Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Learn to Solder" at Penang Mini Maker Faire 2014

Preparing and ready for tomorrow
The first in Malaysia, Penang Mini Maker Faire 2014 is over two weeks ago. The feelings from the fair are still fresh as if it all just happened yesterday. All the preparation and efforts made it a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

For my first Maker Faire I decided to throw in "Learn to Solder" workshop during the two days exhibition. Prior to the event, I had a little expectation from the visitors to participate in this workshop. The initial responses from my colleagues when I told them that I was going to do this were.. "Are you sure?", "I wouldn't want my kids to go near these things" and "Don't expect the response is good". At first I was skeptical about it too. Nevertheless, I wanted to prove them wrong. 

To my surprise when we started at 9.30AM on the first day, people came streaming in non stop until we closed at 6.00PM. There wasn't a moment a soldering station was left empty. Luckily I have friends to assist me in the workshop, they were Hasrol, Derrick Teoh, Bernard Arokiasamy and YT Lee. We didn't have time for proper meals and our energy drained drastically in matter of hours. However, we splurged our energy to help the enthusiastic crowd. We were tired but exhilarated.

The sad part is when we ran out of the boards and components by noon on the second day. People who came later were disappointed especially the kids. We didn't expect the response to be so good. The first day has already used up two thirds of the total boards. So, we ended early and had some time to visit the other makers and exhibition booths. 

The amazing thing that I observed was kids as young as 10 years old who never solder before did an excellent soldering job. The parents were delighted to see their children acquired such skill and interest. Hence one valuable lesson from here - Never doubt the abilities of the young ones. 

I couldn't find a word to describe my experience. It was simply amazing. Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Penang Science Cluster for sponsoring the boards and components, Motorola Solutions Penang for loaning the soldering equipments, Vincent Kok for designing the PCB and buying the components and also to my dedicated helpers, supportive friends and family and the organizer. Kudos!

Make robot is invading PMMF'14
All packed and ready
Volunteers helping to pack 4 days before the event
PMMF 2014
Adults and children soldering together
People waiting for their turn to solder.
My first customer!
Patience is a virtue
A young boy with an excellent soldering skill
Mother and son
I gave my last unit to him that has super bright red color Cree LEDs. 
With our Penang Chief Minister, YB Lim Guan Eng
Very serious people on a serious job
Working as a team
Everyone is busy; There is no room for break

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