Google Science Fair 2013

Greetings Quelabites!

Did you know that Braile was invented by a teenager? Did you know that Ada Lovlace got interested in mathematics at age 13? Did you hear about the Kenyan boy who designed an lion-scaring device at age 13? It’s obvious that starting with science and technology at a young age is possible, and laudable.

Google, Scientific American, LEGO Group, CERN, and National Geographic are joining together to start the 2013 Google Science Fair, where they’re encouraging students world-wide from 13-18 to submit their projects. They’ll take these entrants through 30 April 2013, and in June announce the 90 semi-finalists (30 from the Americas; 30 from Europe, Middle East & Africa; and 30 from the Asia & Pacific region), and then judges will pick the top 15 contestants to be judged in the finals in September.

So if you, or a young hacker you know, is interested in competing in an International science fair with sponsors like CERN and Scientific American, and have an idea to change the world, check out the video from the Google Blog, then head over to and register.

Sounds pretty cool! Almost makes me want to be 16 again!

Weekly Alibi Education Issue is out.

A Few weeks ago we were visited by one of their writers, and he did a very nice Nearly full page article about his visit. Please go to your nearest Alibi stand and go pick it up We are on page 12!

If you live far away or are getting to this late, here is the link

If you live nearby, please consider tearing out this sheet and making sure it gets put up somewhere that interested people might see it! And Continue reading the whole edition is quite good!

Please donate what you can, Quelab Member/Community 3d Printer Project.

And we are LIVE! Quelab’s 3D Printer Project is up on Indiegogo and we have 28 days left now!

Share the below link and don’t forget to donate!

Even if we hit our goal, we have plans to buy extra filament, or build multiple extruders, or add a netbook to the system for ease of use/portability. So please give what you can! And share the link!

As of 1 January (with 22 days left) we hit our first official stretch goal: $1100, meaning our printer will have ten different colors available!

As of 8 January (with 15 days left) we are still working towards getting enough to build a second printer for experimentation purposes. After re-evaluating our current printer expertise, we haven’t built a two-head printer before, so rather than mess up the public-use printer, we’ll use the extra funds to build an experimental printer to do the testing with the dual-head before upgrading the public printer with this awesome feature.

Support Quelab! Buy Stuff!

Help us support Quelab when you buy stuff from Amazon. Click on any of the following links when you start shopping and a portion of your purchase price will go to Quelab and enable us to buy cool things for the lab, no matter what you purchase! You just have to start on one of the items below.

So, while you’re going through your wish list, or your ‘gimme’ list, consider Quelab:

Consider purchasing a Lab Coat, to be a stylish mad scientist; if functional is more your thing, try out a set of Yellow Chemical Protection Coveralls. If you’re thinking about projects to build over the holidays, try out Lego Mindstorms (Device, Books) or even general Science Education materials.

If you’re thinking more outside the box, you can see what they’ve got for Electronic Components, buy those resistors and transistors and batteries to build the robots! (Pretty much everything in the Industrial & Scientific section is eligible for our associates links, even this spool of 1.75mm Blue Glow in the Dark ABS Filament).

And if you’re interested in that Black Friday, or Cyber Monday thing…try Amazon’s official Black Friday Deals Week link-thing.

.. wait. there’s such a thing as an Inflatable Beard?

3D Printing Maker Meetup

Coming Soon (this Thursday, 15 November), Make: Magazine will be releasing their special “Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing” (did you see that Dilbert?). To celebrate, they’re throwing a Hangout on Google+, as well as coordinating groups of Makers to get together and talk about making things.

If you’re interested in 3D-printing, if you have a 3D-Printer, or if you have no idea what I’m talking about, come on out and see what this whole thing is all about. Whether you’re a designer, inventor, hacker, tinkerer, or weekend DIYer–anyone interested in finding out more about 3D printing and design is welcome! Bring your laptops, tablets, smartphones to access the Internet and G+ Hangout On Air.

Meetup Event


chipKIT: What Now? 1


We recently received a demo board from Microchip with their new PIC-based Arduino-form-factor development board, the chipKit. While reading skimming through the technical specs, it turns out that it’s definately beyond me, hardware-wise.

Photos of the boxes we got here,

The chipKit has a similar form-factor to an Arduino, but it’s major difference is that it is PIC based (not AVR). Additionally, it runs at a different clock-speed and only understands the basic libraries from the Arduino suite. They do indicate that you can plug an Arduino Ethernet shield onto it and it will play ball, but some other boards might not.

But that’s really OK, because they shipped us two other boards to go with it. The chipKit proto-board (a perf-board with some headers) and the Input Board (which has some switches and a small OLED screen). It looks like the perfect brains for a new project.

Any ideas? Show off your grand plans in the comments and I can turn you folks loose on the board at Tuesday’s Hack Night! If you implement an awesome project, you can win the lab $5500 of tools and equipment! We’ve got a couple of months, but only the middle of January!

Quelab Hosted Minecraft Server 1

24/7 Dedicated MINECRAFT Server!

So I just got a minecraft server up and working, and hopefully it will stay that way, so if you’re a proud member of quelab who also plays minecraft, this is for you!

The current IP for the server is however, it does have a history of changing, so if it doesn’t let you connect then please tell me, and I will update it.

It should be reachable via

On a closing note, if the server doesn’t go kablooy in a matter of weeks like it did in the past, then I will be keeping it up to date with the most recent version of minecraft which sadly means that you do have to update to play on it.

Oh, and just for the record, no, its not going to be creative.


Vote for the IgniteNM Talks that interest you!

Ignite New Mexico is a fast-paced series of enlightening events built entirely on our community’s interests. People from around New Mexico propose a topic they want to enlighten everyone about. The community votes for what sounds interesting. Then the topics are presented at an Ignite New Mexico event.

These talks are 5 minutes long, 20 slides (auto advancing), so you get a nice little datadump of info on a topic, but if per some chance the presenter or topic winds up being boring, you only have to wait 5min and the next cool thing will be up.

At least 3 Quelab connected talks are proposed here, but go over there and vote for the ones you want to see!

Hacking Chocolate links, and info! 8

Here are links, and recipes, and photos from this last evenings awesome “Hacking Chocolate: event!

Photos of the event can be seen here, or in the slideshow below.

Here is a link to the instructions for the Hot Chocolate & Cold Oil  Spherification

Arron had a demo of  the Chocolate Emulsion Mousse,

There was also Our version of the DIY Candy message hearts,

The Hot Chocolate Effect,

Simple Double boiler made out of cheap pet dishes from petsmart, was also demoed for melting/dipping chocolate.

And our Semi Failed experiment to turn a candy-bar into a rocket. Instructable write up here, Ultimately it boils down to the fact we were able to make a working engine using a ground up Milky-Way bar.  But when we replicated it, we used a hersheys bar, and that didn’t work anywhere near as well!  But tonight we did some improvements and got a working test fire.  (This is how science works folks!) you can see the video here

Thank You everybody who made it out!

Also a huge Thank you to The Candy Lady  And to Senior Murphy for providing samples!

How would you rebuild the world from the ground up using opensource?

Ran into this blogpost, its almost a year old so many of you have probably run into this, but its all about effectively. building farm and construction equipment out of interchangeable open source (Erector set like) parts.

Check it out, and then come into Quelab to think in what ways can you change the world?