March 15, 2012 Minutes - Operations Committee

Business/Operations Committee Meeting - Minutes
March 15, 2012 7:30 PM

1) CUCFL Google Calendar Progress:

The curriculum committee has updated the CUCFL website so that volunteers may both schedule and volunteer for upcoming events at the lab. This committee also administers the “Contact” section of the website, where educational groups may request an organized tour of the lab. A couple of recent requests were discussed, which underscored the need to have a workable procedure in place. Some of the ideas which were discussed included the following:

a) Programming – having an inventory of kits and ready-to-go projects such that users could come in and have something to do without having to dream up a project from scratch. Projects would be available for one time users (like making a press fit box). Projects that would engage a group over multiple visits (like making a robot) would also be available.

b) Scheduling – mechanics of getting a school group into the lab with a profitable use of time was also discussed. One thought was to have one or two days a month available during school hours to accommodate such tours, based upon the availability of volunteers.

Another option is to have after-school groups come in with parents and teachers, also by arrangement with CUCFL volunteers, as coordinated with the above discussed Google calendar and online request form as administered by the curriculum committee. This also permits scheduling on days other than Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and times convenient for the users of the lab.

c) Sustainability – as discussed in previous meetings, and as currently posted on the CUCFL website (IV.SUSTAINABILITY), a cost is associated with this activity and needs to be recouped efficiently. The numbers proposed last year ($10 per pupil) were judged to be reasonable as a minimum position at this meeting, and would (within limits) include the cost of materials for a guided visit to the lab.

NEW: For school groups coming in during the school day (as suggested above), this cost would be waived, although a material cost of $3 per pupil would be assessed.  This on the authority of the fab lab manager.

2) Upcoming events – we discussed a number of groups which have been scheduled to come into the lab (see the Google Calendar). A list of volunteers who sign up will be distributed via email prior to the event by the curriculum committee. Lack of volunteer support may force cancellation or rescheduling of any given event. Suggestions as to volunteer levels are also posted on the CUCFL website (V. SCHOOL & COMMUNITY GROUP TOURS)

3) Josh gave a presentation on “The Self Creation of Playgrounds”.   His summary is as follows:

The conversation notes from our meeting center around principles of
organization and capabilities of organization.

The developments since then in the capabilities of organization have
been; Dr. Johnson has formally invited me to become a part of his
research group at Mayo. The Museum of Science and Industry has offered
a formal letter of support. I have also been working for partnership
with a fitness equipment manufacturing company for help in organizing,
funding etc. in exchange for being able to brand themselves and be
able to add to a network structure for purposes of their other product
lines. I have been working to close with them for about a year and
hopefully should be soon.

Developments in principles have been in towards safety.
1.       Community development and review
2.      Emphasis on puzzles and social feats, not physical feats
3.      Evolution of communities, generations of design

My conversations with Dean Rebecca Smith at Stanford remain positive.
I have kept her up to date and she is pleased with my progress. I have
told her that I have organized the situation so that their decision
can be made wisely.

Dr. Jerrad Zimmerman, head of sports medicine at Carle, is in favor.
He is a personal friend that I got to know from playing football at
 Dr. Wotjek, kinesiology dept head did a similar project in 2003, but
did not have self creation or re-creation and he is pleased.

The proposal for moving forward is working with a fitness manufacturer
and to develop a structure with Dr. Johnson for the project to
succeed. I would like to HQ the project from MSI because of the
location among fitness manufacturing companies. It should be set up to
help other community/fablab projects gain foothold, i.e.
paintthepavement is a good project, can a situation be arranged to
help it succeed?

I have been able to attract interest from playful city USA, a
playground funding organization. Because so many fablabs have already
established nonprofit community center statues, mayoral approval would
a key, if not final, step for playful city to be a funding
organization. This would require site selection, budgeting and
planning to be done. These questions can be answered.

I will keep working and send word as it comes in.