News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

PAC-Man Maze Race with Drones & FPV by Robotics

PAC-Man Maze Race with Drones & FPV by Robotics

Aug 16, 2015

Ctrl.Me Robotics located in Venice Beach, Ca is hyperfocused on the future of drones with custom software and hardware to further safety and innovation. As one of Los Angeles’ only R & D labs, Ctrl.Me is developing software to make any drone as safe as possible and livestreaming aerial views to multiple devices. Last week had an interactive Pac-Man maze race open to the community where people paired up in teams, as one wore an FPV headset while the other guided you overhead by flying a drone to get you through the maze. QGITS talked more about the event with Adam Gibson of

QGITS: What’s happening here tonight?

Adam Gibson: Tonight this is basically an experiment of how LEDs will work with drones at night and beyond. What we are trying to determine is somewhere we can traverse VR with FPV which is first person view, in terms of drones. FPV goes beyond virtual reality it’s real life VR.

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QGITS: I heard your going do this possibly in Vegas?

Adam Gibson: We might do this next month at InterDrone a big drone expo at the Rio. This is going to be a very interesting experience in terms of a massive meetup for lots of people which is what we are trying to accomplish in bringing a lot of people of the drone community together. We want to experiment with these machines beyond just taking pictures and make it more of an experience or an immersive environment that people aren’t regularly used to.

QGITS: Who can attend these events?

Adam Gibson: This is more or less for the drone community for people that are new to it or people that are just interested and maybe they are trying to get into it. Also seasoned veterans that are really into drones and they are looking to do something different. I think that we are all really pretty familiar with flying cameras for now, we have been doing that for about four years. It’s time to try take it to the next level in terms of not just what Oculus is doing but beyond that with first person view goggles and companies like Fat Shark and Zeis cinemizers, what DJI is selling and also the Skyzone or even the Headplay goggles. We want to encourage people to join our meetup group and we are advocates for STEM education. At we really want people to think about what’s happening for the future of drones because how we are using them today is not how we are going to use them in 5 years.

QGITS also spoke to one of the attendees at Pac-Man maze race, Harry a freshman student at Crossroads for Arts & Sciences who does FPV racing, all sorts of drone stuff and cinematography. I asked him about his unique goggle headset and how he heard about the event.

“This is the Quanum goggles from Hobby King they sell two versions. One comes in a neoprene support glove but it’s $20 more. The goggles I have..comes great as is, all you have to do is buy the goggles which is $30. The receiver for the video is about $30 and the battery $10. So you get a really great product for just $70. I found through my Dad and I discovered a whole world of drones and multirotors.” – Harry, student at Crossroads

Headset 1 headset 2

Learn more at


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:

Woodbury University MCD Student Showcase Celebration

Woodbury University MCD Student Showcase Celebration

May 6, 2015

Attend this year’s weeklong celebration of student work showcased at Woodbury University School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD). The MCD showcase provides an opportunity for each department in the school to share student work at the end of the year with the campus community and members of the general public. Emphasis is placed on graduating students but many programs include work from each year of the program to demonstrate the progression in student learning outcomes. The event highlights the achievements of our students and connect with an audience that grows in size every year.

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School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD) is a thriving dynamic school with the special mission of educating the next generation of creative professionals. Students learn, in many cases, directly from faculty that work in the surrounding creative economy. They also benefit from small class sizes, new digital infrastructure, and enriching student life programs. Watch video interview to hear more about the Media, Culture & Design program at Woodbury from a recent hands on interactive creative workshop for high school students. After the event, QGITS had a chance to talk with Edward Clift, Dean of School of Media, Culture & Design and Marcela Rodriguez, Admissions Counselor at Woodbury University.

The Animation program at Woodbury University emerge students with the knowledge, creative tools, and networking skills necessary to build a successful career. Woodbury’s internship model combines theory with practice by offering hands-on experience working with entertainment studios, production companies and interactive companies. To see a live showing of Animation & Filmmaking projects produced by students register here to attend Woodbury’s MCD showcase event May 7th & 8th. Also to hear more about the Animation program, watch video interview by QGITS from a recent Animation Workshop for high school students, talking with Dori Littell-Herrick, Chair of the Department of Animation in the School of Media, Culture and Design.

A dynamic video display of 3D objects turned into a stunning display by projection mapping tests from the class “TECH 3700: Media Environments” in the department of Media Technology at Woodbury University – Spring 2015. This beautiful piece was created by students: Tarun Dhiman, Marcus Murray, and Ryan Duarte. To see this live sign up and attend the Media Tech Showcase Friday May 8th from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Reserve your seat here.


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:



Zazzi Wearable Smart Jewelry by FashionTEQ CEO Judy Tomlinson at CES 2015

Zazzi Wearable Smart Jewelry by FashionTEQ CEO Judy Tomlinson at CES 2015

Feb 3, 2015

At the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas FashionTEQ a fashion company that designs women’s wearables to integrate technology into women’s lives exhibited at the Wearables Marketplace presented by Living in Digital Times at the Venetian Sands convention center. Entrepreneur & CEO Judy Tomlinson of FashionTeq was showcasing and presenting latest features with Zazzi smart jewelry that’s been developed for women so they can accessorize their technology, making it functional and stylish. Watch video from the CES conference with Matt Terndrup tech journalist and CEO Judy Tomlinson of FashionTEQ.

Control how your image changes with notifications through your Zazzi-app. Choose Images your wish to wear – On your ring, bracelet or pendant your can assign images you wish to wear at any time. – Zazzi


3D Systems Showcase New Innovative Products & Solutions at CES 2015

3D Systems Showcase New Innovative Products & Solutions at CES 2015

Jan 29, 2015

This year at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas 3D Systems brought in a gamut of new technologies. They showcased its entire consumer and prosumer 3D printing capabilities from new hardware and software developments in desktop full-color 3D printing, 3D printing food, wearables, software for design and virtual reality-related devices. We interviewed key team members involved at 3D Systems: Leanne Gluck, Director of Social Impact; Liz Von Hasseln, Creative Director of Food Products and Josh St. John, Director of User Experience – to see what they were working on at CES.

Ekocycle – The 3D Printer that uses Recycled Plastic

This innovative 3D printer from 3D Systems came together through a partnership with pop music mogul icon and The Coca-Cola Company. As the Ekocycle websites states, this printer was created “to inspire new things made in part from recycled materials. Our shared ambition is to motivate brands and people like you to join us on our quest to make more sustainable living cool.”

Mind Control Car Racing Game by Emotiv Insight at CES 2015

Mind Control Car Racing Game by Emotiv Insight at CES 2015

Jan 14, 2015

At the CES Conference last week, Emotiv Insight brainwear exhibited with IEEE an organization dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity at the conference in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s theme at the IEEE exhibit is “Thinking Forward” sparking the future of thinking-forward technologies. “Thinking” was the suitable word for the mind controlled car racing game that was demonstrated by Emotiv a bioinformatics company advancing the understanding of the human brain using electroencephalography (EEG). The revolutionary groundbreaking technology by Emotiv showcased their latest product called Insight that is launching April 2015 starting at $299. Consumers at CES were able to try out the headset while using there own brainpower to participate in a car race propelling their car forward with their thoughts. QGITS met and spoke with CEO Geoff Mackellar of Emotiv at CES during the Showstoppers press preview event at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas.

QGITS: What is Emotiv?

Geoff Mackellar: The Emotiv headsets are based on electroencephalography which is basically picking up small electrical signals on the outside of the skull that originate from large number of neurons inside of the skull all firing in sync. The sort of signal that we see inside of the skull are a few volts but when all the neurons start firing together and by putting some electrodes on the outside of the skull on the skin, that can detect micro volts floating on the surface of the head. We made Emotiv Insight consumer friendly that is sleek so that you can move around and act like it’s not there compared to a typical medical EEG system that involves a lot of wires on the head, gel and a couple of hours to set up. We created the next generation of brainwear that reads your brainwaves that can track and monitor your brain activity. It allows you to optimize your brain fitness & performance, measure and monitor your own or your family’s cognitive health & wellbeing connected to a mobile app that translates those signals.


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.

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.




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.




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 

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

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.


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.


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:

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.






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


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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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

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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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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UC San Diego SEDS Chapter will be Test Firing 3D-PRINTED ROCKET ENGINE on March 1, 2014

UC San Diego SEDS Chapter will be Test Firing 3D-PRINTED ROCKET ENGINE on March 1, 2014

Feb 24, 2014

On October 5th, 2013 the UC San Diego SEDS team performed a static fire test on their additively manufactured 3d-printed rocket engine, named Tri-D. The test was a success, with the engine firing for 3.0 seconds. Between this year and last, the UC San Diego SEDS team has reached a lot of success including being the first university worldwide to print and test a 3D printed rocket engine. They also won the “Best Student Design” award in the DIY Rocket Competition. On the shoulders of these achievements, UCSD team is performing another static fire test to gather data on the performance of the Tri-D engine on March 1st 2014 at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) facility in the Mojave Desert.

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Photo credit: UCSD SEDS Chapter

Stay tuned for more information on the data gathered that will be analyzed and compared against a computer simulation. With this information, the UCSD student project team will produce a full report aimed at answering the fundamental question: In what ways is a 3d printed additively manufactured liquid propelled rocket motor better than an engine that was fabricated through conventional means (subtractive manufacturing) and what improvements can be made to our existing design?

To Learn more about about last year’s static test, Click Here


The Bishop-Wisecarver Group | ATX West 2014

The Bishop-Wisecarver Group | ATX West 2014

Feb 18, 2014

The Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) a WBENC certified woman owned family of companies recently released automation products and services at ATX West in Anaheim at the Convention Center. Bishop-Wisecarver Group company helps manufacturers and automation solution providers engineer linear, rotary motion products and curved track guided technologies. With 60+ years of engineering expertise and manufacturing best practices they have recently expanded their capabilities, offering a family of companies that provide complete solutions: Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation (BWC), Black Diamond Manufacturing (BDM) and WRW Engineering.  Bishop-Wisecarver Group is the original patent holder in guide wheel based linear motion that was invented by founder Bud Wisecarver of the DualVee guide wheel recognized as the market leader for guide wheel technology since 1970 that continues to successfully sell today.
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BWG promotes initiatives focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They have provided consistent and increasing support of FIRST since 2007 through support of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). Bishop-Wisecarver has donated a large quantity of DualVee linear guide track. The DualVee product line is a group of simple components which are used by industrial equipment makers for linear and rotary guided motion applications. The parts are easy to understand, easy to assemble, and provide very smooth, low-friction linear or rotary guidance. Check out video and hear more about Bishop-Wisecarver from Brian Burke Product Manager & Steven Economos Western Regional Manager from the expo floor at ATX West.

For more information:
Bishop-Wisecarver Group

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

Tutorial # 3 for Arduino with Jeremy Blum: EE Basics

Tutorial # 3 for Arduino with Jeremy Blum:  EE Basics

Feb 3, 2014

In this arduino tutorial by Jeremy Blum he will take a bit of a detour and focus on some key elements of electrical engineering design that we’ll be using in future episodes. Included amongst these topics is Ohm’s Law, current-limiting resistors, pull-down and pull-up resistors, voltage dividers, potentiometers, analog inputs, and voltage regulators.

Jeremy suggest if would like to learn more after watching this video, also check out Jeri Ellsworth and Dave Jones on youtube. They offer videos about everything from circuit design to pinball machines. Download the files associated with this episode Click Here

Check out his new book “Exploring Arduino” that helps support STEM/STEAM education:


Future Gazing Conference Session with Rob Nail CEO at Singularity University | CES 2014

Future Gazing Conference Session with Rob Nail CEO at Singularity University | CES 2014

Jan 29, 2014

Aside from practicing mind control over electronic devices and transportation by self-driving cars, what else does the future hold? Conference session at International CES 2014 talk with Rob Nail Assistant Founder and CEO at Singularity University/Singularity Labs, looks back at what 20th century prognosticators envisioned for today and acquire a vision of what consumer technology will look like in 10 years. How it will impact the way we live and interact? A lot of conversions in innovations across various technology sectors such as robotics, medicine, neuroscience, biotech, nano technology, etc. as different technologies are overlapping with each other causing technological disruptions that is happening by today’s rapid exponential progress.


Slide 1 starts with the introduction and premise of Singularity University Co-Founder well known futurist Ray Kurzweil who also wrote a book called “Singularity is Near” he looked at Moore’s Law – technology that built upon itself goes back 100 years on a smooth exponential curve a lot has happened since the 1900′s while technology progress has kept consistent and it’s moving faster than doubling.

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Furthermore, Rob talks about how humanity is affected by rapid technology, accessibility of knowledge & content to everyone even in remote places, wearables are going to be ubiquitous, augmented reality, exponential growth in robotics, the disruption in the manufacturing chain, autonomous cars/drones, security and using technological solutions that can positively impact our grand challenges like clean water, illiteracy and climate change. It’s time to start the discussion about the implications and opportunities of exponentially accelerating technologies.

View summary of all slides from Rob’s presentation at CES 2014 click here: CES_FutureGazing_Summary

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Unbounded Robotics CEO & Co-Founder Melonee Wise | CES 2014

Unbounded Robotics CEO & Co-Founder Melonee Wise | CES 2014

Jan 20, 2014

QGITS at International CES 2014 excited to meet up with Melonie Wise CEO & Co-Founder of Unbounded Robotics. Founded in January 2013, Unbounded Robotics is building the next generation of advanced, affordable, mobile manipulation platforms for personal robotics research and service robotics. With decades of robotic hardware and software experience, the team of Willow Garage alumni has developed the UBR-1 the one-armed robot a mobile manipulation platform that offers state-of-the-art software and a sophisticated hardware exterior a relative of Willow Garage’s famed PR2 designed to completely revolutionize the market for research and education robotics.

While at CES Melonee and her team showcased UBR-1 at the “Robotics on the Runway” show along with other robots from various robotics companies produced by CEA, Digital Health Summit, Living in Digital Times and Silicon Valley Robotics at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas January 7th for the first and only runway show exclusively featuring cutting-edge robotics. UBR-1 was also featured at the Experience CEA stage at CES while meeting with press and visitors throughout the CES show floor.

See video interview with Melonee Wise and Anil Pattni from OCHackerz/QGITS as Melonee talks about how UBR-1 helps people, his cool features, Melonee’s background in robotics such as Willow Garage & TurtleBot and how to get started in robotics.

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Augmented Reality: The Next Big Thing or Information Overload | CES 2014

Augmented Reality: The Next Big Thing or Information Overload | CES 2014

Jan 15, 2014

Augmented reality (AR) is perhaps the most intriguing and potentially disruptive technology to come along in a lifetime. Which applications will the public embrace? Where are the boundaries of information overlays and on-the-fly interactivity? Experts predict where AR is heading, examine the impact of Google Glass and identify emerging business opportunities. Panel talk at the International CES 2014 conference with Thomas Alt, CEO at Metaio; Brian Mullins Founder/CEO of DAQRI; Neil Trevett VP, Mobile Marketing,NVIDIA and Moderator Seth Fletcher Sr. Editor,Technology Coverage at Scientific American.


What does augmented reality mean to us today? Trevett: In the broadest sense providing contextually relevant information in a useable way. Getting the contextual awareness by having sensors, having them on mobile devices, the cloud and especially the camera. His personal definition of AR is overlaying useful information over a real time scene with a wearable display. Mullins: Sensor fusion to expand the story and experience. Alt gives the academic definition from 1997 by Ronald Azuma who said AR is the superimposition of the 3D content in real time in the users field of view and continues by saying it’s an addition to an existing application.  Click to read more…

A Robot for Every Home: Meet the Purveyors of the New Robotics | CES 2014

A Robot for Every Home: Meet the Purveyors of the New Robotics | CES 2014

Jan 15, 2014

Like other consumer electronics products, robotics technologies are becoming pervasive in the home. One of the talk tracks held at the International CES 2014 “A Robot for Every Home: Meet the Purveyors of the New Robotics” with panelist Matthew Fisher Founder/CEO of Kumotek Robotics; Ted Larson CEO of Ologic; Paolo Pirjanian CTO of iRobot; Takanori Shibata Chief Sr. Research Scientist of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technoogy (AIST) and moderator Dan Kara Chief Research Officer at Myria Ras discuss the boundaries of the consumer robotics revolution and new opportunities, product development, enabling technologies, partnership and manufacturing strategies.


Robots in the past were primarily for research but now moving towards the consumer market in entertainment and making a difference in people’s lives such as healthcare; we are going to see the robotics market exceed within the next 5 years. Hardware is in vogue right now and more investments are being made with startup companies for example Pebble Watch was funded on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter raising over $10 million dollars,Y Combinator has increased their investments into more hardware startups and startup company Anki Drive was highlighted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and raised $50 million from their series A round.


The seal on the panel stage is Paro a socially interactive therapeutic robot developed by Takanori Shibata at AIST that is used in clinics and hospitals to stimulate patients with depression or dementia. It allows the benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in environments such as hospitals and extended care facilities where live animals present for treatment may be difficult or logistics may be tough.


In closing on the panel, what’s next to be seen in the future for robotics technology? Autonomous cars and robots, telepresence, navigation and 3D mapping for indoor spaces by your phone, see more software program applications, better manipulation, enhanced software platform interaction and household robotics. The service and consumer robotics segments are exploding with mind-boggling innovation, new products and outrageous business opportunities.


i like this small ces logo

MiP Robot Friend by WowWee | CES 2014

MiP Robot Friend by WowWee | CES 2014

Jan 13, 2014

Check out Mip (Mobile Inverted Pendulum) your new robot friend the latest robotics consumer toy recently exhibited at International CES 2014 in Las Vegas, NV. Mip is equipped with gesture sense technology, unique dual wheel balancing, a fully interactive robot able to navigate its surroundings while controlled by hand gestures or through a Bluetooth link to any smart device. MiP is the latest innovation by WowWee in association with UCSD’s (University of California at San Diego) Coordinated Robots Lab. MiP has an inquisitive and responsive personality that is communicated through motion, sound, and its LED “eyes”. Along with a tray accessory that can be attached, MiP can balance multiple objects and offer tons of gameplay fun, there’s also an app that enables you to drive, dance, battle, and so much more. See video of Oscar from WowWee demonstrating Mip’s cool features at CES2014.

To order Click Here

Mip Guy logo

i like this small ces logo

The White House Student Film Festival | Entries til January 29th

The White House Student Film Festival | Entries til January 29th

Jan 2, 2014

Calling for Entries – The White House is super-excited to announce the first-ever White House Student Film Festival: a video contest created just for K-12 students, and whose finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel, and social media pages. Submissions for the film festival will be accepted through January 29, 2014. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo to be submitted. You and a parent/guardian must complete the form below and submit a link to your video. For more information visit:


See Entry Guide for More Details


Tutorial #2 for Arduino with Jeremy Blum: Now with more Blinky Things!

Tutorial #2 for Arduino with Jeremy Blum: Now with more Blinky Things!

Dec 29, 2013

In this tutorial sponsored by Element14 Arduino Group, Jeremy Blum will show you how to read a push button, debounce its input using software, how to create a function in the arduino programming environment, and how to change LED brightness using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). He suggests if you have no idea what PWM is, or if you are confused about analog and digital signals, to also check out his TechBits episode on the topic first and don’t forget to browse the element14 Arduino Group; it’s a great place to post questions, and learn from others!

Help support Engineering education with Jeremy’s book “Exploring Arduino.” He will donate 100% of his author royalties on books sold from now until the new year to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education.


Buy a copy here today

Will 3D Printing Change Everything? by AsapSCIENCE

Will 3D Printing Change Everything? by AsapSCIENCE

Dec 29, 2013

Article by Arjun Bharadwaj from 3D Printing Industry,”AsapSCIENCE has touched on 3D printing and throws light on the “third industrial revolution,” as they — and others — call it. In a very simplistic presentation, they explore the possibilities of 3D printing in sectors ranging from novelty, industrial equipment design, mass customization, pharmaceuticals and even 3D bio-printing cells and tissues. For beginners out there wanting to learn more about the now vast topic of 3D printing, this is a fun, introductory lesson, although, while they make a good effort, they don’t quite delineate clearly between what is possible now and what will be possible in the future.” read more

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


International CES 2014 January 7-10 in Las Vegas NV

International CES 2014 January 7-10 in Las Vegas NV

Dec 3, 2013

International CES is the world’s gathering place for those who thrive on the business side of Consumer Technology coming soon this January 7-10 held in Las Vegas, NV.

Why Attend?

Get the first look at new devices, technologies and platforms as more than 3,200 exhibitors showcase the future of technology. Such as major players in 3D printing, game changing developments of country leading educational institutions, Cisco’s internet of things, fashionware that is embedded and wearable technology, home networking technologies, latest advances in online gaming, robotics, keynote lineup of the CE industry where CEO’s from the most powerful companies in technology presenting their vision for products services the networks for shaping innovation. And More…

View 4 day 2014 Conference Program Brochure

Register here to attend CES 2014

Upon registration create your own personalized MyCES Agenda

Check out video overview and highlights for upcoming 2014 CES Global Consumer Electronics and Consumer Technology Tradeshow and hope to see you there!

ces 2 – 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.


Newly Tested Synthetic Blood: Not For Vampires

Newly Tested Synthetic Blood: Not For Vampires

Nov 4, 2013

If Twilight was real, the Cullens would be quite relieved that they don’t have to kill bunny rabbits anymore.

A type of artificial blood has been created by a team of researchers at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Russia.  The team has been working on this artificial blood for over six years.  The current and most recently tested recipe includes water, salt, albumin, and  hemerythin, a protein extracted from marine worms and brachiopods (clam-like organisms) which makes the artificial blood resistant to stress.

The first round of tests done with mice have been encouraging as they did not reject the blood or show any signs of inflammation or disease.  This could have huge implications as doctors and surgeons around the world are always in short supply of blood for patients involved in severe accidents and injuries and other health problems.

For more info, check out:


Geek Exchange


A sipunculid, a marine worm where the protein for synthetic blood is drawn from.

A sipunculid, a marine worm where the protein for synthetic blood is drawn from.

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.

(BCI) Brain Computer Interface Mind Controlled Video Game

(BCI) Brain Computer Interface Mind Controlled Video Game

Sep 24, 2013

Chapman University student Leah Sukenik shares her experience as she visits a dynamic and interactive research and development complex Fusionworld at Fusionopolis located at the One-North business park in Singapore. There are Five themed zones that capture some of the most amazing applications of technology in our daily lives and FusionWorld hopes to fuel students’ interest in science and engineering disciplines to cultivate future scientists.

“Currently at Fusionopolis, a brain computer interface (BCI) video game is used to help stroke patients and little kids to focus is being developed and perfected. This innovative prototype could be found a common commodity in the near future. Thanks to the work in EEG scans, this video game controlled by focusing only one’s mind was able to come into existence.

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.

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.

What’s an Arduino?

What’s an Arduino?

Jun 10, 2013

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

Last week on June 6th locally in OC at OCHackerz, I had the opportunity to see a robotic hand, made from the Arduino microcontroller by Aaron Thomen from MindMIDI.

NASA Spacecraft Kepler

NASA Spacecraft Kepler

Jun 5, 2013

Nasa’s Kepler spacecraft mission a photometer instrument Schmidt telescope design in search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Recently, scientists have discovered nearly 400 stars with orbiting giant planets.  The challenge is to find those in the “habitable zone” where liquid water and possibly life might exist.

From website, Nasa Planet Quest eloquently and simply asks ”Are we alone? Are their other planets like ours? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?

These are questions mankind has been asking for years – since the time of Greek philosophers. But for years, those answers have been elusive, if not impossible to find.

What is Google Glass?

What is Google Glass?

May 27, 2013

Google has developed a wearable computing intelligent device through Glass that can be worn by users as computer eyeware with a head-mounted display (HMD) that is being developed by Google in Project Glass research and development project. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Google Glass will be powered by the Android mobile operating system and is expected to offer compatibility with both Android-powered mobile devices and Apple iOS-powered devices.

Reserve Your Seat in Space with Virgin Galactic

Reserve Your Seat in Space with Virgin Galactic

May 11, 2013

How cool!  Anyone can reserve a place in Space…of course for a small starting rate for flights is $200,000 with refundable deposits starting from $20,000.

Virgin Galactic has been making it possible for aspiring astronauts to pay a deposit to reserve a place on SpaceShipTwo since 2005 and several hundred people from around the globe have now booked their place in space. In doing so, not only have they become pioneers in a new and important industry but have become insiders in one of the most amazing and inspiring projects anywhere in the world.

Hungry? 3-D Printed Food Is Now On the Menu

Hungry?  3-D Printed Food Is Now On the Menu

Mar 10, 2013

What are you craving?  A donut?  A hamburger?  Pizza?  If the idea of being able to instantaneously get exactly what you are craving seems a little too Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, change the way you think because getting what you want with the press of a button may be closer to reality with the booming popularity of 3-D printing.

Scientists are currently working on creating astronaut’s food with the use of 3-D printers, machines that create objects by adding a material layer by layer, but chefs and food enthusiasts are now excited for what the possibilities will be here on earth.

This technology could revolutionize modern cooking since with the control of a 3-D printer, you would be able to make food into any shape you want, making kids happier with their vegetables and presentation of fancy dinner plates all the more palatable.

Thank goodness that this innovative technology will soon be a reality because stealing the Heart of Gold without Zaphod Beeblebrox would be far too much work for anyone in this world.

For more info, check out:
Huffington Post

Blindness May Soon Be A Thing of the Past with US’s 1st Bionic Eye

Blindness May Soon Be A Thing of the Past with US’s 1st Bionic Eye

Feb 20, 2013

While it may sound like a procedure Bones would perform on an old episode of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, giving sight to the blind is now anything but science fiction thanks to the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, better known as the bionic eye. Developed by Second Sight Medical Products in California, the US’s first bionic eye has helped over sixty people recover partial eye sight, all with varying levels of results.

California-based company Second Sight restores partial sight with their new prosthetic device

The Federal Drug Administration (aka, FDA) has recently approved this implant, which consists of more than sixty electrodes that are implanted into the retina and attached to a pair of specially made glasses that are fitted with a special mini camera.  This is the first bionic eye to become readily available to the public.

All who took place in the clinical trial for the prosthetic were completely blind and now at least have some restored sight, mostly in black and white, but some can even see in color and read newspaper headlines.  With the recent approval by the FDA, competing companies are now scrambling to produce newer, higher resolution prosthetic eyesight devices.  Competition is always healthy, especially when such a profound thing like the restoration of sight is involved.

Seeing eye dogs may be forced into early retirement as this technology improves.

For more information including a video on how this futuristic technology works, check out Second Sight’s official site at:

For more on this story check out:

Time Magazine

Discover Online



The Raspberry Pi-Still the World’s Tiniest and Hottest Computer

The Raspberry Pi-Still the World’s Tiniest and Hottest Computer

Feb 3, 2013

While the Raspberry Pi might sound like a dessert your grandmother would make, it is actually the world’s smallest and cheapest computer.  At just $25 a pop, these tiny machines have captured the minds of hobbyists, educators, students, and tinkerers alike.  Over one million have been sold since they came out last February and distributors still cannot keep them in stock.

Originally they were not expected to be so popular since they were created to be used as a learning tool for computer programming students.  Instead of taking apart your parent’s expensive computer to learn the innards of the machine, the Raspberry Pi offers a simplistic way to learn the basics since there is no case; just the computer itself.  The 3-inch by 2-inch sized machine was also intended to replace the expensive computers in school science labs.  For less than the price of a new keyboard, teachers could plug in the computer and connect it to older peripherals that may be lying around.

Since the Raspberry Pi is a “capable little PC” (, it can be used for anything a normal sized computer would be used for such as spreadsheets, word-processing, and games.  It plugs directly into your tv and keyboard and even plays high-definition video.  Creator Eben Upton has been “blown away” by the reception the small computer has received in the past year.  “I’m not aware of a company that has gone from a standing start to a million in a year,” he stated to the New York Times (  “It’s quite a wild ride.  I don’t get a lot of sleep at the moment”.

To purchase your own Raspberry Pi or to check it out, visit the official website at:

The Raspberry Pi in all it’s simplistic glory

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