Massimo Banzi has started a movement. He invented a computer technology to teach his student artists and designers how to create simple electronics and prototype products in weeks. (not months) The Arduino has helped make electronics tinkering accessible to creatives young and old with a broad range of skill levels.   Since Banzi decided to share his innovation as open source, he has introduced a revolution in DIY electronics hacking. This technology has been celebrated by artists and technology professionals.  

Abstract: Massimo Banzi helped invent the Arduino, a tiny, easy-to-use open-source microcontroller that's inspired thousands of people around the world to make the coolest things they can imagine -- from toys to satellite gear. Because, as he says, "You don't need anyone's permission to make something great."

If you're interested in art and wearable tech, you might enjoy checking out the work of Becky Stern from Adafruit.   She has a really interesting job at Adafruit helping to review and promote textile materials and wearable Arduinos that can be used in costuming, fashion, or fun personal projects.   I discovered her through a recent edition of Make magazine

Interested in Learning More? 

Arduino Hacking with Dr. Allen and the Macon GDG team. -- July 29th

Check out the links below:

Don't have an Arduino?  You can start learning the basics of Arduino using 123D Circuits.  In this browser based experience, you learn to wire up a bread board, connect your circuit to an Arduino, and write the sketch code to define the behavior of the circuit.   In this virtual environment, you have a large library of virtual components to use. If you need your circuit in the real world, you can pay a fee to print your virtual circuit into real circuit board.

Tutorials for Arduino

Tutorials for PiBot: 

Arduino Hardware and Modules

Challenge problems
  • Using 4 LED’s, write a program to count from binary 0000 to 1111.
  • Write a program to detect a character from USB serial connection.  If ‘z’ is encountered, toggle a LED.
  • Write an Android App to move the PiBot forward, backward, left or right using USB serial communication.
  • Write an Web app to move the PiBot forward, backward, left or right using USB serial communication.

If you're an artist or technology creative, we hope this discussion forum will be helpful to your ventures.  Join us for a open discussion with local makers on 'crowd funding' and social media outreach.  This will be a great opportunity to exchange lessons learned, ideas to grow relationships, and seek advice on improving our social media platforms.  Come be part of the conversation!  All are welcome!
  • Topic: Open Discussion on Crowd Funding and Social Media
  • Where: 567 in Macon, GA
  • When: 6/25 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
To help us plan food and refreshment, please complete the event registration page.

Check out the following video from IndieGogo for a basic introduction to the topic.  Come ready with your questions and insights.

Our team from College Hill Alliance and Mercer GDG is excited to share news for #MaconMakers .   Come out to learn more about the movements for #MaconMakers .

We are really thankful to College Hill Alliance for helping us to organize this event.

We're excited to grow a creative culture in Macon of technology, learning and art.

Have a great week!!

Michael Rosario
Community Leader with Mercer Google Developer Group

Join the Middle Georgia Makers FaceBook Group 

Photo from

Hack For Change
Are you a programmer, community leader, artist, or designer wanting to make a difference?  Mark your calendars for May 31 - June 1, 2014 for the National Day of Civic Hacking, a fun weekend of community service using design, programming and technology.  Whether you're a novice or expert, all are welcome!

Why Join the Civic Hacking Day

  • Contribute to Your Community: The news is filled with challenges and problems that face our nation, state, and local communities.   On this weekend of community service, technologists across the nation join forces to connect our communities and prototype solutions.
  • Learning by Doing:  I greatly appreciate that the "National Day of Civic Hacking" is open to everyone!  You do not need to be an expert in technology to be a part of the event.   The event is an fruitful opportunity to learn from community designers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and programmers.   Since the event only lasts one or two days,  teams design very simple solutions to a focused challenge.   The weekend time bounds create an intense and fun learning experience. You learn innovation by doing it.
  • Network with Creative Designers, Programmers, and Leaders: Creatives love to share their craft.   The Civic Hacking Day provides an opportunity for you to get inspired by new ideas, new design techniques, novel tools, and positive social connections.
  • Gain Insight into Community Challenges: The event shines a light on civic challenges and open data.   Collaborating with other innovators in your area, you get to study of problems in your community that YOU care about.
  • Experience the Creative Process:  The 1 or 2 day time box forces teams to explore simple solutions.   Teams will need to focus on one problem, brainstorm potential solutions, prototype a solution, and pitch the idea to your peers.   This is a weekend of action and focused creativity.
My Experience

Last summer, I had the opportunity to participate in my first civic hackathon in Macon, GA.  I spent the weekend prototyping a social network site to encourage and support student entrepreneurs to design a business plan, prototype ideas, and learn by experimentation.   During the weekend of building the site, I learned a lot with my team.  ( check out this post for more details )   It was fun building a social network.   We, however, struggled with keeping our idea focused and communicating the vision.   After supporting the community site with blog posts for months, I decided to pivot the idea for the community site.   While business minded high school and college students exist, these students are a very small minority.   I still believe that it's important to give hope to high school and college students.   I'm still troubled when some of my young friends graduate from school and struggle to find work.   My personal goal was to give students inspiration and help them discover that they have options.  So, In the spirit of the lean startup, we created a minimum viable product(MVP), we tested it, and I learned lots of lessons.  

As I reflect upon the past year, I feel like I'm still accomplishing the vision of Changella website by mentoring our local Mercer University Google Developer Group.   I love teaching the craft of software and web development.   It has been fun to challenge our group to think about software as a means of positive change.   Technology is not an end.

How Do I Get Involved?

Register for the National Day of Civic Hacking in Macon, Georgia using the following link:

To learn more about the event get involved, visit the following website.   Events are organized across the country.

What's a Hackathon?

Join the Mercer Google Developer Group


Register for the National Day of Civic Hacking in Macon, GA

Dr. Allen will talk about his trip to the North America GDG Summit and challenge our GDG to plan and organize some local events. Particular attention will be devoted to DevArt, which has a looming deadline.

Meeting Time: 3/18/2014 - 6:00pm

Meeting Location: Mercer Computer Science Building - Get location details here.

Dr. Allen promises special "artistic food."