Biomakespace Forum

Volunteer for the Science Festival! Exhibit 17 March and Biomakespace Tours on 25 March

(Jenny Molloy) #1

Hi All

We are still looking for volunteers for any of the following Science Festival events! It’s great fun and you’ll get to sport a nice yellow T-shirt. All welcome, you’ll be fully briefed so even if you haven’t been involved before, don’t let that put you off!

Sign up here now!

The events are:

17 Mar 2018 - Be a Biomaker: DIY sensing (09:00-17:00 at the Downing Site)

Exhibit explainers wanted!
We’ll exhibit some Arduinos and open hardware devices for science, plus there’ll be some electrophysiological fun for all the family!

25 Mar 2018 - Meet the Biomakers (12:00-16:00 in the Biomakespace)

Tour guides and exhibit explainers wanted!
Biomakespace is a new community laboratory for Cambridge, enabling people with a curiosity for engineering with biology to collaborate and learn together. Biomakespace members will run tours of the space and introduce their projects on the hour (first tour at 12:00 and last at 15:00). Whether you’re interested in building sensors with DNA, printing cells, building microscopes or more, get inspired with the biomakers.

25 Mar 2018 - Extreme Citizen Sensing (16:00-17:00 in the Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus).

Stewards wanted!

Citizen or community science is growing around the world as people seek to learn more about their environment and change it for the better. In this series of short talks and exhibits, we’ll explore DIY sensors for everything from oil spills to air pollution and radiation. We’ll hear from the developers, researchers and people who are making use of extreme citizen sensing and get hands-on with some devices!

(Matt) #2

I’m signed up for helping with the tours on Sunday 25th March - I’m keen to hear from people who would like to organise or learn about any of the following:

  • bio-inspired artwork
  • bottle garden / terrariums
  • molecular biology/DNA gel examples
  • microscope slide samples

Reply on here or get on please!

(Matt) #3


I’ve been planning a kit list for the plantariums/terrariums, just posting here so you can see what the process would be:

-glass container (I’m saving up jars for some small testers, but we could try out some lab glassware for some size variety)

  • pebbles (these could be collected or we can purchase some aquarium gravel)

-activated charcoal (this helps provide nutrients and a microbiome)

-sand/topsoil (depending on what is being planted - sand for succulents/cacti, soil/compost for others)

-plants (we could buy a batch of cacti, or take cuttings from plants you have at home

-adafruit neopixels - these are multi colour LED arrays used in a growth chamber built by the Cambridge igem team a couple of years ago, the plan is to drill holes through the jar lids to mount them inside

  • we’ll also need basic electronic components to power and control the LEDs. This is where I’ll need some electronics support. If anyone is confident about building a set of simple circuits with some off the shelf LEDs I’d love to hear you. Minimum requirements would be to safely hook up any sensible power supply with a switch, could be 9V battery to start with, perhaps something more permanent later. Ideally we’d have a timer capable of mimicking day length either 12hr on / 12hr off or something more programmable. The neopixels are arduino controllable - I already have an arduino uno I can dedicate to this project.

The electronics kit list could do with fleshing out. I think we might be able to produce these for approx £5-£10 per terrarium. You can either take home or display in the Biomakespace during science festival permanently or temporarily (if there are any hold ups with electronics we might need some well-lit windowsills as a back up!)

Please get in touch if you are interested in contributing to this project in any way!

(Matt) #4

We’re still looking for volunteers for the Biomakespace Tours on Sunday 25th March. We’ll be hosting severe batches of visitors throughout the day, you can rock up for one slot or stay for the whole day. I plan to organise some snacks for volunteers, as well as exclusive Biomakespace stickers. There are also a limited number of Cambridge Science Festival T shirts for those who volunteer swiftly.

We’re planning to demo some molecular biology (DNA gels), biological imagery, microscopy and electric plantariums.

Sign up here:

Read below for details of the upcoming plantarium session.

Hopefully you have seen the discussions in the other thread ‘Build a plantarium’ about the plan to have a build session on Saturday 10th March, drop in anytime between 11am and 3pm if you want to see what is going on with either the electronics, or the planting or both!

If you want to get involved I’m happy to organise materials but please get in touch asap. The big programmable LEDs are £8 and ship in a couple of days and the smaller ones are about £2 each but take a bit longer and come in packs of 4.

The things required are:
a glass container, ideally sealable (e.g. Jam jar) (got)
Pebbles (got)
Activated charcoal (horticultural)
Seeds/plants to try growing without natural light
Adafruit neopixel (I’ve got 1 jewel 7, and waiting on 4x individuals)
Some wire (e.g hobby electronics strippable insulated) (got)
Soldering iron
Arduino/raspberry pi (mines an arduino uno +usb/power supply)
Breadboard and basic electronics components

Anything you want to decorate it with!

(Jenny Molloy) #5

I can bring 2 x soldering kits, soil and charcoal.
If you could get me some LEDs that’s great, just let me know how much it comes to!