Chandler Science Cafe at Hack Night, “Mission to Mars” with Rebeca Rodriguez

Please join us for the Chandler Science Café at Hack Night, “Mission to Mars,” with Rebeca Rodriguez, M.S., Space Management, Aerospace Engineer & Founder, Xplore BoX on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 7 PM.

Rebecca spent two weeks along with seven other team members from five different countries on a simulated mission at the Mars Desert Research Station, Utah. The Mars Desert Research Station is operated by The Mars Society to further the Society’s ultimate goal to explore and settle the Red Planet. Rebecca will talk about her experience at this Mars Analog Research Station, a laboratory for learning how to live and work on another planet.

The Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah.

The Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah.

In addition, Rebecca is a STEM education entrepreneur and the Founder of Xplore BoX, a subscription service where students receive a package with carefully selected projects and activities to explore the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

“When I was 11 years old I visited NASA Johnson Space Center and from that moment on I was hooked on space exploration and science research,” Rebeca said. “Fortunately, my parents were highly involved and provided many hands-on activities like model rocketry to fuel my passion of becoming an aerospace engineer. I credit those hands-on experiences that showed me the application of all the theory I was learning in school to the success of completing my aerospace engineering degree and master’s in space management. The hands-on projects and experiments kept me focused on what I would be doing after school. Once I was working in the space sector, I noticed kids did not have the same hands-on opportunities I did and therefore decided to start Xplore BoX. I hope Xplore BoX facilitates a convenient way to expose your children to the sciences and that it sparks and nurtures their interests.”

Science Cafés are live—and lively—events that take place in casual settings, are open to everyone, and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic. Chandler Science Cafe, first Wednesday of the month, 7pm, at Gangplank Chandler is presented in association with the Arizona SciTech Festival and Gangplank Labs Initiative.

Free, open to the public, all welcome.

Storm Chasers & Weather Geeks Unite: MonsoonCon Returns to Gangplank Chandler June 13, 2015

MonsoonCon (formerly know as AZ ChaserCon) returns to Gangplank Chandler,  Saturday, June 13, 2015, 10 AM to 6 PM, free. The objective of MonCon is to bring weather enthusiasts, weather professionals, scientists, spotters and storm chasers together to share, educate, network and inspire one another. I believe together we can build a community of people who will be able to encourage the study of Arizona’s weather with emphasis on the monsoon, stimulate proactive brainstorming conversations and increase public safety awareness.

MonsoonCon 2015 features 12 News Meteorologist Matt Pace, PhDKVOA News Tucson Meteorologist Jeff Beamish, and National Weather Service-Phoenix Meteorologist Char DeweyStorm chasers presenting at MonCon include Jerrod Harris, Kem Poyner, Bryan SniderWill WilkensMike OlbinskiTrey GreenwoodCorbin Lee Jaeger and MonCon organizer Christian Cleary. 

Like MonsoonCon on Facebook or follow @MonsoonCon on Twitter.

The Emergence of the Maker Movement

The Maker Movement is becoming mainstream. Over 135 millions adults in the United States alone actively involved. It has become a world wide phenomenon with Maker Faires in Japan, Italy, Norway and Chile. Makers are doing more than just creating for fun or hobby. They are contributing nearly $29 billion to the U.S. economy annually.

Who would of thought that Martha Stewart would be talking about the 3D printed roses?  or That President Obama would be announcing $240 million in STEM commitments at the White House science fair?

The Emergence of the Maker Movement and what it looks like by the numbers.

The Emergence of the Maker Movement



Chandler Science Café at Hack Night, “Collective Genius for a Better World”

Please join us Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 7pm, at Gangplank, 260 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler, AZ 85225, for the Chandler Science Café at Hack Night, “Collective Genius for a Better World,” with Dennis Bonilla, NASA Contractor & Senior Digital Strategist – Valador, Inc.

Dennis Bonilla, Design Manager. Senior Digital Strategist. Community Manager. NASA Contractor.

Dennis has a decade of experience communicating complex concepts using video games, infographics, and interactive platforms to inform and empower communities. Dennis has created federal websites, designed visualization software for NASA, and worked on documents presented to the U.S. President. Dennis is also currently the community manager for, a sustainability program developed by NASA, Nike, the U.S. Department of State, and USAID.

Dennis will be discussing his work with the NASA Open Innovation Team, the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist, and the NASA Office of Human Capitol.

Science Cafés are live—and lively—events that take place in casual settings, are open to everyone, and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic. Chandler Science Cafe, first Wednesday of the month, 7pm, at Gangplank Chandler is presented in association with the Arizona SciTech Festival and Gangplank Labs Initiative.

Free, open to the public, all welcome.

Desert Code Camp 2014 (October)

Desert Code Camp 2014 has been announced for October 18th.

Be part of the creative process as they plan for Desert Code Camp – Desert Code Camp 2014.2! Suggest a session! Suggestions will be immediately visible once you submit. If you want to Teach a session, choose “I can teach this” when submitting a session.

Desert Code Camp

What is a Code Camp?

By and For the Developer Community
Code Conferences are about the developer community at large. They are meant to be a place for developers to come and learn from their peers. Topics are always based on community interest and never determined by anyone other than the community.

Always Free
Code Conferences are always free for attendees.

Community Developed Material
The success of the Code Conferences is that they are based on community content. All content that is delivered is original. All presentation content must be provided completely (including code) without any restriction. If you have content you don’t want to share or provide to attendees then the Technology Conference is not the place for you.

No Fluff: Only Code
Code Conferences are about showing the code. Refer to rule #1 if you have any questions on this.

Community Ownership
The most important element of the Technology Conference is always the developer community. All are welcome to attend and speak and do so without expectation of payment or any other compensation other than their participation in the community.

Never occur during work hours
We need to understand that many times people can’t leave work for a day or two to attend training or even seminars. The beauty of the Technology Conference is that they always occur on weekends.

Danger Recycling Lives On

When we first moved into downtown Chandler, Chuck Reynolds fought hard to get us access to recycling services.  As it turns out, commercial recycling in an urban setting can be more difficult than you would think.  Shortly afterwards blue cans started showing up.

Danger Recycling

The lid of the can surfaced some problems that many who had to handle trash complained about.  David Monaghan, Kevin Odea and Stephen Minkin collaborated to give it some Dan Gerous style.

Get Your Sewing On at Gangplank Avondale

Gangplank Labs just got an industrial sewing machine. Rated at 1/3 horsepower, this 1950’s era machine can sew through leather, canvas, and probably thin plywood. Some assembly required – look for future updates to see when it’s time to bring your tough sewing projects to Hack Night. (Hack night happens every Tuesday from 7-9PM. It’s free, and everyone’s invited!)
Chris is interested in using the machine  to sew a finished edge onto some rugs, Elia is interested making her own super slim leather wallet, and Heather wants to make custom fit leather sandals. What will YOU make?

Avondale Labs Planning a Summer of Electronics

On Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 Gangplank Avondale’s makers gathered to brainstorm how to amp up the Avondale Labs Initiative. After a burst of ideas, we narrowed it to a “Summer of Electronics”. We are meeting again next Tuesday the 15th at 7pm to further plan this electrifying summer.

For those interested in seeing the crazy list of future ideas the group came up with, here they are:

Set up a soldering station
Meet once a month on a Saturday (maybe a youth event once a month)
Paper electronics for kids
Install fest – help those with less tech knowledge install Linux
Reach out to local neighborhood
Tear down day
Etsy Craft Party
Pinterest Party
Quad Copter night (or break that up into multiple projects and advertise each separately)
Metal work class
Amateur Radio
Furniture refinishing
HAM site
Big group projects
Simon says arduino
Movie projector – Theater night
Metal milling
Cold Metal forming
metal working
Tig Welding
Jewelry Making
Brewing/distilling apparatus
Concrete work (shaping)
Glass work
DIY Astronomy (homebuilt telescopes)
Tesla coil
Arduino/ Raspberry pi/ single board computers
Home automation
Jacobs Ladder
Nixie Tube
Vacuum tube amp
Aerial Photography
Technology as art
3D Printing
3d Printer mentoring
Textiles (sewing, embroidery)
car computer
Learn to code (coding classes)
Rasberry Pi car ecc
Yoga class
Going from prototype to production
CAD Meetup
Painting class
Life Drawing
Screen printing
Info dispersion
Secure communication
Traditional casting methods
Mento fountains
outreach event
community building events
inventors club
laser cutter/ engraver
Make a thon

TechShop Chandler Grand Opening

TechShop Chandler Grand Opening

Saturday, 1/18/2014
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
TechShop Chandler
Join TechShop Chandler for their action-packed grand opening celebration: Saturday, January 18 from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Take a tour of their cutting edge facility, located within ASU’s Chandler Innovation Center, and prepare to be inspired. See what members are working on, chat with successful community makers, try some hands-on activities, and watch some of their machines in action! They will be serving barbecue burgers and dogs with sides and sodas from 12 – 2 PM. Participate in these great hands-on activities:

  • Help build a state-of-the-art 3D structure in the parking lot with Brian Korsedal of Arcology Now! 11AM -2PM
  • Battle with SumoBots in the famous Gearena
  • Compete to race Sphero, part ball and part robot, through an ever changing obstacle course

Guests can also look forward to demonstrations and displays:

  • “Meet the Makers” including reps from Local Motors, SITGREEN furniture, local incubator Desarrollo, and more. Talk about the latest happenings in the Maker world, how this movement is changing the world and how you can be a part of it 12-2PM
  • Dream Consultant help desk – talk to their fantastic staff about your upcoming projects so that they can can help you build your dreams!
  • Meet their amazing instructors as they demonstrate equipment and give you a taste of what classes are like at TechShop
  • Little Makers hands-on area
  • Member spotlights
  • Photo booth

Enter our raffle to win cool prizes:

  • 3-Pack of Maker Books, including The Maker Movement Manifesto, Zero to Maker, and Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
  • 3-Month TechShop Membership
  • 3-Pack of Choice Classes

If you are a current TechShop member and would like to show off your project at the grand opening, please send an e-mail to with a photo of your project, a photo of yourself, a description of your project, and a short bio to be featured next to your project. Submissions due by Monday, January 13, 2014.

The grand opening is free and fun for the entire family! You do not need to RSVP for this event, just show up Saturday between 11AM and 4PM. Bring your family and friends! TechShop Chandler is located at 249 E. Chicago St.,Chandler, AZ. If you need more information, email us at or call 480-327-0820. Special offers and membership discounts will be available throughout the day.