It just might be the fastest growing club in town.
Nelson Tech Club started out in the back room of a local computer store and as word spread – almost in a rumour-like fashion, more and more new people came to check it out, said club president Brad Pommen.
“It seemed every week someone new would come through the doors,” he said. “We almost had to keep it under wraps sometimes because we knew if we had another influx of people, we’d have nowhere to put them.”
North America was built by makers — curious, enthusiastic amateur inventors whose tinkering habit sparked whole new industries. At TED@MotorCity, MAKE magazine publisher Dale Dougherty says we’re all makers at heart, and shows cool new tools to tinker with, like Arduinos, affordable 3D printers, even DIY satellites.
Nelson Scouts recently visited the local technology “hackerspace” at the Nelson Tech Club (NTC) and were given a tour which included demonstration of a 3D Plastic Printer and a Laser Cutter. The NTC offer’s a public meeting every Wednesday night at Selkirk College Tenth Street Campus – Annex Building in which members of all ages and skill levels learn about computer programming, electronics and robotics. The local scouts group experienced first-hand how the two pieces of equipment allow students to turn digital designs into real-world objects. Jason Taylor, Chair – School of the Arts and Brad Pommen, President of the NTC were on hand to demonstrate the technology offered by the tech club and the college audience.
The Nelson Tech Club (NTC) was awarded a Columbia Basin Trust – Youth Grant to hold “Arduino Boot Camps” at the local college hackerspace. Sponsoring organization, Selkirk College, backs the NTC with the physical space where they hold their weekly “hackerspace” meetings which are open to the public. The Arduino “Uno” is a small computer about the size of a pack of gum which lets you connect sensors, control motors, buttons, LED’s and you can program it from any computer. Students find it a fun and easy way to understand and to learn about electronics and computer programming. The investment will go towards the expansion of the club’s computer resources. The NTC President, Brad Pommen, will host the boot camp events in early 2013, utilizing laptop workstations for each participant. Through the club’s motto: “Build, Learn, Share” the NTC provides a face in the community and establishes itself as an innovative leader in the areas of science and technology. For more information, please visit www.nelson-tech-club.info.
1st Nelson Scouts toured the Nelson Tech Club during our regular Wednesday meeting. Checking out our hackerspace, the group was dazzled by the NTC’s 3D Printer and the Laser Cutter at Selkirk College in Nelson.
Robogames 2012 saw 24 youth, ranging from grade 6 – 11 participating as part of a program offered by the Nelson Tech Club. The club plans on hosting a RoboGames 2013, with more events and more age categories. They will also be offering Arduino Boot Camps early in the New Year (the Arduino is the computer brain of the robots used in the RoboGames competition) as well as a host of robotics, programming and electronics courses. The Nelson Tech Club offers a drop-in, public hackerspace every Wednesday 6-8 PM at Selkirk College Annex Building.
Brad Pommen, President of the Nelson Tech Club talking about the NTC, hackerspaces and the tech scene within the Kootenay Boundary. Kootenay Morning guest host, Bradley Roulston discusses, “What is a hackerspace?” and “What does the NTC do?”
RoboGames – Group Shot – Photo courtesy of Hayfire Media
Congratulations to first place winners, team R.T.F from Rossland Secondary school! They each took home an Arduino Controlled Rover at the RoboGames 2012. The NTC is proud to support the youth of Nelson, BC and the surrounding areas in science and technology.
The Nelson Tech Club is comprised of over 140 Nelson area locals who have partaken in one of our Wednesday night hackerspaces. Our membership includes all ages, all abilities – encompassing everyone from enthusiast to seasoned professional. The RoboGames exhibited the collective talent and skill of the NTC membership mentoring 24 enthusiastic youth from Nelson, Trail, Rossland and New Denver. Using the Arduino micro-controller and Lego Mindstorms robotic bases, 6 teams competed in the Main event. Through 14 hours of NTC lead workshops, the youth learned the basics of computer programming, electric circuits and robot building. See our resources for more info.
Our goal at the NTC is to capture the essence of the technology home brew clubs of past decades in a new form called a hackerspace. One of over 1000 active hackerspaces world-wide, they are also known as maker spaces or meeting spaces. Our club’s motto is: Build, Learn, Share. We provide a place for technology enthusiasts to meet, collaborate and share ideas. We support projects with resources and offer a shoulder-surfing education – kind of a technology show-and-tell with the encouragement to be hands on and take part.
We encourage anyone interested to check out our weekly hackerspace meetings. Bring your projects, your ideas and your enthusiasm. Cheers.