Meet Teen Maker John McKennan from Make.Hack.Build.
April 7th, 2018 | Ruth Williams, Community Learning Specialist
Do Space launched a new program Make.Hack.Build early 2018. It is a collaborative program that enables teen creators to learn life, technology, and leadership skills by engaging in fun quarterly projects for themselves and the community. It also serves as an opportunity for post-secondary education and portfolio development. In our first ever Make.Hack.Build. session, sixteen participants spent eleven weeks learning how to create and design physical technology, engaging in a mini-hackathon, and showcasing their projects at the Omaha Mini Maker Faire.
This last week I sat down with one of our Make.Hack.Build. participants John McKennan to learn more about his class project.
What did you make?
“A cure for laziness!… It’s an automated Chicken Coop.”
What does it do?
“It can feed chickens, water them, and let them out during the day.”
How did you make it?
“I drew the pieces in CAD. I cut out some parts I designed in wood and 3D printed other parts. I created a water level sensor to detect when the chickens needed more water and a feed dispenser that is solar and car battery powered. I programmed the sensors in Arduino’s IDE.”
What inspired you to make this?
“I have to take care of my family’s chickens everyday. The chickens are very annoying and I’m pretty busy. My brother can’t do the chores because it’s scary when it’s dark out. Sometimes it’s cold or raining outside when I need to feed them. So, I was looking up YouTube videos of people working on complex systems, and I thought to invent a complex machine that would do my chores.”
John and his fellow Make.Hack.Builders will showcase their projects at the fourth annual Omaha Mini Maker Faire, which will be held at Do Space on Saturday, April 14th from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. FREE and open to the public, the Faire will feature interactive exhibits that highlight the process and attitude of making things. The Faire is an event to bring makers, artisans, tinkerers, craftsmen, inventors, performers, hackers, and do-it-yourselfers together. Don’t miss it!