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On Tuesday April 28th Chris Anderson will be instructing a lecture and demo on Hydroponic and Aquaponic gardening. If you are interested in learning alternative farming and gardening techniques this class will introduce a more environmentally friendly process for growing your own produce. Generally, the hydroponics approach is beneficial because although the initial costs are higher, on a long term outlook the process is exponentially less expensive. Hydroponics also takes up to 50% less land use, therefore is much less intrusive to the environment, minimizing clearing of woodlands and soil degradation. The soil-less process of hydroponics also uses up to 90% less water and up to 60 % less fertilizer and pesticide use.

Join Hive76 members to learn more about how you can build your own sustainable farming/ gardening hydroponic or aquaponic system. The instructor will be providing the Basic items for the wicking system being built but please bring any supplies you have that may enhance the design. Chris Anderson will help guide the class in how they can optimize their gardening system with their suggested materials, exploring the creative possibilities in using recycled products. That class will cost $8, CASH ONLY. For more information check out the class in the Hive76 Calendar. Please comment below if you are interested and will be attending. Can’t wait to see you there!

Take a tour of Chris Anderson’s classroom design.

The materials for the class are as follows:

Basic items:
2L or 3L soda bottle(s)
Old white t-shirts/towels (washed)
Encouraged items:
Aquarium/fish-tank air-pump, tubing, air-stone
Gravel (any size)
Geolite, Vermiculite, hydrocorals
plastic planter cups
empty plastic squeezable condiment bottles
plant seeds
caulk, silicon, caulk-gun
pipe cleaners
construction paper
aquarium lid with florescent light
power-strip; plug in timers
straws, tubing (any sizes)

Class – Noise Gadgets, Vol. 1: Piezo Transducers

On July 14th Hive76 will be hosting a class on piezo transducers! What’s so cool about peizo transducers? They let you turn anything into an electric instrument that you can amplify, record, and experiment with! These nifty little devices turn vibrations into usable electrical signals -and the nice thing is that they’re dirt cheap and easy to work with.

Basically microphones that work by touch, they can be used to electrify guitars, make drum boxes, or listen to sounds you can’t hear with your ears. Essential to the musical tinkerer and sonic experimenter.

The class will include a brief lesson on the science of music, sound, and practical applications of piezo transducers (music or otherwise). Participants will build their own contact microphones and leave ready to start making their own noise. If you have any cool old tins, boxes, or things that vibrate in an interesting way, bring them and turn them into instruments.

Please RSVP by commenting below with the number of seats you’d like to reserve.

When: July 14th, 2pm
Who: Open to the public
Where: Hive76, 915 Spring Garden Street
How Much: $10 at the door
Difficulty: Basic as basic can be
(Parents, please accompany minors under 18)

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Hive76 <3 Hearts <3 Bike Works

NBW Haddington student soldering an odometer kit

Durryah soldering an odometer kit at the NBW-Haddington shop. Photo: S. Alarcon

Loyal readers will remember that back in May we had a table at the Trenton Ave Arts Fest to raise loot for a project with Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW).  Now that the project is well under way, it’s time to share the fun.

Hiver Jack Zylkin designed an adorable blinky odometer, and we’ve been teaching 8-14 year olds at the NBW summer camp how to build and solder them.  We’ve had a blast, and maybe even inspired a few mad scientists and junior engineers.  Many thanks to Cat, Alison, Joe, Brandon, Mustafa, and all the great coordinators and students at NBW.

If you’re interested in this fun and very basic electronics project, let us know.  We might be persuaded to run a class.  And if you’re feeling generous and want to support more programs like this, feel free to make a donation and note that you’d like it to go to youth education, bikes, rehabilitation of troubled robots, etc.

With the recent formation of Hive76’s Flickr pool, I thought I would take the opportunity to post some of the great pictures we’ve been capturing during our Teh Art of Electronics (sic,TM) sessions!

Originally designed to be a book study group, our introductory offering on the subject has morphed into quite the full-fledged intro course! Thanks to our resident gurus, the curious world of electronics has begun to unfold for some of Philadelphia’s creative minds. As a starting point, our students have learned about the relationships between charge, voltage, current, and power. We’ve since moved on to more complex topics and hope to finish out with learning about creating sensors!

So, if you’ve got some pictures of the space, or the the folks here at Hive76, and would like to share them with us, take a minute to hop on Flickr and join the group!

Hope to see you at our next [ open_house || class || event ] !

Disclaimer: These particular photos were taken with my phone, so please excuse the graininess for now. I’ll be sure to improve their quality with a better camera in the coming sessions.

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Part of running a hackerspace is doing classes, events and workshops. Classes generally involved a teacher (and TA) and slides or a presentation. Workshops and Events are different from classes, and aren’t covered here. It’s sometimes hard to set rates and costs for classes, and it’s a tricky thing to make classes easy and affordable, but to make enough to support the space, and give people giving the class satisfaction of doing something worth the scratch.

I’ve heard some advice from different spaces on how to plan classes and costs, and (for me) one of the toughest parts was coming up with a decent cost for classes. My personal guidelines for the ‘don’t-expect-to-make-money’ classes (take it or leave it) is below. I use this for my own classes and events, and find it useful. If you also do classes or events, feel free to give us feedback on how you price yours, either by leaving a comment on the weblog, or updating the page on our wiki with your guidelines.

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