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So Much to be Thankful For

 Our new boxes are here!  We used the ‘waiting on new boxes’ excuse to take a little hiatus and really enjoy our family over the summer before life gets crazy again over the holidays. It was fantastic!

However, our boxes have arrived so it's time to get back in to the real work.  These were designed by our fabulous graphic designer, Leah Heldman.  She does all of our stuff, this website included, and she does it really well. 

We do have some fun things coming up this Fall.  We’ll be playing with HyPars at the Clothes Pony/Dandelion Toys in Boulder for Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 12th, so come see us if you can.  If you can’t make it there, be sure to stop in at your own neighborhood toy store and visit them.  For us that’s Lost Marbles in Longmont.  Such a great store!

We also launched a YouTube Channel!  We’ve got a couple of event videos and some instructional things up, so feel free to check that out here.  The most recent is how to build a pumpkin, love those fall themes!  Please also subscribe if you get a chance.  I’m planning on branching out in to Pinterest soon, as well, so I’ll keep you posted on that.

Happy Fall in the Northern Hemisphere!

Summer Update 2016

 June is almost over already!  I haven’t posted a review of Denver Comic Con 2016 and, if I’m being honest, I feel like 10 days later is just too far past it.  Suffice it to say, it was a complete blast.  We met so many interesting and funny people.  If I talked to you about education and/or lesson plans and gave you my card…email me!  We’ve got some stuff coming up I want to chat with you about!  You can see our con adventures on the Facebook page here. 

I do have to say a quick thank you to Anne Fellini and Pop Culture Classroom for hosting us as well as The Dale Tribe for featuring us on their vlog.  I was only going to watch a couple of their videos on YouTube and I’m totally addicted now.  As always, Russell and Eric Miller entertained and amazed in our booth again.  Eric was our booth wizard!  Isn’t he great?

We’ve still got so much cool stuff coming up this year too!  On July 8th and 9th we’ll be doing play testing and some fun activities in the Illuminate Your Mind booth at the Rhythm on the River Festival in Longmont, CO.  If you’re in the area you should really check out this free festival.  They’ve got great music, great beer and lots of family friendly activities.  We’re not selling at this event, but come play anytime between 5pm and 8pm either night. 

Did you know Fort Collins has its own Comic Con?  It’s getting bigger every year and this year we’re so proud to be part of it!  We can’t wait.  That’s August 27th – 28th in Fort Collins, CO.  You can get tickets here!

We’re on the lookout for some fun maker fair / holiday market events to do later in the year so I’ll keep you posted.  We’re ALSO in talks to get our production moved to Longmont as well.  So not only are we 100% made in the USA, but now we’ll be made in Colorado! 

Have a fun, safe and curvy summer everyone!!  Come see us!

STEAM Fest 2016

 

I feel like it’s almost too late for a post STEAM Fest review, but I’m going to do it anyway!  First of all, though, Happy Mother’s Day! 

The weather for STEAM Fest 2016 was cold and rainy (sometimes snowy), but that was ok!  Fortunately we were inside and the turnout was still really good.  Thank you so much to the Maker Bolder crew and all of the volunteers for running the show.  We appreciate you all so much! We have to give some love to Russell and Eric Miller for helping both days and agreeing to stick with us through our upcoming shows.  You guys are angels! Also, thank you to everyone that came out to play.  We had a blast, as always, and once again we saw some new and exciting things done with HyPars.

One of which was the top.  The basic flower shape made by filling all of the openings on a connector with HyPars facing the same direction has always been one of my favorites, it’s beautiful and elegant and if you spin it, works as a top.  On the very first day of STEAM Fest this year, someone put connectors on the top and bottom of the top opening.  This made it spin extremely well! (Pardon the blurry picture.)


As always, if something gets left on the table the people that come up next will likely build the same thing, or something similar, so we saw a lot of different tops over the weekend.  A few of us had some ideas with color as well.  I alternated red and blue in the slots so that when you spin it, it looks purple.  We tried a few other color combinations as well and they all worked as expected, until we got to blue and yellow.  One would think blue and yellow would make green when spinning, but it didn’t!  It made white.  Luckily, a very knowledgeable photographer happened to be standing next to me and he said that happened because blue and yellow are complementary colors.  There is definitely some more research to be done there!

These sorts of exercises are what we’re going to be writing in to our math and art lesson plans.  We’re working with a teacher now to write the basic plans over the summer and then we’ll design them in to kits and hopefully have them ready to test out by the end of the year, maybe early next year.

The idea is that these plans will work for groups of two or three students at a time and cover a whole class with pre-written lessons and worksheets that cover the common core standards.  We are so excited to start on this leg of our journey.

We have several more chances in the works for you to come check out Hypars and visit with us if you’re in Colorado.

June 17th – 19th Denver Comic Con

July 8th – 9th Rhythm on the River - Longmont

August 26th – 28th Fort Collins Comic Con

Have a great end of school year (if you're in to that sort of thing), enjoy the weather and keep it curvy!!

The Shop is Officially Open

The shop is officially open! I’ve been waiting a long time to post that!

Anything you see in the store is available for purchase. If you’re wondering where to start, I suggest purchasing a kit that interests you and then expand your collection with other kits or inventory builders. All of our instructions are freely available in the instruction section, so once you have enough parts you can build whatever you want. If you’re looking to just free play, you should start with an inventory builder kit and get to building! Don’t forget to send us pictures or post them on the Facebook page. I’ll work on getting our Instagram account going as well.

Some of our favorite kits are the sword / dagger, the giraffe (pictured in this post) and the Spiky.  The Spiky is an inverted dodecahedron, or twelve sided figure.  We use it in other sculptures as well, such as the Tetra Spiky. 

In other news we have confirmed our booth at the upcoming Maker Boulder STEAM Fest.  If you didn’t go last year, I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s geared toward kids, but I can’t imagine anyone not having fun at this event. 

Lots more to come! 

Dragon!

We expect to have all parts within the next week, which means the shop will be fully open very soon!! I’ll post in all the social media outlets as soon as we are up and operational!

Until then, I’m going to be blogging tips and tricks for using the site, the kits and the instructions. If you played with the prototype pieces at one of our events, they snapped directly into place, but were difficult to disconnect. Our new design has a really great slide and snap feature. You just slide the edge along the connector until it snaps into place. I love that “click”!

Transcribing three dimensional objects into two dimensional images can be difficult. It becomes even more so when the objects have so many curves (not that we don’t LOVE our curves). When following any of the directions on our website, it’s best to use the HyPars logo printed on the piece to clue you in on which side to fit into the connector. You can find images of these features here.

I’ll be highlighting some of our instruction sets over the next couple of blog posts. Today it’s the ever popular HyPars Dragon! Isn’t he great?! He’s made up of 37 HyPars and 38 Connectors. If you don’t want him to be blue, the small inventory builder would have more than enough pieces to build him in whatever colors you wanted. You can see we’ve made an ice dragon to help us celebrate the winter months.

Stay tuned for updates on the shop and our upcoming appearances. Until then, Curve it Up!

TEDx Arena Circle Review

What an honor to be invited to exhibit at TEDx Arena Circle! We met a lot of great people and we were fortunate to show off our building toys to such a brilliant and enthusiastic crowd. Our booth was just a few feet behind a real TED stage!

 There were some pretty amazing things going on that day including the Go Fast jet pack, a funky maestro, a whip and nae nae’n principal (loved him!) and the greatest performance artist I’ve seen. Seriously, this was an inspirational show. We also got to watch people test ride Blow Fly Hover Boards, which was at the very least entertaining and at most super intimidating. Kudos to all the people that tried those out.

Thank you to Michael Shields and the rest of the TEDx crew for having us out. We really appreciate it and we had a blast. If we saw you at the booth, thanks for playing with us!

Next week’s post is going to be all about the hyperbolic paraboloid and its borderline cult following. Did you know the Pringle (snack chip) is a hyperbolic paraboloid? It totally is, does that make it curvalicious? I like to think so.