Center. A 30 person stand-up planetarium and other interactive exhibits also will be provided by the Center for the three-day Evolution Expo event. “Evolution Expo is the next generation of events, bringing our audience a chance to learn about the real science behind the science fiction they love,” observes Julie Caitlin Brown, CEO of Science Fiction Entertainment (SFE). “We are committed to inspiring our attendees to know more about STEM outreach, (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and to create opportunities for greater learning in the Bay Area.”

As a result of their commitment to education, Evolution Expo has garnered the support of Tony Leavitt, Educational Specialist for NASA Ames and will feature a specific educational program named Evo-Kids. Evo-Kids is open to general attendees all three days, and also will welcome 900 fourth- and fifth-grade students from the Oakland Unified School District, who are sponsored guests of the Expo.

Evolution Expo

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Elon Musk receives Heinlein Award at Governors’ Dinner at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Elon Musk receives Heinlein Award at Governors’ Dinner at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

May 18, 2014

Space Entreprener & Visionary Elon Musk CEO & Chief Designer at SpaceX, Chairman/Product Architect/CEO of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity received the National Space Society’s prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award during Friday evening’s Governor’s Dinner at the ISDC 2014 National Space conference by Trustees of the Heinlein Prize Trust. In the last decade SpaceX has been moving directly toward accomplishing goals that are of utmost importance such as forcing a drastic reduction in launch costs by doing the very hard task which no one else in the world has been willing and able to tackle working to create a family of commercially successful and reusable rocket boosters and reusable spacecraft.


The Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award honors those individuals once every two years who have made significant lifetime contributions in promoting the goal of a free spacefaring civilization. The Award is named after author Robert A. Heinlein widely recognized as the dean of science fiction writers and of his many contributions to the pro-space movement. The award concept came from his classic book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress which represents being able to “think outside of the box.”


Emcee for the evening by Geoff Notkin, Meteorite Expert & Star of Science Channel’s Meteorite Men. Keynote speaker Rick Searfoss former shuttle Astronaut, he has flown on both the Colombia & Atlantis, XPRIZE judge also XCOR Chief Co-Pilot; following later in the evening Space Pioneer Award to the Messenger team working on the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury and NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest a competition for students up to 12th grade (18 years old) from students around the world.


Vona is one of the tie winning teams along with team Greenspace of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest receiving grand prize awards at the dinner event. See team Vona’s  incredible proposal document highlighting the possibilities for living outside the earth.

Former Astronaut Rick Searfoss who is passionate about flight speaking on the “Space Renaissance” talks about the excitement of innovation and technology today overcoming the technical challenges and turning your ideas into reality.
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The ISDC National Space Conference 2014 provides an immersive look into current space development programs, cutting edge technologies bringing diverse backgrounds together for one purpose to explore humanity’s future in space. The conference covers diverse areas such as exploration of the Moon, settlement of Mars, perceptions of space from the media, space resources, energy from space, education and space policy.

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The ISDC 2014 National Space Conference liftoffs this week in Los Angeles May 14-18

The ISDC 2014 National Space Conference liftoffs this week in Los Angeles May 14-18

May 16, 2014

The ISDC National Space Conference liftoffs and begins this week at the Sheraton LAX in Los Angeles May 14-18. What a better way to start the conference by catching Buzz Aldrin Apollo 11 Astronaut, Author, founder of ShareSpace Foundation and National Space Society Board of Governors check into the conference as he will be a keynote presenter speaking on Saturday while also attending the plenary events throughout the week. The theme of this year’s ISDC is “A Space Renaissance.” Space development and innovation are flourishing at an ever-increasing rate. New technologies are redefining our paradigm of new ideas and approaches that will bring us closer to space than ever before – a space renaissance in the making.

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The opening ISDC reception starts with MC John Spencer founder of Space Tourism Society by welcoming guests introducing featured speaker for the evening Dr. Richard Garriott sixth private astronaut in space. It was an exciting start with food, networking as well students from around the world attending OOOOJOOOO educational sessions working on projects to make space happen.


Keynote speaker Richard Garriott talked on “Opening the Floodgates to Entrepreneurial Space Exploration.” Richard is a famed video game developer, followed in the footsteps of his father, NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, and traveled to the International Space Station as the sixth private astronaut in October of 2008 and spent 10 days aboard a Russion Soyuz spacecraft.
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Richard featured his film Apogee of Fear during his time aboard the International Space Station which is the first science fiction film made in space.
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Oooojooo presented world premiere of “Return to Mars,” an original animated series and hands on 3D design experience for all students attending ISDC.
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“ISDC 2014: A Space Renaissance” the National Space Society (NSS) conference will feature the movers and shakers who will push us towards the dream of a space-based civilization. A lot happening this week with special events, speakers, educational competitions and much more… To attend visit:

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Enabling the Space Economy a workshop with Rich Phillips Strategic Business Growth Consultant | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Enabling the Space Economy a workshop with Rich Phillips Strategic Business Growth Consultant | Countdown to ISDC 2014

May 10, 2014

Rich Philips is one of the Track Co-Chairs of the Space Enterprise Track at the ISDC National Space Society conference coming up just around the corner in Los Angeles less than 5 days away May 14-18. Rich is founder of Phillips & Company a global communications firm serving both emerging and established leaders in the markets that are changing our world such as the commercial space market, homeland security, mobile computing, education, healthcare and energy. In 2007 Rich launched his space practice at Phillips & Company and has been working with companies in the space economy for many years now. The Space Enterprise track will address business plans, projects, and concepts that have reasonable potential within 10 years to become profitable and offer a competitive return to investors. QGITS had the opportunity to chat with Rich and hear more about what he had to say about the emerging new space economy.

An artist’s concept of Curiosity Mars Rover examining a rock on Mars with a set of tools that can pick up samples of soil. – Courtesy NASA

QGITS: What are some of the topics that will be discussed on the Space Enterprise track?

Rich Phillips: It’s very important that we recognize the space economy is real, it’s here today and we will be focusing on opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to grow and to be financially successful. We will see opportunities within the next 10 years that will have a return on investment. So we are looking at very near term, we put together a two day program that will explore opportunities for growth and success in a very near term space economy. We are also going to do something very unique on the 2nd day. We are going to break out as a group to conduct workshops designed to identify the requirements for a space economy to exist. Markets exists because of certain forces: legal, policy, economic, & technology. In order for a market to exist it needs to be sustainable on its own. It can’t be funded entirely by government it can’t be funded by any one mission, a true space economy needs to be multi-mission, multi- product and multi-service. So what conditions are necessary for a market to exist? We are going to explore that question and produce an answer amongst the leaders in the room. It’s a unique opportunity I think to bring together leaders in space entrepreneurship on the investment financial services side of space to really tackle these core issues. Once we defined what the requirements are we can begin working to make sure those requirements exist in order to continue to grow the space economy and achieve what we want for this country and the world.

austin_team_1280 (1)In photo: Rich Phillips (front left) with his team with one of the Get Curious campaign “rocks.” Phillips & Company coordinated with Explore Mars and other firms vested in the advancement of space exploration, including NASA, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, AeroJet and National Geographic.

QGITS: One of the innovative companies Phillips & Company is working with is Mars World Enterprises. How is the new emerging space economy becoming an opportunity for businesses like Mars World?

Richard Phillips: I believe that space is a platform for experiences, applications and services. And I believe that in this economy, people buy experiences they just don’t buy products and services. I think the Mars World concept is designed to create an immersive experience for those here on earth to be part of something very special that will transform the way we think about space and ultimately I think Mars World has a very good chance of redefining the way that entertainment and theme entertainment is produced.

QGITS: Is there anything else you would like to express about the space economy?

Rich Phillips: I believe that exploration is critical to prosperity and human progress and ultimately the space economy is an opportunity for us to really be truly ourselves as human beings. Human beings were destined to explore. I don’t think there is anything different between the first people who discovered the semi conductor, the first people who had the innovation to build that first computer or to really create the first internet application and those that are now looking at space and saying what can we do there. That’s exciting to me not just because of the destination but because of the platform for human expression and human prosperity.

More Latest ISDC News & Updates: Apollo 11 astronaut and author Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Moon, will speak during a luncheon Saturday May 18th. A total of six astronauts will be attending the conference. The 33rd Annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2014) kicks off on Wednesday, May 14, for five days of presentations, panels, exhibits, lunches and dinners celebrating this year’s theme, “A Space Renaissance.”

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Space & Media Track: Ted Schilowitz Innovator & Futurist speaking on “The Future Is Immersion” | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Space & Media Track: Ted Schilowitz Innovator & Futurist speaking on “The Future Is Immersion” | Countdown to ISDC 2014

May 6, 2014

Innovator and futurist Ted Schilowitz founding team member & first employee of Red Camera Co and consultant for digital cinema technology company Barco and 20th Century Fox. Ted will be speaking at this year’s Space and Media Track at the ISDC National Space Conference along with a list of scheduled speakers in segments encompassing movies & television, social media, art & books, games, simulations, news, filming in space, classroom, and music. QGITS was excited to hear what Ted Schilowitz had to say about his upcoming talk “The Future Is Immersion.” The ISDC countdown is just 8 days away for the conference to be held in Los Angeles at the Sheraton LAX May 14-18.

Ted Schilowitz Escape

QGITS: How did you earn the title futurist-consigliere?

Ted Schilowitz: It comes from the radical nature of my career, I’m one of the founding members and 1st employee of a movie camera company called Red Digital Cinema. Red has become very much a force in the motion picture world and it’s been a main stream tool for making movies. When I started, it was just me and Jim Jannard putting it all together and then it blew up into something significant. My title early on was “Leader of the Rebellion.” That was kind of an interesting moniker to establish in what we were doing by being very radical and very disruptive in a space that was right for disruption. Years later once the rebellion was well in hand, I had to change the business card title and it just said “insert title here” that just drove the press crazy. I retired from Red about 9 months ago, it was a very short lived retirement because one of my friends who is one of the studio heads at Fox, who used the Red camera quite a bit, essentially asked me to help look around the next corner of technology and all the things it means from a storytelling stand point. We had to come up with a title that would reflect that and not be some sort of business title. So the studio said that I was here to look at the future so we should call you “futurist” and you’re here to be our “consigliere” to the future and advise us. Since I was bold enough to stand up in meetings, have the courage and say what I think, that’s why the studio wanted me there, so they put on my business card “futurist-consigliere” which of course gives everybody a little chuckle, it’s nothing more than that, it’s just funny.

QGITS: Your presentation talk at the ISDC conference will be on “The Future is Immersion” can you talk a little bit about that?

Ted Schilowitz: I will be talking about the learning and the exploration of forms, functions and how it relates to the field of motion pictures entertainment and what that means and how it’s changing. Also what’s important and what’s around the next corner. I am involved in a number of these efforts and what I believed is the next generation of cinema which is a project called “Escape” which I am doing with a company called Barco, the worldwide leader in cinema projection. We have created an experience extending the vision of cinema around you. I have another fun and interesting title at Barco called “CinemaVangelist.” I also have a very high interest in virtual reality which is an extension of this visual experience to have a personalized vision of the future with a headset on you. So my talk will be pieces and parts of that and an understanding of form, function and a future.


QGITS: What were your thoughts when asked to be a part of the ISDC Conference Space & Media Track added this year?

Ted Schilotwitz: I’m thrilled to be a part of it, I am a huge space fan. I grew up in central Florida so I am a child of the space generation and have been enamored with it since I was a little kid. I track this stuff, I know a lot about it, I love the excitement and the exploration of it. I was thrilled when asked to be a part of the conference in some fashion to talk about my vision of the future and how it relates to entertainment and storytelling. I can’t wait to meet all the other people that are speaking and talking, I’m sure they are going to have wonderful things to say and stories that are going to get me all excited about space all over again.

About the National Space Society: The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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NASA Space Exploration Track: Lunar Sub-Track Managed by Dave Dunlop | Countdown to ISDC 2014

NASA Space Exploration Track: Lunar Sub-Track Managed by Dave Dunlop | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Apr 29, 2014

The countdown continues for this year’s upcoming ISDC National Space Society conference held in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Hotel LAX May 14-18. Dave Dunlop will be presenting and managing Track Chair of the Lunar Sub-Track during the NASA Exploration session. Dave has been part of the International Committee of the National Space Society in partner with other organizations that share the same vision of a future in which the free enterprise human economy expands to include settlements on the Moon and elsewhere. QGITS had the pleasure in speaking with Dave Dunlop about the panelists presenting on the Lunar Sub-Track.

QGITS: Last year’s lunar track was about lunar lava tube exploration on the moon, will there be any talks about them again this year?

Dave Dunlop: This year we are inviting a number of presentations involving the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. We will be getting updates about the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) competition and their recent Milestone awards to several teams from Dr. Andrew Barton, Chief Technology Officer of the GLXP. He will be presenting at the Lunar Track, Friday May 16th, in the afternoon. Google Lunar XPRIZE teams that will also be presenting at ISDC conference are: Moon Express, Penn State Lunar Lions, and Team Synergy Moon.

Although we devoted an entire day of our two day lunar track last year to lava tubes this year we have a more diverse range of topics and presentations. Last year we talked about lava tubes on the moon but there are also a number pits on the Mars shield volcanos that would seem to be evidence of underlying lava tubes there as well. Astrobotic is another GLXP team that is planning a future lunar lava tube mission. This continues to be a hot topic for exploration. To get something into the lunar lava tube is something that has never been tried before – it’s quite challenging. I hope they can pull that off.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE is going to be a reality show on Discovery and Science Channel in 2015.

QGITS: What will also be presented on the Lunar Sub-Track panel?

Dave Dunlop: Another aspect of the Lunar track this year includes a talk about lunar cycling orbits by Al Anzaldua of NSS Tucson; the development of lunar economy by Brad Blair an economic geologist and a couple of presentations on space radiation by Dr. Dennis Wright of Stanford Linear Accelerator and Dr. Doug Plata. Although it’s a Lunar track we are very pleased to have a special session on the Mercury Messenger mission by that outstanding team. So it’s a wider range of topics than last year and I hope that everyone who attends will find it both highly interesting and stimulating.

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QGITS: What will you be speaking about at this year’s Lunar Sub-Track 2014?

Dave Dunlop: I am giving a talk on the International Lunar Geophysical Campaign. We are trying to do is to stimulate international interest in sending more small affordable science missions to the moon. At present only three countries have managed to soft land on the Moon. If you look at a number of missions that are being planned over the next 10 years, there’s quite a few. What I have counted amount about 24 missions in development right now. Mostly those come from major spacefaring powers like China, India, Japan, Canada and Russia. If you look at these missions, there only 8 countries out of the major G-20 economies. Why aren’t there more lunar missions coming from G-20 countries? Our campaign is trying to encourage the number of these affordable Lunar CubeSat scale missions and more nations to be engaged.

We hope for example that some of the GLXP teams that have not had the ability to raise enough capital or adequate time to meet the GLXP deadline can repurpose their efforts and subsequently find both national as well as private sponsors for lunar science missions. NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual network has a number of international nodes and I understand that some additional nations are also joining that network. Perhaps there can be some collaborative project that these initiatives can mutually develop. We could see a new paradigm of small scale affordable science missions undertaken by more countries than ever before as a result.

More Latest ISDC News & Updates: The National Space Society’s prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award will be presented to Elon Musk at the 2014 International Space Development Conference (ISDC). The conference will run from May 14-18, 2014 in Los Angeles, Ca. The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development.

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David Ruck Director & Producer of “I want to be an Astronaut” Film Screening at the National Space Conference | Countdown to ISDC 2014

David Ruck Director & Producer of “I want to be an Astronaut” Film Screening at the National Space Conference | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Apr 23, 2014

David J. Ruck is a photographer, filmmaker and educator, currently based in Maryland. David’s production company – Rubangfilms – specializes in emotive imaging: creating film, video, and photographic projects that inspire an emotional reaction from audiences. His latest production, “I want to be an Astronaut“, was premiered aboard the International Space Station and has been widely covered in the national media advocating for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) educational programs. David will be screening his film this summer in the amphitheater of the Historic National Academy of Sciences Building to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the American Astronautical Society, in Washington, DC. The film will also be featured at this year’s ISDC National Space Society conference in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 18. QGITS was thrilled to talk with David Ruck about his film documentary “I want to be an Astronaut” and the importance of having a space program.

David Ruck

QGITS: What inspired you to become a filmmaker and storyteller that highlights important issues like space?

David Ruck: I have been making films for about 14 years, I have never made anything like this one before but I was really inspired by hearing Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the Bill Maher show talking about NASA’s budget and how we spent more money bailing out the banks in 2008/2009 than we had in the 50 years in the space program. While I was not paying attention to space at the time, however; I knew that NASA was a source of inspiration for young people that wanted to be astronauts.  A contextual example of why you need to learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). So are we paving the way to be a nation that’s setting the bar high for our the future, serving the ultimate American dream, if you will, this idea of wanting to be an astronaut? If we don’t have a space program even capable of getting humans into space then have we completely lost that dream? I really wanted to know what the consequences of that would be on the everyday person. Through this journey identifying this young man, who not only wanted to be an astronaut since he was 3 but at 17 he really had a full body vision of wanting to remove humanity beyond earth for political, economic, social and cultural reasons. I found this kid who had this vision of why this important and I received more than what I bargained for and that’s when I felt what he was really up against because nothing inspires kids more like a vibrant space program. If we don’t have that then we are forfeiting not just our future in space but our economic future. I think the space program is a source of national pride an example of what the government can do when it’s doing its best and why the average citizen should be interested in space.

View the official trailer of “I want to be an Astronaut” documentary – The dream of one boy. The fate of one nation. Our future in space.

QGITS: What was it like documenting someone like 17 year old Blair?

David Ruck: Meeting Blair and following his First Robotics team – Chantilly Robotics Team 612 - really gave me hope. Teams at 15 and 16 years old build robots to help solve real world problems. I just didn’t even know these things were possible for them to do at this age or to even be working on – I think that’s a testament to the First Robotics program and other programs like it.  I saw the potential of our future and if these kids were given exciting opportunities down the road, then that just gave me a lot of hope. It also really frustrated me when I see that, in spite of the fact, there are clearly qualified individuals out there ready and willing to commit themselves for these challenges, yet we haven’t committed ourselves as a nation to making this a huge priority. That’s why I made this film and that’s why I have gone from being someone who wasn’t paying attention to space, into someone who now understands and appreciates the young people who want to pursue these things and what they are going to be offering us in the future. We need to pave the way for them to be successful.

QGITS: Anything else you would like to add?

David Ruck: Ultimately the goal of this film is to emphasize the importance of the space program, what the space program has done for us, and what it could do for us as a nation in the future if we decide to make space exploration a priority.

More Latest ISDC News & Updates: Three Nights, Three Days tells the story of how America’s second largest city came together in a uniting moment to shepard a national treasure through its often troubled streets. With only three Orbiters to allocate across the country, NASA supplied the Space Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles under the instruction that she be immediately placed on public display. Faced with the daunting challenge of squeezing a huge priceless object through nearly 13 miles of relatively narrow roads to the California Science Center, literally thousands of engineers, law enforcement representatives and volunteers pulled it off against considerable odds. Endeavour’s epic final journey, dubbed Mission 26, is chronicled in this as-yet-unreleased film which will be presented by producers Melissa Eccles and David Knight.

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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:

NASA Space Exploration Track: Carl Schueler Satellite Remote Sensing System Architect & Engineer | Countdown to ISDC 2014

NASA Space Exploration Track: Carl Schueler Satellite Remote Sensing System Architect & Engineer | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Apr 15, 2014

Carl Schueler is a Satellite remote sensing system architect, EO sensor systems engineer and applications scientist, study and proposal lead. He received degrees in Physics & Astronomy at Louisiana State University, followed by two years at Hughes Aircraft Company teaching F-14 radar, Maverick missile theory and field repair. He earned a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara in 1980 under a Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellowship. He is currently President at Schueler Consulting with clients that include LexerdTek, MEI Technologies, Orbital Sciences, and Cornell Technical Services. Carl is the Main Track Chair kicking off the first day of introductions for the NASA Exploration Track for the ISDC 2014 National Space Society conference coming up soon on May 14-18. QGITS had the pleasure of talking to Carl about the NASA 4 day track.

Carl Schueler

QGITS: The Nasa Exploration Track at the ISDC conference is a four day event that will cover four subtracks: 1) Asteroids; 2) Emerging Science & Technology; 3) Lunar; and 4) Space Exploration. Which track will you be speaking on?

Carl Schueler: We have a really packed schedule, well over 30 invited speakers who are all confirmed plus 4 students planning to present during the track in which I had the pleasure working with 5 Co-Chairs for the subtracks. The Asteroid sub-track is being managed by Dan Kwon from Orbital Sciences Corporation and the Lunar sub-track by David Dunlop, Saturday we have an all day science and technology sub-track by Samantha Infeld and Bill Gardiner and finally Sunday morning we have space exploration managed by Matt Ondler. My job was really made pretty easy and I am not giving a presentation. I will be introducing the 1st speaker of the track on Thursday morning and turning the rest to the sub-track leads; the work I have done has been stage manager/background. I’m just really pleased to be able to have done that relatively small contribution to the effort and be a part of it. I think it’s going to be a really exciting track. We’ve got people from NASA of course, JPL, NASA Headquarters, Johnson Space Center, the Associate Director of JPL talking about their space exploration program, and several talks on the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. I think that should be really interesting! We have a talk on DAWN, a mission launched in 2007 exploring a couple of the larger asteroids in the belt and presentations on extraction of materials from the asteroids, similar for lunar, and prospects for getting to the moon again, talks on space manufacturing, discussions on propulsion techniques and lots of other great topics.(View full agenda of scheduled speakers)

Photo Credit: NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission images.

QGITS: What type of projects have you worked on?

Carl Schueler: This conference is sort of like the movie “Back to the Future” for me as I started out after I got my degree in Physics & Astronomy as an Astronomy Professor and Planetarium Director back in the early 70’s. Then got redirected into Engineering at Hughes Aircraft Company and remote sensing from space which involves looking down from earth orbit rather than out to space. I had to turn my back on space and look back at earth, spent 35 years doing development of earth remote sensing missions for NASA, that was great. I had a really good time with it, but this conference is an opportunity to get back to what I was doing many years in the past and find out what’s going on in space these days after having spent 35 years looking at earth from space.

QGITS: What are you most excited about the NASA Exploration Track?

Carl Schueler: I am just really pleased that we have been able to assemble a cast of excellent speakers every single day. This track I think is going to be really interesting – educational, entertaining, and inspirational: all three! I’m sure the conference overall is going to be great and there will be terrific speakers across the board so I am just really excited to be part of the entire effort and glad that I could participate.

About the National Space Society: The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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Space Solar Power Track: Gary Barnhard Robotic Space Systems Engineer | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Space Solar Power Track: Gary Barnhard Robotic Space Systems Engineer  | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Apr 10, 2014

Gary Barnhard is a robotic space systems engineer whose professional work includes a wide range of robotic, space, and computer systems engineering projects. Gary has received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1982 combining Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science, with graduate work in science policy, solar physics, and artificial intelligence. He was awarded a grant to participate in NASA’s Graduate Student Researchers Program under the auspices of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the UMCP Aerospace Engineering Department. Some of his work included supporting the development of the Space Station User Information System Requirements. Over the last 34 years he has been extensively involved in the space advocacy community. QGITS had the opportunity to chat with Gary Barnhard who will be speaking on the panel at this year’s ISDC National Space Society Conference coming up May 14-18 on the Space Solar Power track.

Gary Barnhard

QGITS: You have an extensive background in space related educational programs and working with different organizations in the space field, how did you get started in the space advocacy community?
Gary Barnhard: For me I had an interesting habit of hanging out in the Nasa headquarters library back in junior high school and early high school and one day the librarian there who I was good friends with came up to me and said you know Gary there is something you need to read and she handed me a copy of the publication “Physics Today” and it had an article by this interesting Physicist in it from Princeton named Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill dealing with the issue of “Was the surface of the planet really the best home for an expanding technological civilization?” (Physics Today, September 1974). I had wanted to be an Astronaut since I became aware watching the Gemini launches go up in space. Unfortunately, despite memorizing the eye chart, it was clear I could never pass a real vision test. What Dr. O’Neill offered was the vision of a positive future that I could help with, helping to provide for space development and build large space structures and space stations. That’s how I went on to.. what turned out to be a career in robotics space systems engineering.


Photo credit by NASA of Solar Maximum Mission (SMM).

QGITS: Can you tell us about the projects you have worked on?
Gary Barnhard: I started off as part of the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) which was a satellite doing solar observations in the early 80’s. I provided real time images of the sun in hydrogen alpha to the control room as part of the cooperative research in physics & astronomy agreement between University of Maryland and NASA Goddard. I went on from there as a NASA grantee in NASA graduate researchers program where I was working on the applications of knowledge based systems to the domain of spacecraft systems engineering. I had the opportunity to be a part of the Space Station Program Mission Requirements Working Group in the original efforts to breathe life into the space station program and from there I ended up on the contractors side of the fence working with Goddard Space Station Office.

QGITS: What will you be addressing on the panel for the Space Solar Power Track (SSP)?
Gary Barnhard: There will be five sessions: 1 – Overview Perspectives; 2 – SSP Concepts, research and technology development; 3 – Supporting Infrastructure; 4 – Fostering international cooperation – focusing the government/industry/NGO mix; and, 5 – SSP Industry Day. One of the more unique sessions will be on “space solar power industry day” which is intended to draw out where help is needed ..once a upon a time NASA used to have these events called “industry days” where technical people working a program would explain where the problems are and where we need help. The idea being to view the contractor community as resource to help solve the tough problem a program faces. Today space solar power is tough systems engineering problem but is one of the few options that we can potentially bring to the table that can scale to not only make a dramatic contribution to the energy to the United States but to the world.

QGITS:  Lastly, why should someone attend the ISDC conference?
Gary Barnhard: We need to be about the question of not just thinking about the future we like to see come to pass but what are we doing to make it real? The National Space Society is effectively the big tent space advocacy organization with the goal trying to provide a path to engagement in space for anyone that has an interest. Regardless of whether it is just a vicarious interest, those who wish to be advocates for helping make things happen, and/or those who actually who want to be involved in building things and making it happen directly. The ISDC pulls together a diverse community of individuals across all disciplines and perspectives.

Stay tuned for more updates and news as the countdown continues for the upcoming National Space Society (NSS) International Space Development Conference (ISDC) happening soon in Los Angeles May 14-18 2014.

About the National Space Society: The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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Yuri’s Night World Space Party at the California Science Center

Yuri’s Night World Space Party at the California Science Center

Apr 8, 2014

Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present, and future in space. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight, and April 12, 1981, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle. Yuri’s Night events combine space-themed partying with education and outreach. These events can range from an all-night mix of techno and technology at a NASA Center, to a movie showing and stargazing at your local college, to a gathering of friends at a bar or barbecue.

For over 10 years, Yuri’s Night has been bringing awesome space-themed parties to people all around the planet on April 12th. This year’s Los Angeles event will be held under the city’s newest gem- the Space Shuttle Endeavour. With 25 space missions under her belt she is a true veteran of human space flight.  Endeavour is the honored guest at the center of this years celebration. Especially since Yuri’s Night celebrates the joint anniversaries of the 1st flight of the Space Shuttle (on April 12, 1981) and the 1st flight of a human being into space (Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961).

science centerPhoto by Andrea Gutierrez

Attend this weekend’s celebration Friday, April 11 starting at 9:00pm under the space shuttle at the California Science Center, Register Here

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Yuri’s Night

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


Space Experience Track: John Spencer Space Architect & Designer | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Space Experience Track: John Spencer Space Architect & Designer | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Apr 4, 2014

John Spencer is a Space Architect & Designer, founder and president of the Space Tourism Society (STS), and author of the first book on space tourism published in the U.S. titled Space Tourism: Do You Want to Go? (2004) in which he pioneers the application of yachting and cruise ship industry models to space tourism. He has been quoted in more than 150 TV shows, documentaries, radio shows, and articles in magazines and newspapers on Space Tourism. He is considered a leading expert in creation and design of real space facilities and space ship interiors for NASA and private space enterprise, as well as space and future-themed simulation attractions, resorts, camps and media for the general public. He is the founder and chief designer of the Space Experience Design Studio (SED). QGITS had the chance to talk with John Spencer Entrepreneur, Visionary and Space Architect Pioneer who is on the Board of Directors for the National Space Society and he will also be speaking on the panel at this year’s ISDC 2014 National Space Society “Space Experience” track.

QGITS: What inspired you to become a Space Architect rather than designing shopping malls, for example?

John Spencer: I am actually designing a Mars Space themed shopping mall at the moment but that’s a different story. I was thirteen years old when the Apollo 11 first landed on the moon, I was very impressionable in those years and of course the tv show “Star Trek” was also a big a impression on me and the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” with all the cool design, so I always loved finding stuff in architecture, science and space. In the late 70’s when I was working on my Masters in Architecture, I combined those two into a brand new field – Space Architecture. How do you really design these habitable spaces for people? There was very few people, just two other guys at that time in the late 70’s pioneering space architecture, there are more people today but it has been really quite an adventure, it’s what I really call the exploring the design frontier, it’s very exciting for a career.

Orbital Super Space Yacht “Destiny”: Current project John Spencer has been working on for the past decade.

QGITS: You have worked on innovative designs of real space facilities and space ship interiors such as the International Space Station, Aquarius Underwater Laboratory, SpaceHab Module and more, how does that feel to know that you have worked on these impactful projects?

John Spencer: It’s really very satisfying because everyone one of those was a big challenge and part of the challenges particularly in the early days was from the Aerospace industry “Why are you here?” in other words, why is there an Architect Designer even in the room because that was different from an engineering stand point and it was a struggle to show the validity and the value of design; there was a lot of challenges but it made it more satisfying to succeed and to know that deep in my heart that this was important stuff and over time it would become more important as more and more people go to these extreme and isolated environments whether it was for science or adventure tourism and the comforts and safety were very important to them.

John Spencer

QGITS: At the ISDC conference coming up, what are some of the things people will hear you talk about on the panel “Space Experience” track?

John Spencer: I like talking about what I call the “Big Picture”, and that is a wide definition of Space Experience; I have been involved in all of these different mediums. There are 3 key areas: (1) There’s real space, someone who actually goes to space (2) there’s Earth experiences where you visit places like the Kennedy Space Center, Space Museum or one of our space experienced simulation projects and (3) there’s movies, TV, media, virtual worlds and games.  If you ever imagine a triangle, with 3 all three of those are different types of space experiences, now over a lifetime people become more affluent in life having ever increasingly realistic space experiences from reading a book to going to space museum to taking a zero gravity flight to suborbital flight to eventually a real space flight. That’s what I will be talking about is giving the big picture and then showing some of my visionary things, concept of the rover race around the entire moon and some other things but also showing a little bit of context of the history of envisioning space experiences from Jules Verne the great science fiction writer to Walt Disney and futuristic space stations and so forth and so what I want people to walk away with whatever field I am in I can have a career in the space field whether I am hair dresser, chef, architect, a designer we have to look at all of those areas to create space experiences and to a wider audience of space.

More Latest ISDC News & Updates: The Space & Media track will feature some of the top creative minds behind recent blockbuster movies that have brought audiences spectacular visions of space. Giving ISDC attendees a peek behind the curtain will be Tim Webber, VFX Supervisor and The Third Floor CEO Chris Edwards, with a look at previsualization and visual effects on “Gravity”; Ben Grossman, VFX Supervisor, with a look at “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” and Bjorn Mayer, VFX Supervisor and Steve Preeg, Animation Director, showing the making-of “Oblivion” — with more to come. Countdown to ISDC 2014 – May 14-18.

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Space & Media Track: Buzz Hays 3D expert for Sony Corporation Worldwide | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Space & Media Track: Buzz Hays 3D expert for Sony Corporation Worldwide | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Mar 31, 2014

Buzz Hays is one of the leading experts in Stereoscopic 3D film production and post-production in the motion picture and television industry. His producing experience led to his key role as the 3D expert for Sony Corporation worldwide, from film production to live-broadcast events to consumer and professional electronics design consulting. His expertise and guidance was integral to the rollout of Sony 3DTV in 2010, and his contributions in camera design for 3D has led to successful products in the marketplace both for professionals and consumers. He founded the award-winning Sony 3D Technology Center based at Sony Pictures in Culver City, CA. He is now the Owner and Studio Chief of the True Image Company, a 3D and advanced imaging production and consulting company. QGITS had the distinct pleasure to chat with Buzz Hays over the phone and ask him more about stereoscopic 3D technology and how he is looking forward to being a part of this year’s Space & Media track in Los Angeles at the ISDC conference 2014.

3D QGITS: What were your thoughts when you were asked to speak at the ISDC?
Buzz Hays: I was thrilled. I actually spoke at the SETIcon conference two years ago and that was a really great experience hanging out with astrophysicists and astronauts. I thought this would be a nice adjunct to that. In much of the work I do, I end up working with scientists. I think if I didn’t pursue this career path, I definitely would have become a scientist. In the work I do for stereoscopic 3D in films, I work with neurobiologists and neuroscientists, partially just to understand what is going on in the brain when we fuse 3D images in the visual cortex, and how we perceive those images on an emotional and physiological level. I also work with these scientists to learn how we can improve the process of stereoscopic image creation, in addition to furthering the use of the S3D medium into the medical, scientific and navigation fields.
Buzz Hays Photo Credit:; Buzz Hays at the International 3D Society’s 2012 Technology Awards.

QGITS: How exciting is it to be working with visual effect technologies and to be part of the film industry?
Buzz Hays: It is incredibly exciting! Filmmakers have a great opportunity to transport you into a new time and place, and bring audiences into compelling situations where they are completely immersed in the story. In visual effects, there has been a lot of refinement of the techniques over the years, but often it has gotten to the point where you almost don’t believe things you see anymore. It’s so fantastic, that it’s hard to get a grasp of it all sometimes because the storytelling is lost in the visuals. However, when it comes to great 3D films like Gravity, where the filmmakers take the use of visuals very seriously, they work very hard to integrate the visuals into the story, and therefore they successfully recreate the experience of what it would be like to be in space. I worked at Lucasfilm for many years in the post-Star Wars era, and I learned that even though writers made up the science in the storytelling, it still had to be plausible, even if the technology they devised in the script hadn’t been developed yet. It’s really fun to look forward and create these situations that may some day come true, but for now we are taking from people’s imagination so that audiences can experience new and exciting places in the universe.

QGITS: At the ISDC conference coming up in May, what can people take away from your talk?
Buzz Hays: I think people coming to the conference really appreciate the marriage between art and science, so I am hosting a panel about immersive technology from the perspective of both science and art. The panel will include top filmmaking professionals working in 3D who create these worlds artificially for entertainment, and also I’ll have a JPL engineer on the panel who designs systems to connect us directly to space. We will discuss how immersive technologies provide a virtual gateway to space.

Almost a month away stay tuned for more updates and news as the countdown continues for the upcoming National Space Society (NSS) International Space Development Conference (ISDC) happening soon in Los Angeles May 14-18 2014.

About the National Space Society: The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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Julie Miller Associate Producer of Space & Media Track | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Julie Miller Associate Producer of Space & Media Track | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Mar 26, 2014

Julie Miller is a talented strategic communications pro in entertainment & technology an Associate Producer of the Space & Media track for this year’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2014 happening May 14-18 in Los Angeles. Julie’s background: she was Director of Communications & Marketing at Academy Award-winning digital production studio Digital Domain. The company is known for creating visual effects for feature films, advertising and games. There she oversaw communications, publicity and marketing for the company’s work on movies like “Iron Man 3,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the ‘hologram’ Tupac Shakur at Coachella and more. QGITS had the chance to meet and chat with Julie about the upcoming ISDC 2014. Here’s what she had to say:

QGITS: What do you think of having a Space & Media Track, at this year’s ISDC conference 2014?

Julie Miller: I think it’s great and so important, relevant and timely. The media, whether it’s through entertainment or advertising – that’s a way we all discover views of space. Games, films and TV shows, and of course, the news, all show us different visions of what space looks like. This a great conference track that shows where these visions of space come from and how the public perceptions get shaped. I think it’s really interesting.

California Science Center

Recent photo of Julie Miller (far right side) at the California Science Center with some team members of the ISDC conference 2014. Next to Julie in photo Derek Cederbaum, Associate Producer, Space & Media track/ISDC, William Harris VP of Marketing, California Science Center Foundation and David Knight Film Producer of “Journey of Endeavour’, Chair of ISDC and Producer, Space & Media track-

QGITS: How did you get involved in the space tech industry?
Julie Miller: It’s really interesting because my involvement is very new. I come from a background in digital production, marketing for technology and creative companies. Space travel, space battles and things like aliens are common themes in visual effects productions, for the obvious reasons. Filmmakers don’t get out into space much.. Digital Domain created some of the memorable space visuals for movies like “Apollo 13,” “Oblivion,” a couple of “Star Trek” movies, and “Ender’s Game.” It’s fascinating to learn the processes and research that visual effects companies undertake to achieve what you see on screen. I have made lots of contacts in the media industry and just recently got connected to  Conference Producer David Knight, actually through a journalist at the Hollywood Reporter who called me to help place some speakers. I’m totally sucked in now and really loving working on this event.

QGITS:  What are you excited about this year’s ISDC conference?
Julie Miller: I am just becoming aware of how big, important and prominent it is, and it’s exciting to be part of fostering the awareness and excitement about space.  With commercial space companies making their marks and the show “Cosmos” being such a big event, it feels like the space movement is reaching critical mass in the public domain and I am looking forward to being a part of that cross over bridge of the media and perceptions it makes. In addition to getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of the big movies and shows that create a picture of space, I’m most excited about getting exposure to topics I know very little about — like space-based solar power, the new business models of the space industry, and of course, maybe getting the chance to hear Buzz Aldrin or Elon Musk speak.

QGITS:  Anything else you would like to talk about?
Julie Miller:  I guess one more point worth mentioning is how the visual effects industry relates to STEM and STEAM. It’s a really exciting field to get into and it’s everything that STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering arts and math. That’s visual effects – all of those things combined. I have met amazing, brilliant, talented artists who solve crazy difficult problems by combining technology with art.

Stay tuned for more updates and news as the countdown continues for the upcoming National Space Society (NSS) International Space Development Conference (ISDC) happening soon in Los Angeles May 14-18 2014.

About the National Space Society: The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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Space & Media Track: David Knight Film Producer “Journey of Endeavour” | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Space & Media Track: David Knight Film Producer “Journey of Endeavour” | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Mar 20, 2014

We’re continuing our Countdown to the National Space Society (NSS) 33rd International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Los Angeles, taking place May 14-18. Keep checking here every week for exciting news and updates about the conference. For the first time, ISDC will include a track called Space & Media: the purpose of the track is to illuminate how media, in all of its forms, influences the public perception of space exploration, and in particular, manned spaceflight. The new track will include presenters drawn from film, television, news, social media, simulations, games and even music. Already signed up to present are Oscar-winning Visual Effects Artist Ben Grossman from the movie “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” Buzz Hays who until recently was Senior Vice President of 3D Production at Sony Pictures, and many others. Click here to view the track’s session schedule, which runs for the full four days of the conference.

David Knight photo space shuttle

The NSS asked STEM supporter and documentary filmmaker David Knight to chair Space & Media: David is an entrepreneur primarily involved in computing and space technology. Most recently he became a film producer, heading a multi-year effort to document the final phases of the Space Shuttle program, culminating with the journey of Endeavour to Los Angeles. David is now building a technology company involving microsatellites and UAVs, and continues to invest in high-tech and entertainment related startups. He is among the original members of the XPRIZE, which saw SpaceShipOne achieve the first private spaceflight, and plans to fly on Virgin Galactic. With a background in applied physics, David is committed to bringing science education to youth of all ages. He is a Trustee of the California Science Center Foundation and various other STEM-focused non-profits. According to him, “With ISDC taking place this year in the world center of media, it was logical to highlight the people and activities that shape people’s perception of what we’re doing, and what we could be doing, in space. The stunning popularity of films like Gravity, Star Trek and others, coupled with private spaceflight companies such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, and the new generation of immersive technologies that can ‘take us there’ right from our living rooms, are building an excitement that hasn’t been there since the Apollo program.” In fact, Knight points out, it was Walt Disney himself who worked with the Kennedy administration to build a series of promotional films that not only influenced the public via television airings, but were utilized in depicting the possibilities and advances that a moonshot program would bring, to Congress in order to obtain funding. “Often with each new technological wave comes a range of opportunities which we are all going to benefit from,” Knight said. “Ranging from personal spaceflights to individualized medications to ultra-rapid transcontinental travel, we’re only at the beginning of where this next wave will take us.”

Take a look and watch this incredible ‘mini-film’ documentary produced by David Knight chronicling Endeavour’s final journey three-day voyage to the California Science Center Museum with a cheering crowd of over 1.5 million who lined the route.

Stay tuned for more updates and news as the countdown continues for the upcoming National Space Society (NSS) International Space Development Conference (ISDC) happening soon in Los Angeles May 14-18 2014.

About the National Space Society: The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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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.

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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:

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National Space Society to Hold Global Conference in Los Angeles | Countdown to ISDC 2014

National Space Society to Hold Global Conference in Los Angeles  | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Mar 14, 2014

The National Space Society (NSS) invites you to join their 33rd International Space Development Conference (ISDC) held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles CA from May 14-18. The NSS has over 50 chapters around the world with conferences held in major cities and venues throughout the United States that covers several broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization, including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live and work in space and Earth based activities to advocate for or educate others about space development. The ISDC is unique in that it brings together members of the general public with space activists, scientists, engineers, educators, astronauts, aerospace industry leaders, entrepreneurs and government officials for one purpose: to explore humanity’s future in space.

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The NSS is an American international educational and scientific nonprofit organization specializing in space advocacy for exploration, colonization and private spaceflight. The first International Space Development Conference was held in 1982 with a continued mission to promote social, economic, technological, and political change in order to expand civilization beyond Earth, to settle space and to use the resulting resources to build a hopeful and prosperous future for humanity. This Vision embraces both space as a future second home for humanity and the resources of space (such as the Sun’s energy for space-based solar power, extra-terrestrial minerals for raw materials, and low-gravity for manufacturing) being used for the benefit of all of us on the Earth. To Learn more visit:

Join this year’s International Space Development Conference 2014 in May for an immersive look into current space development programs, cutting edge aerospace technology and innovative new products to inspire new ideas and approaches that will bring us closer to space than ever before.

Click Here to Register & Attend

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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

ATX West Automation Technology Expo 2014

ATX West Automation Technology Expo 2014

Feb 12, 2014

The world’s leading automation suppliers showcase their products and technologies for lean manufacturing, cost reduction, enhanced productivity, and six-sigma process control at ATX West. Since its inception in 2006, ATX West has grown each year and established itself as the West Coast’s premier event, featuring the latest technological advances in custom automation and assembly, robotics, control software, motors, drives, motion control, and more. Learning Labs new for 2014! A new series of thirty 2-hour educational sessions devoted to identifying, exploring, testing and delivering practical solutions in Medical, Packaging, Automation, Design & Manufacturing. View Learning Labs list of speakers and agenda:

View exhibitor listing by product & service category at ATX West 2014

Register & attend Free 3 day event at the Anaheim Convention Center to access the latest in automation, robotics, and assembly technologies under one roof Feb 11th-13th: Registration Link

Click Here to download Digital Brochure

Recent Study: Breathing Los Angeles Air Linked to Cancer

Recent Study: Breathing Los Angeles Air Linked to Cancer

Feb 11, 2014

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Southern California, but that yellow-grey hue that hangs above our beloved City of Angels is not a halo. In fact, it was just recently discovered that living in cities such as Los Angeles and Long Beach could give you cancer just by breathing the air.

A new report from the cancer agency of the World Health Organization affirms that air pollution is a leading cause of lung cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has an official list of carcinogens, substances known to cause cancer, and added air pollution to the list alongside other well known problem causers such as tobacco, asbestos, and ultraviolet radiation.

The report was released after scientists analyzed over 1,000 cases worldwide and was able to provide sufficient evidence to state that air pollution causes lung cancer.

The top five most polluted cities were Bakersfield, CA, Merced, CA, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Riverside in the U.S.

Bet that new electric car is looking pretty sweet right now, my fellow Southern California commuter.

Could breathing the air here give you lung cancer?

Could breathing the air here give you lung cancer?

For more details visit:
CBS News



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

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

AIAA event with Dr. Armin Kleinboehl | New Insights into Weather & Climate on Mars from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

AIAA event with Dr. Armin Kleinboehl | New Insights into Weather & Climate on Mars from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Feb 3, 2014

The (AIAA-SGV) American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics San Gabriel Valley section held an evening dinner event at Beckham Grill Restaurant in Pasadena, Ca with guest speaker Dr. Armin Kleinboehl, Research Scientist and a Remote Sensing Specialist at the (JPL) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Bremen, Germany, and has more than 10 years of experience in remote sensing of the atmospheres of Earth and Mars. He participated in numerous airborne and balloon-borne field campaigns to study the stratospheric ozone layer and to validate satellite measurements. Currently, Dr. Kleinboehl is a Co-Investigator and the lead developer of the operational retrieval algorithm for the Mars Climate Sounder investigation on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which he uses to conduct research on the martian weather and climate.


Armin works with the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), one of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s six science instruments, that is performing a detailed, systematic study of Mars’ weather and climate. Mars Climate Sounder is the first science investigation at Mars that is capable of performing a “4-dimensional” study (three spatial dimensions and time) of the key properties of Mars’ lower and middle atmosphere. Since Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began its science operations in November 2006, Mars Climate Sounder has been acquiring vertical profiles of the temperature, pressure, dust, and clouds of the lower 80 kilometers (50 miles) of Mars’ atmosphere. 

Mathobotix Sumo-Bot Robotics Lego Challenge | OC Mini Maker Faire

Mathobotix Sumo-Bot Robotics Lego Challenge | OC Mini Maker Faire

Jan 30, 2014

Mathobotix offers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational services to K-12 students providing an Integrated Learning Environment to promote the 5 C’s such as Critical thinking, Creative problem-solving, Communications, Collaboration, and Cross-cultural relationship building, and the 4 R’s – Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, and Robotics.

At Mathobotix kids can learn the basics of programming using Scratch & Python with Raspberry Pi, Optobotics giving your robot eyes, Build Night with a different theme using Lego technic components, a 12 week course for students to apply grade level math and science in simulated real world projects, Summer Camp, Robotics Scout Merit Badges also birthday parties and corporate team building events.

Watch video interview with Anil Pattni from OCHackerz/QGITS & Andrea Kuipers from QGITS talking with Kyle Samuelson STEM Mentor from Mathobotix about the fun and exciting Sumo-Bot Challenge where kids will build their own robot through the Lego platform and compete at the OC Mini Maker Faire.

View the latest classes at Mathobotix, Click here to see Calendar


1000 Roosevelt, Suite 200, Irvine Ca 92620

10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. Los Alamitos Ca 90720

OC minimaker faire

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

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.

4 (1)

FLL Lego pic event

To learn more about FLL program:

2013 Nature’s Fury Challenge


Main logo Fll

Factory Enova Do-IT-Yourself Laser Engraving Studio

Factory Enova Do-IT-Yourself Laser Engraving Studio

Dec 12, 2013

The sky is the limit in what you can create at Factory Enova a fun local do-it-yourself (DIY) laser engraving design studio in Fountain Valley, Ca started by Co-Founders Vinh Lieu and Seth Inyang providing the community a place for students, families, hobbyists, artists, tinkers and makers with accessibility to laser engraving/printing, cutting to make 3-dimensional projects and 3D printing equipment to inspire & create your own custom innovative projects. Cut and engrave any design into almost any material imaginable. (Fe) Factory Enova brings the factory experience into your hands with powerful yet easy-to-use machines, educational workshops & classes on emerging digital desktop machinery also you can book the studio space for a special event. Come by & check out Factory Enova to create your own idea or holiday gift this year! They are open everyday from 10am – 10pm.

fe pic

Photo credit by: Dannie Phan

Make your own laser engraved custom style coffee mug.

Student workshop creating cool 3-dimensional Dinosaurs!

Make dinosaurs pic 2

Photo credit by: Dannie Phan

If interested in a workshop, membership or hourly pass please visit More Info

See what members have created at Factory Enova, check out & visit their blog

Fe Holiday mixer
Factory Enova

16540 Harbor Blvd Ste. H
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Ph: 657-210-4637

GoldieBlox Engineering Toys for Girls

GoldieBlox Engineering Toys for Girls

Dec 9, 2013

At GoldieBlox, their goal is to get girls building to help level the playing field in every sense of the phrase. By tapping into girls’ strong verbal skills with a book series+construction set that engages kids and bolsters confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools they need to build and create amazing things.

Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. Growing up in a small town in Rhode Island, she never knew what engineering was until her high school math teacher suggested she pursue it as a college major. She couldn’t figure out why her math teacher thought she should be a train conductor! Nevertheless, she gave engineering a try during her freshman year at Stanford. Four years later, she graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering / Product Design. Bothered by how few women there were in her program, Debbie became obsessed with the notion of “disrupting the pink aisle” with a toy that would introduce girls to the joy of engineering at a young age.

Shop Here for Holiday Building Games for Girls

A must see video by Goldie Box: “Princess Machine


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

images (3) – Electronics, Coding and Hands-on Making Program for Girls – Electronics, Coding and Hands-on Making Program for Girls

Nov 19, 2013

DIY Girls is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs with their mission to increase women and girls’ interest in technology, engineering and making through innovative educational experiences. DIY Girls develops and implements a range of educational programs and events designed to encourage exploration with technology, promote self-confidence and support aspiration for technical careers. See video of Luz Rivas Founder & Executive Director of DIY Girls in how she started the STEM after school program to teach girls an early experience in creative electronics and technology.

Support & Donate Indiegogo campaign to help them grow their program so they can reach more girls and provide them with hands-on opportunities to create with technology while learning about tech careers.


UCSD SEDS Chapter – 1st University in the world successfully test 3D-printed Rocket Engine

UCSD SEDS Chapter – 1st University in the world successfully test 3D-printed Rocket Engine

Oct 7, 2013

The UC San Diego chapter of the organization known as (SEDS) Students for the Exploration and Development of Space represented the Jacobs School of Engineering when they conducted a hot fire test for a 3D-printed metal rocket engine that they, themselves designed. The rocket engine, aptly named Tri-D, was tested at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site in the Mojave Desert on the morning of Saturday, October 5th.

“It was a resounding success and could be the next step in the development of cheaper propulsion systems and a commercializing of space,” said President Deepak Atyam.

Award Winning movie Flight of the Butterflies 3D at the California Science Center

Award Winning movie Flight of the Butterflies 3D at the California Science Center

Oct 7, 2013

QGITS at the premier of Award winning film Flight of the Butterflies in 3D IMAX theater at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Ca. This amazing breathtaking nature documentary takes viewers on a journey that spans thousands of miles, three countries and several generations — tracking real monarch butterflies that leave Canada for their mysterious Mexican winter haven.  Audiences will discover a truly spectacular sight: hundreds of millions of butterflies in the hidden butterfly sanctuaries set 10,000 feet high in the mountains of the States of Michoacán and Mexico. The iconic monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature weighing only less than a penny, it makes one of the longest annual migrations on Earth between Canada and Mexico with absolute pinpoint navigational accuracy. Flight of the Butterflies is a must see film for families, children, and film enthusiasts.


Endeavour Fest | October 11-13 2013

The California Science Center is commemorating the one-year anniversary of Endeavour’s arrival at its Samuel Oschin Pavilion with a celebration to thank everyone who joined in supporting the shuttle’s historic journey. Come see Space Shuttle Endeavour up close. Graphic displays surrounding the orbiter discuss its thundering ascent into orbit, its high-speed runway landing, the functions of key components – including its thermal protection system, orbital maneuvering system, and main engines — and reveal the science and technology behind one of the most advance transportation systems ever created.


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.

AIAA SPACE 2013 Conference

AIAA SPACE 2013 Conference

Sep 25, 2013

The AIAA Space Conference provides leaders from government, industry, and academia an opportunity to share ideas on how to focus the great talent and resources of the space community on the future. This work fuels the collective human drive to explore and be part of something bigger than ourselves, and brings about new technologies that make everyday living better for all of us.

The Space Conference was an awesome, interactive and exciting event to be able to attend and see that was held locally in San Diego, Ca at the San Diego Convention Center. It was more than what I expected so much to see and learn, I felt like a kid going to space camp. It was a full week event, however; I was only there for the day to hear the NASA panel presentation talk on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission yet I wish I had more time to spend at this remarkable inspiring event.  It was not only exciting to hear the NASA panel speak but to meet and talk to people in the space tech industry working on incredible projects who were also once inspired as a kid watching Star Trek and the movie Apollo 13.

PortTechEXPO & Clean Tech – Cool Tech Event

PortTechEXPO & Clean Tech – Cool Tech Event

Sep 17, 2013

The 4th annual PortTechEXPO held at the Port of LA hosted a free community event for clean technology companies large and small to connect with business prospects at Southern California’s ports and explore opportunities with ports worldwide working to achieve a more sustainable future.

In following PortTechExpo the Clean Tech – Cool Tech event featured technology demonstrations, interactive displays and the latest advancements in smart technology solutions for port communities.

AIAA presents Kepler Mission “Goldilocks Planets” panel

AIAA presents Kepler Mission “Goldilocks Planets” panel

Sep 9, 2013

The AIAA recently held a dinner presentation in Manhattan Beach at the IL Fornio Restaurant.  QGITS team had the opportunity to hear speakers Dr. David R. Ciardi a Research Scientist at NASA Exoplanet Science Institute  IPAC/Caltech and Dr. Pieter Deroo a Research Scientist from NASA JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech discuss updated science results about the Kepler mission and discoveries of “Goldilocks planets” a planet that falls within a star’s habitable zone that may be ideal for life to flourish.

OC MiniMaker Faire – Volunteering at the OCHackerz booth

OC MiniMaker Faire – Volunteering at the OCHackerz booth

Aug 18, 2013

This year’s event at the OC MiniMaker Faire QGITS team, along with Classbrain, Oval Integration and Film Videographer, Jack Valencia volunteered at the OCHackerz booth helping kids build flying car roadable aircraft out of legos and learn about flight with various design styles of flying paper airplanes inspired theme by the Caravellair flying roadable aircraft by Caravella Aerospace.

Last year’s first inaugural OC MiniMaker Faire event 2012, Anil Pattni founder of OCHackerz, team members and volunteers participated by helping kids build PC’s.

Gravitational Wave Astronomy-A New Way of Looking at the Universe

Gravitational Wave Astronomy-A New Way of Looking at the Universe

Aug 15, 2013

We can see light, whether it be from the fluorescent light buzzing overhead in our office or whether its the mid morning sun beating down on our backs as we take a stroll on the beach.  We can hear all sounds audible to the human ear and even have special instruments to detect the ones that are not in that range.  We feel heat, from a newly warmed up cup of tea in the microwave to the car door handle that just got too hot in the sun.  These are things that are in the Electro Magnetic Spectrum, or EM Spectrum, which is our understanding of radiation from energy that travels and spreads out as it moves.

Quadcopter and Multirotor Intro Build Class | LA Robotics Club

Quadcopter and Multirotor Intro Build Class | LA Robotics Club

Aug 6, 2013

LA Robotics Club is an organization that meets each month in Los Angeles promoting the experimentation with electronics, providing a forum for discussion and sharing information that gives its members a community to participate in and learn about the field of robotics and machine technology. Coming up this Sunday is a hands-on introduction class to multirotors RC aerial vehicle assembling a quadcopter or hexacopter of choice. Please visit for brief intro to quadcopters. To sign up for this fun learning intro class on building your first quadcopter, visit and register here to attend:

Porpoise Robotics

Porpoise Robotics

Aug 3, 2013

PORPOISE Robotics is a nautical themed robotics program designed to help under-served schools and students foster their interests for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in association with the Academy Award wining, maritime production company, Motion Picture Marine. PORPOISE focuses on grades 8 -12 and students are immersed in STEM, with the goal to excite and inspire students towards challenging and rewarding careers in maritime science, engineering and oceanographyOur nation needs over 300,000 new engineers in the next few years just to stay competitive worldwide.

Porpoise Robotics ONR logo small

Engineering for Kids

Engineering for Kids

Jul 24, 2013

Engineering for kids  brings science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), to kids in a fun and challenging way through classes, camps, clubs, and parties. Their mission is to inspire children to build on their natural curiosity by teaching engineering concepts through hands-on learning. Engineering is, after all, one of the fastest growing industries in the world! Engineering for Kids will be at The Orange Public Library & History Center on September 19 @ 4pm providing a free hands on science program for kids ages 4-14. Kids will develop problem solving skills as they build their own rocket and small mechanical toy.




Jul 16, 2013

CoderDojo is a global movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people.

At a CoderDojo, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Dojos are set up, run by and taught at by volunteers. Dojos organize tours of technology companies, bring in guest speakers to talk about their career and what they do, and organize events. In addition to learning to code, members meet like minded people, show off what they’ve been working on and so on. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable, kick ass experience. CoderDojo also puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software, and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally.


OC Mini Maker Faire

OC Mini Maker Faire

Jun 30, 2013

Last year Founders Bequi and James made their first inaugural debut 2012 launching the first OC MiniMaker Faire. Maker Faires are community-based, independently produced that are happening all over the globe a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Before Bequi and James started the OC MiniMaker Faire here locally in Orange county, the closest Maker Faire was located in the bay area held at the San Mateo County Event Center created and started by Make Magazine in 2006. Maker Faires have aspired makers to participate in hands-on activities do-it-yourself (DIY) and learn new skills at the event.

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.