The CoasterDad MakerSpace – – A Nonprofit For STEM Learning

From the start, The CoasterDad Project was meant as a gift for kids. First, I built a roller coaster for my kids. Quickly, I learned that sharing our roller coaster adventures online was a great way to Bring Physics, Family, and Fun to Kids Everywhere. Our YouTube channel has grown as we’ve connected with millions of people around the world. Now, with your help, we’re taking it all to the next level.

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The CoasterDad MakerSpace will be a creative, Do It Yourself space where people can gather to  invent, make and learn. We’ll have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft supplies, power tools, robotics, and more! In response to feedback from thousands of CoasterDad fans, we’re building The CoasterDad MakerSpace to bring Physics, Family and Fun to Kids Everywhere. Will we build roller coasters? Naturally! But that’s not all. The CoasterDad MakerSpace will be a wonderful place where kids and grownups can

  • Learn STEM and STEAM techniques and skills through hands-on, gently guided and self-directed classes, collaboration, and activities
  • Connect with other kids and their grownups who share similar interests and have the same kinds of questions
  • Build robots and drones to do wonderful and amazing things that kids really love. Ever heard of Game of Drones? BattleBots? Yeah. Us, too. 
  • Invent kooky new things with Science-y tools like 3D Printers, laser cutters, welding equipment, hand tools, power tools, micro-controllers, and computers
  • Learn YouTube Video Production skills to create a unique YouTube Channel, or collaborate with others to contribute knowledge to the second largest search engine on Earth.
  • Find adult mentors and teachers to help develop the skills and knowledge that you think is important
  • Host events like Birthday Parties for kids and even fancy, catered events for grownups.

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It All Started With A Roller Coaster

Once Upon A Time, Will Pemble’s son Lyle asked a simple question. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a roller coaster in our backyard?”  Inspired by the idea, Will got to work. Three months later, to the delight of every kid in the neighborhood, Will’s first roller coaster, “The Caution Zone,” was complete. Throughout the project, Will documented his progress on YouTube Channel. Hundreds of videos, thousands of subscribers, and millions of views later, The CoasterDad Project is a real thing.

From the start, The CoasterDad Project has had no shortage of coverage on television, in blogs, newspapers, and social media. Google Will Pemble, and you’ll see for yourself just how much passion and commitment he brings to the work.Will and his projects have been covered on Good Morning America, Discovey Channel Canada, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, and dozens of television stations worldwide. Will has been featured in hundreds of online media outlets, including AOL.com, Hackaday.com, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Make Magazine, Edutopia, just to name a few. Most recently, the CoasterDad Project won Four Editors Choice Blue Ribbons at the 2015 Maker Faire Bay Area, where Will and the CoasterDad Team built a full-sized, interactive roller coaster exhibit to show kids and their grownups just how much can be learned in the world of “Physics, Family and Fun.”
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What We Need 

Just like a roller coaster, we need your help getting to the top of that first hill. For The CoasterDad MakerSpace, that’s mostly about equipment, and a little about operating capital as well.
Our First Target is $15,000, which we’ll use for

  • Laser Cutter
  • 3D Printers
  • Arduino & Robotics Lab
Our founder, CoasterDad Will Pemble has a little workshop filled with big tools. Will is happy to donate all of it to The CoasterDad MakerSpace. Those tools include
  • Table Saw
  • Pneumatic nail nun
  • Pneumatic impact wrench
  • Pneumatic staple gun
  • Right angle drills
  • Skill saw
  • Sawzall
  • Dremels
  • Air compressor
  • Router and router table
  • Compound mitre saw
  • Saw horses
  • Hand tools
  • Cordless drills
  • Welding machine
  • Pipe benders
  • Steel chop saw
  • Welding helmet and gloves
  • Angle grinder
  • Skill saw
  • Dual grinding wheel
  • Video Studio Lights
  • 2 HD Video Cameras
  • 2 GoPro Hero Action Cameras
  • 1 Time lapse camera
  • Three 27″ iMac Computers with all the trimmings
  • and more.
So, yes.  Quite a lot of The CoasterDad MakerSpace equipment already exists. When it comes to Bringing Physics, Family and Fun to Kids Everywhere, Will is all in.
Our Stretch Goal is $25,000
Our target goal will provide the funds and equipment we need to get The CoasterDad MakerSpace up and running. If you help our campaign raise more, we’ll do more! More equipment, more programs, more outreach to kids and grownups who will surely benefit from our programs and offerings. We’ll also purchase additional tools, such as
  • Drillpress
  • Metal lathe
  • Wood lathe
  • Drone training kits
Our Super Stretch Goal is $35,000
That’d be crazy awesome, right? Thirty-five thousand dollars to spend on teaching kids the things that kids want to learn! At this level, we’ll add two incredible things to The CoasterDad MakerSpace.
  • A cooking studio
  • A slow motion camera
  • YouTube Learning Center
Totally unrelated things, except that they’re kind of pricey. A moderately priced slow motion camera can shoot video at thousands of frames per second. In addition to being amazingly cool, SloMo is also an incredibly good way to get kids thinking in terms of the micro-world around them. Understanding just how much can happen in a thousandth of a blink of an eye opens up the mind to worlds of possibility. The CoasterDad MakerSpace will offer a Super SlowMo class to amaze, engage, and yes, to educate kids about MicroTime.
Ever seen a cooking show on TV or YouTube? Cooking isn’t just great fun, and it isn’t just a crucial life skill. Cooking is a language unto itself. Cooking opens up the worlds of chemistry, creativity, communication and the arts. A Cooking Studio at The CoasterDad MakerSpace would enhance those already stellar experiences by adding the opportunity for our students and members to create their own Cooking Shows, which they can enjoy in private, or even publish on YouTube.
Oooh! What if we did a Cooking Show… in SlowMo!  See? We just thought of that! We thought of it because That’s What A MakerSpace Can Do. A MakerSpace Opens The Mind and allows for infinite often unlikely connections. Looks like a cooking studio and a slow motion camera aren’t so totally unrelated after all.

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STEM & STEAM Learning For Kids

Whether you’re a grownup, a kid, or somewhere in between, now is always the best time to learn something new.

Preparing kids for careers Science, Technology, Engineering Art, and Math (STEM/STEAM) is the very best way we know to ensure that the next generation is active, aware, and engaged with the kinds of innovation and creativity that fuel personal, social, and economic growth.

For adults, we’re creating a variety of classes and memberships to help you build new skills and hone your existing ones. The MakerSpace community, both online and at the CoasterDad MakerSpace facility, closes the loop and keeps you in touch with like minds and complimentary skill sets.

In addition to competitively priced classes and memberships, The CoasterDad Project aims to provide free learning opportunities for low-income adults and children, through scholarships and free training programs.  Your support will help these programs – and these people – to continue and grow.

501(c)3 + You = Education

Though Will Pemble is an experienced, successful entrepreneur, The CoasterDad Project wasn’t started as a business. The CoasterDad Project started out as Will’s gift to his children, Ellie and Lyle.

To the delight of millions, Will’s videos, interactive learning experiences, and the articles he’s published on topics like Project Based Learning are helping kids to learn, and grownups to teach. Will insists that The CoasterDad Project, and The CoasterDad MakerSpace, continues to be a gift. Not only to his kids, but to all kids, all parents.

As the Maker Movement as grown, so has the popularity and impact of Will’s videos. Will’s goal, however, has never changed: Bring Physics, Family and Fun to Kids Everywhere. We’re organizing The CoasterDad MakerSpace as a non-profit to keep our goals and purpose clear. You can be sure that your contribution to this important work will be used to the benefit of the kids, community, and projects we serve.
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CoasterDad Is Local and Global

The CoasterDad MakerSpace will be located in Concord, California. People from all over the Bay Area will have access to our classes, tools, people and resources. We envision a vibrant community where members become makers, and students become teachers. We know that hands-on experience is the best way to learn.

We also know that sharing content, ideas, and lessons online is a great way to teach. That’s where The CoasterDad MakerSpace Video Production Shop fits in. Just like CoasterDad Will Pemble has been doing to the tune of millions of YouTube views for years now, we aim to continue Bringing Physics, Family and Fun to Kids Everywhere through our YouTube presence.

All our classes will be produced as Online Learning Modules and offered For Free to anyone who wants them. Providing valuable, meaningful education to anyone who wants it is simply the best investment we can think to make in our community, our children, our future. This desire, this passion, is at the very core of The CoasterDad Project, and we need your help to.. well, help :)

Risks & Challenges

The CoasterDad Team is experienced in every facet of the operation of this project. We’ve run technical training businesses that taught thousands of students. We’re certified project and product managers. We’re moms and dads. Will is certified in all kinds of things, including technical training, behavioral analysis, flight instruction, personal training, and too many other things to list here. We’re experienced businesspeople who know how to win. We’re award winning customer service providers. Will was the founding CEO of Web.com, one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world. Our latest roller coaster won 4 Blue Ribbons at Maker Faire Bay Area 2015. Will is a featured, master maker according to makezine.com.

So, yes. We’re up to the challenge. We’re also experienced enough to know that plans don’t always go to plan. We’re okay with that. Mistakes get made, schedules push. We’re ready to work as hard and as long as it takes to realize our vision. We’re also ready to promise deliverables carefully, and to keep those promises. Challenges are met, and problems get solved through communication, realistic expectations in the first place, and above all, perseverance. For The CoasterDad MakerSpace, we’ll bring our A Game, and we’ll keep on keeping on. GRIT is one of the many crucial lessons we aim to teach our members and our students.
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Other Ways You Can Help

Not everybody has extra cash, even for the best of causes. If that’s you at the moment, you can still help out in big ways. Subscribe to the CoasterDad YouTube Channel. Share This Campaign with Indiegogo’s awesome sharing tools. Tell your friends and neighbors. Send us email and suggestions. Join our Mailing List! Money is awesome. Relationships and dialog are crazy strong, too!

We live in an amazing time where information, inspiration and ideas move at the speed of thought. Let’s change everything. Let’s teach Physics, Family and Fun to Kids Everywhere.

 

Thank You, Thank You, and Thank You!

The CoasterDad MakerSpace will teach kids amazing things

And we need your help. 

We’re experienced, successful entrepreneurs who know how to win.
And we need great partners. 

We’re parents who know that the education our kids need is more important than the things we might want.
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Knott’s Timber Mountain Log Ride – Part 1

First built in 1969, and completely refurbished in 2013, the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm is a wonderful thrill, and an important piece of American Amusement History. The whole CoasterDad Team was lucky enough to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of this American Treasure. In Part 1, we start upstairs with a tour of the animatronics that make the ride such a wonderful experience.

CoasterDad Team Upstairs At Log Ride

Glenn Shows The CoasterDad Team Log Ride Animatronics

What you may not (Knott) know is that the so-called props in this ride are genuine pieces of American Mining History. Real steam engines have been refurbished and brought to life through the brilliance and creativity of the Knott’s Animation Team. The spinning gears of the millwork are actually made of wood patterns once used to forge real steel gears for mills and mines.

Glen, who was kind enough to show us around, has worked at “The Farm” for 36 years, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re ever in Southern California, make sure to enjoy at least a day at Knott’s Berry Farm. Definitely a CoasterDad favorite!

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Happy Independence Day

Here’s to all the men and women who serve our country, and keep us safe. Words like Thank You don’t begin to cover it. Every day, I try to honor all the wonderful people who made me who I am, who make my life what it is today. I try to honor these countless sacrifices and contributions by living the best life I can, by serving those around me, and by earning the amazing gifts I’ve already been given. That’s what “thank you” means to me.

I hope you’ll forgive my keyboard skills. The point of this particular rendition of the Star Spangled Banner is to show what sound looks like. Here’s what’s happening.

The thing with fire coming out of it is called a Ruben’s Tube. Into one end of the tube, we’re pumping propane gas. At the other end of the tube is a speaker, through which the music is played. Along the top of the tube are a few hundred little holes that let the gas out. When the propane leaves the tube, it mixes with air, which makes it flammable. Pure propane, by the way, doesn’t burn at all. It needs air. Somewhere between 3% and 11% mixture. More or less than that and it wont burn at all.

When I play the notes, you’ll see that the flames form at different heights across the tube. That’s because the sound being played into the tube creates areas of different pressure. These are called Standing Waves.  The lower the notes, the longer the wave. As you listen to the music, you’ll see that some notes create more pronounced flame patterns, or waves, than others. The Star Spangled Banner is a great song for this kind of demonstration because it covers a really wide range of notes. Plus, it’s patriotic and fun to play, even if your last piano lesson was 30 years ago.

I hope you enjoy the song, the SoundFire Tube, and your Independence Day.

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The CrossBow – Our Best Backyard Roller Coaster Yet

It was a fantastic, exciting, crazy day at Jeff and Abraham’s house. Lyle and I got up early, loaded the CrossBow Cart onto the back of the car, and drove over to Jeff’s house for one last test of the whole thing!

As you’ll see from the early part of the video, Our Best Backyard Roller Coaster Yet didn’t come off without a hitch or two. First of all, the track in turn one is a little too wide to accommodate the wheel assembly design on the CrossBow Cart. So, the wheels would pinch and slow the cart almost to a stop on entering the turn. Not the best result, especially in the first turn of the first test. I don’t mind saying, things got a little tense when we first saw that issue.

The rest of the ride was fantastic. Turns two and three are smooth, fast and strong. Jeff, Rob and the rest of the construction team did a great job.

At the end of the day, we decided to narrow the track by about half an inch in turn one. That way, the cart wont encounter too much friction. I’m also going to adjust the main wheels outward a bit so there’s no chance that the big long board wheels contact the 2×4 ties at any point. This will reduce bumps and noise and it’ll make the thing faster still.

All told, Lyle and I are thrilled with this coaster. Next week, if we’ve got time, we’re going back to my house to do some testing on The Caution Zone, which is the coaster we built in our yard. So, please stay tuned for that!

Thanks for watching!
Best,
Will

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Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Science Never Tasted So Good! In this adventure, Lyle and I made delicious Ice Cream using Liquid Nitrogen as the cooling agent. Liz and Ellie helped with the camera work and production, and the whole thing made for a supercooled backyard science project for the whole family.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice CreamCAUTION: Liquid Nitrogen boils at -320 Fahrenheit. That’s really, really cold. So, it’s important to make sure you handle it safely. You’ll need a face mask, cryogenic gloves, and proper project clothes. Be Careful!  Okay – Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the fun!

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream is made like any other ice cream, except for cooling it down, we pour the Nitrogen directly into the bowl with the other ingredients. Because Nitrogen is an element, when it evaporates, there’s nothing left but cold, delicious ice cream.

About Nitrogen
Nitrogen is Number 7 on the Periodic Table of Elements. NitrogenThat means it’s got 7 electrons in the two “rings” orbiting its nucleus. Two electrons in the inner ring, and five in the outer. Nitrogen freezes at -346 degrees Fahrenheit, and boils at -320 degrees Fahrenheit. Our atmosphere is made up of about 79% Nitrogen. We breath quite a lot of Nitrogen all day, every day. Nitrogen is colorless and odorless. It’s all around us, and life wouldn’t be possible without it. Awesome fun projects like this wouldn’t be possible without it, either :)

Here’s our recipe for the Mint Chocolate Chip NitroScream, as Lyle calls it!

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Desert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • liquid nitrogen - 8 cups
  • heavy whipping cream - 1 cup
  • half-and-half - 2 cups
  • sugar - ½ cup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • fresh mint leaves - 4
  • shaved chocolate - ¼ cup
  • salt - ½ tsp
  • peaches - 2
  • peach preserves - ½ cup
Instructions
  1. Peel and halve the peaches, and heat them up so they're super soft. Use a grill, a toaster oven, or even a propane torch for this. Then, chop the peaches into small dice.
  2. Split and scrape the vanilla bean, saving the husk.
  3. Combine all the other ingredients EXCEPT THE LIQUID NITROGEN, MINT AND CHOCOLATE in a large saucepan and warm over medium heat until it steams but does not boil. A candy thermometer is a great way to do this the right way every time. Bring the mixture to 175 degrees F. Strain and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let it cool to room temperature, or place in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Pour the mixture into a Stainless Steel bowl or the stainless steel bowl of a mixer. WARNING: DO NOT USE GLASS. Start the mixer on the lowest setting, or stir slowly. Slowly add 1 cup of Nitrogen and mix until is completely evaporated.
  5. After the first round of Liquid Nitrogen, add the mint and chocolate shavings.
  6. Continue mixing and adding liquid nitrogen into the mixture, approximately one cup at a time, until the mixture is at the consistency of ice cream.
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Mentos And Coke With EepyBird

I caught up with Fritz and Steve from EepyBird.com the other day at Maker Faire 2014, and boy did they have some fun! I got to spend a little time with Steve, who taught me just why Mentos and Diet Coke make such an amazing combination, and we managed to get a pretty good video of the whole thing.

The main thing that makes the whole thing work so well is called nucleation. That’s the process of forming an actual nucleus. Ions, atoms, or molecules arrange in a pattern similar to that of a crystalline solid. Then, the carbon dioxide from the soda collects around that area. Stick your finger in a glass of soda, and the bubbles that attach to your finger are doing it because of nucleation.

Mentos have a lot of surface area, which means lots of bubbles can form on the surface. That’s why they make so much foam. They are also heavy, so Mentos sink to the bottom of the bottle, allowing them to mix with as much carbon dioxide-rich soda as possible.

The result? THIS AWESOME SHOW!

 

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My Best Backyard Roller Coaster Yet

Say hello to The CrossBow! That’s what we named this new cart. The reason is that the front suspension has a curved steel part right up front, and the steel pipe that runs nearly the length of the cart reminded me of a bow and arrow.

The cart is entirely custom. Every bit of everything, except the wheels, bearings and some of the screws was built by hand by me. I’m incredibly proud of The CrossBow!

Meanwhile, over at Abraham’s house, the track is coming along nicely. The carpentry crew has a little cleaning up to do here and there, and some of the tolerances aren’t quite where they need to be. But, the whole thing was good enough for some pretty great testing, as you can see from the Video above. In another day or two, I’ll post a second video to dig into the details of the walkthrough and some of the design/build features of the CrossBow cart. You’re gonna love that one!

Stay Tuned, and please be sure to Like, Share, Follow, Digg, and Tweet about The CoasterDad Project!

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Negative Afterimage, How Your Brain Colors Your World

WillNeg

Your Brain Wants To Make Your World Make Sense

When you do this simple experiment, here’s what’s happening. Your brain is creating a Negative Afterimage. When you stare at the negative image, the photoreceptors, which are the parts of your eyes that “receive light” get overstimulated and fatigued (tired), which causes them to lose sensitivity. In regular situations, you don’t even notice this because the little movements of your eyes keep your cone cells, one of the two kinds of photoreceptors, from getting overstimulated.

But, when you stare at a large image, the tiny movements in your eyes aren’t enough to reduce that overstimulation. So, you start to experience what is known as a negative afterimage. When yo shift your eyes to look at the white box, your overstimulated cone cells keep on sending the image information to your brain. That has the effect of “muting” the colors being transmitted.

Then the photoreceptors that aren’t overstimulated start to send strong signals that are the opposite of the colors you were seeing before. I know, it’s a little confusing. The result is that your brain, wanting to make sense of your world for you, sees these afterimage signals as the opposite colors. A negative of a negative, as it were. This creates a color image of the negative you were staring at.

How Cool Is That!

 

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Steel Cart Mark IV Wheel Assembly Test

Liz took one look at this video and said, “Don’t post that.” My beautiful bride said that I shouldn’t spend 15 hours non-stop working in the shop and then get on camera right after. that. But, I couldn’t help it! I was just too excited. Here’s the update to the Mark IV Cart project. Let me know what you think with your comments, likes and shares. Stay Tuned! I’ve been hard at work in the shop and there’s another incredibly cool update coming in the next day or so. Thanks for supporting CoasterDad.com, and helping us to bring Physics, Family and Fun to kids everywhere!

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Happy Memorial Day

Here’s to all the men and women who serve our country, and keep us safe. Words like Thank You don’t begin to cover it. Every day, I try to honor all the wonderful people who made me who I am, who make my life what it is today. I try to honor these countless sacrifices and contributions by living the best life I can, by serving those around me, and by earning the amazing gifts I’ve already been given. That’s what “thank you” means to me.

I hope you’ll forgive my keyboard skills. The point of this particular rendition of the Star Spangled Banner is to show what sound looks like. Here’s what’s happening.

The thing with fire coming out of it is called a Ruben’s Tube. Into one end of the tube, we’re pumping propane gas. At the other end of the tube is a speaker, through which the music is played. Along the top of the tube are a few hundred little holes that let the gas out. When the propane leaves the tube, it mixes with air, which makes it flammable. Pure propane, by the way, doesn’t burn at all. It needs air. Somewhere between 3% and 11% mixture. More or less than that and it wont burn at all.

When I play the notes, you’ll see that the flames form at different heights across the tube. That’s because the sound being played into the tube creates areas of different pressure. These are called Standing Waves.  The lower the notes, the longer the wave. As you listen to the music, you’ll see that some notes create more pronounced flame patterns, or waves, than others. The Star Spangled Banner is a great song for this kind of demonstration because it covers a really wide range of notes. Plus, it’s patriotic and fun to play, even if your last piano lesson was 30 years ago.

I hope you enjoy the song, the SoundFire Tube, and your memorial day.

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