Notes from CUCFL Friends committee meeting, 6/30/2011

CUCFL Friends Committee Meeting

30 June 2011
Notes by Robert E. McGrath

Attendance:  REM, Betty, Mercedes, Lauren, Virginia

(Please see also the attached PDF.)

The meeting focused on planning for several upcoming events.

1. Presentation at PechaKucha CU event on July 22

Lauren signed up to present the CUCFL at PechaKucha CU.  The format is a very short talk, with 20 pictures for 20 seconds each.

Lauren will give the presentation, Betty and others will provide images.  Betty & Mercedes and perhaps others will attend as well. 

2. CUCFL “Fab Off”, 22 October 2011

We discussed detailed concepts for a “fab off”, to be held on 22 October.

Here is the current concept:

The “Fab Off” is a one-day “build”, in which teams of people from regional Fab Labs come here and, in one day, design and build something.  The primary goal is to make connections and get to know each other, in an enjoyable, Fabic environment.

Basically, the build teams will start the day selecting from a pile of materials.  We would like to have this include exotic materials, e.g., from inventables.

Invitations will be sent to Fab Labs we have met, generally in the Midwest (i.e., places that it is reasonable to come here from.)  Betty has a tentative list of likely labs, based on recent conversations.

We are planning to have ~40 people, 5-8 teams.  This is the outer limit of our lab space.

The main steps in the operation are:

  1. Each lab will recruit participants.  In addition, they will be told to select up to some amount of materials from web sources.
  2. We (i.e., CUCFL)will assign teams.  Our notion is to create cross-lab teams, i.e., distribute the people from each lab into different teams.
  3. We accumulate all the selected parts, and make a combined list.  This will be the pool to select from.
  4. Before the day, we will assign the teams, and electronically notify them.  They will be encouraged to meet and get to know each other electronically. 
  5. The teams will be told the parts list.

The participants will come on Friday (dinner hosted by Joel).

On Saturday (22 October) the Fab off will be held at CUCFL. On this day:

  1. The teams will take turns selecting from the parts.  Note, they do not have to take the parts they suggested
  2. The rest of the day, the teams will make something.
  3. At the end of the day, judges will award prizes.

Our notion is that the prizes will be nominal, and the judging should not be stressful on the judges (i.e., it is a friendly contest, everyone should feel good.)


  • Sheri L. has tentatively agreed.
  • Probably would invite John U., Alan C., or other campus notables.
  • Other possibilities have been suggested, on campus and off
  • Please nominate potential judges

Local support:

Our lab will host the event.  Besides organizing the teams and ordering materials, we will need volunteers on the day to direct traffic (e.g., at the laser cutter), deal with lunch, etc.

General schedule

Aug 15? – send initial invitations

Sep 1  - receive accepts

Sep 15 – order parts

Sep 22 -  send team assignments and combined part lists

Oct 21 – dinner

Oct 22 – build day


Next actions and questions:

Can we get donations for the materials?

We need to get judges

We need to formulate an invitation, and send it.

3. Ideas for holiday fundraising and activities

We discussed several ideas for fundraising at the holiday.  The general vision is to have people build toys or something, which would be sold.  Part of the proceeds would support the lab.

Several different ideas were floated.

  1. Hold an event where people come to the lab to build toys or what ever, which we would sell.  (“Santa’s workshop” day, sell at the mall.)
  2. A different event in which kids come in to build toys or something that they can give as gifts or sell themselves
  3. Hold a sale in the Fab Lab itself

These ideas have different participants and business models, they aren’t mutually exclusive but we will need volunteers to make them happen.

Volunteers are urgently needed to make these concepts come true.

Time line:

Holiday sales usually occur in December, so these activities would need to be done in November or earlier.

The committee discussed the possibility of getting volunteer groups to help organized and execute one of these events.  For example, the LINCS class might give us a group of students who would take responsibility for organizing, advertising and executing a fund raiser like this.  Mercedes and Bob know the LINCS program, Mercedes will talk with Bruce L.

Other possibilities might be a scout troop or some other service group.

Next Steps

We will follow up electronically, and plan to hold another meeting in a few weeks, circa July 21.

CUCFL Friends Committee Meeting 30 June 2011.pdf54.62 KB