We met Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan at the PS1 hackstation in Chicago. After allowing him a close examination of the SparkTruck, this hands-on executive must’ve thought we were something special — because he made it clear that we were invite-able to a tour of the Inventables HQ!
During our tour later that week, we discovered the Inventables’ office to be more inventive than we could’ve known. All walls are whiteboards! A sliding bookcase cleverly conceals their main workspace! And their recently-expanded supply bay reveals a tidy metropolis of holographic acrylics, purple zebra-wood, and fabrication tools galore.
The company that’s gained immense industry respect as a “hardware store for designers” showed us that it’s possible to have cake and make it too. Their side-projects and explorations of design philosophy were truly inspiring. To sweeten our goodbye, Zach handed us an awesome donation: a heatbender, to complement our laser cutter.
Thank you, Zach - and thanks for letting us “recycle” some of your “pre-cut” acrylic, Inventables designers - we’ve made cool stuff for some kids!
"My Mindstorm is flying through space!"
"If I can get the Tracker down the ramp, we can get the fuel source!"
On a hot Sunday afternoon, the SparkTruck rolled into Downers Grove, Illinois, ready to Spark up the local FRoG community!
Through storytelling, imagination, and some programming challenges, the kids worked on creating solutions for moving the Mindstorms across galactic obstacles towards sustainable fuel sources.
After the event, a local school leader commented-
"They enjoyed the activities, were proud of their creations and enjoyed learning more about batteries, motors and robots. I especially liked the role-models offered by the college students who were leading the workshop and the format of the workshop which was high-energy, creative and easy to access for many families.Thank you for creating a great program for our students and for sharing it with our Downers Grove community.”
Thanks for the fun and all the SparkLove, Downers Grove!
For more info-
Three weeks into the trip, and I’m well-acquainted with my favorite question: “So, I see you have a truck and stuff, but… (cautious laughter) what is it that you guys actually…do?” It’s my favorite because I’ve never given the same answer twice.
The Sparkees held an OpenMake session at Coronado’s Concert in the Park. Kids got inspired by the music around them and built a brand new instrument of their own!
(shhh…secret recipe: 1 part animal + 1 part instrument)
We laughed, we brainstormed, we danced, we prototyped, and we made some awesome creations!
Brittany was very excited to be back in her hometown of Coronado at the same Concert in the Park series she went to as a kid.
We will miss Coronado with its beautiful weather, great food, and most importantly- creative and enthusiastic kids!
Vegas Roots! Las Vegas’ first and only urban farm and community garden opened its beautifully painted gates to the SparkTruck on Thursday, July 11th .
Inspired by our wonderful surroundings, we worked with some enthusiastic kids to prototype and build their very own vertical gardens!
We would like to thank Rosalind Brooks for her wonderful hospitality and all that she is doing for the community of Las Vegas with Vegas Roots. Keep up the great work!
On a beautiful Saturday evening, friends and family came out to help us launch the truck on its summer journey. The party was a huge success! We laughed and ate as our supporters marveled in the newly redesigned SparkTruck for its next voyage across the country. We might just have to kidnap Max and take him and his awesome grilling skills along with us…
Week one has held its fair share of challenges, and we have quickly found that southern California weather, LA traffic and a broken A/C do not mix well at all. Poor Warren and Steven were toughing it out in our SparkOven.
With climate control restored on our vessel, we think back to the incredible kids we have met over just the first week.
Thank you so much Center for Talented Youth and New Covenant Academy for being amazing hosts; we could not have asked for a better start to our road trip.
From EV3s to toothbrushes—it truly is a joy to see kids design for one another’s needs, those will definitely come in handy…
On the road again! With the wind at our backs, the truck has hit the road for its second annual tour across the country. With support from our friends at Lego and Motorola, the truck is once again excited to bring creative confidence and some good ol’ fun to kids across America!
Starting with stops in Los Angeles and San Diego, the SparkTruck crew is excited to hit the road!
Track our tour!
And stay in touch!