Category Archives: fundraiser

Science Carnival a Success!

Maui Makers participated in the Science Carnival this Saturday to benefit the Maui Science Center. There was great turn-out of all ages, not just at the overall event, but even at our corner of one of the tents. There was a constant flow, never a slow moment! The Gravity Well was a huge draw for the kids; the marbles never stopped rolling. There was immense interest in the 3-D printing and the various samples. The 3-D pens were a hit. It was wonderful to watch the surprised and delighted smiles on the faces of kids and adults alike as they experienced the mysteries of the magnets with our latest interactive displays. We had a lot of sign-ups for general info as well as classes.  We got great exposure (even the mayor was interested in our work)! Because of this event, we surely will see some new faces at Maui Makers!

INTERACTIVE SHOW: May 30th 8PM, be there!

Mark your calendars! Our annual interactive art show fundraiser is coming up on May 30th and it’s going to be totally ~cyberbananas~. New York’s partiest interactive artists will be showing off their latest explorations into the future, sometimes with robots! Tickets sell out fast, so bump it up to 88 miles per hours and reserve yours today.

Tickets available online or at the door: $15

May 30th, 2015
8:00 PM ET – Late

NYC Resistor (between Berger and Dean)
87 3rd Ave. Floor 4 (use this OSM link if you’re Richard Stallman)
Brooklyn, NY 11217



The Nova Labs Kickstarter campaign just reached 100% funding!!

Thank you to ALL our backers so far!

At Nova Labs we couldn’t be more excited that all of you helped make this goal a reality. Our final renovations and Meetup events are in full swing and we are seeing a surge in interest & participation. We welcome more ideas and encourage everyone to come see our space. Attend some events, learn more about Nova Labs, and join in the fun & creativity! There is a lot to learn, especially when the furniture and AV equipment comes in for the brand new classroom!

But wait… there’s more.

With just about 2 weeks left in the campaign, we have plenty of time to knock out a bunch of stretch goals, too. We already announced stretch goal #1 at $27,000 which funds a welding station. That’s at a new goal of 135% funding.

We appreciate everyone for your support, and for sharing in our excitement thus far! Now, please help us spread the word to your friends about the Nova Labs Kickstarter Campaign. You can use this shortened URL:

Thanks again for your generosity!

NOTE: We at Nova Labs consider Kickstarter contributions to be a tax-deductible donation to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, but we are not tax experts. (Makers, yes, tax professionals, absolutely not). To ensure you are treating this transaction correctly, we suggest you consult your tax professional.

Kickstarter update – 80%+ funded!

Greetings makers!

Just shy of two weeks into our 2015 Kickstarter campaign, we are happy to announce passing 80% toward our goal (86.4% to be exact)! Thanks to everyone who has backed the campaign and shared the link with friends.

Since the campaign is getting very close to passing the $20,000 goal, now’s the time to start teasing our stretch goals!

Stretch Goal #1

One of the big requests at Nova Labs is welding equipment; our new 10,500 square foot facility has a great workshop just waiting for this new capability. Raising an additional $7,000 will allow Nova Labs to acquire the following:

  • Welding table
  • TIG and MIG Welders
  • Safety equipment (gloves, helmets, and shields)
  • Ventilation and welding curtains

There are many Nova Labs members that are ready to teach welding classes, which should allow more people in the community to learn new skills for their projects.

Back us now on Kickstarter, and stay tuned for stretch goal #2!

Kickstarter update – 80%+ funded!

NL member Srijay setup this Raspberry Pi to display our Kickstarter status – he even made it open source and posted the code on GitHub!

Nova Labs Kickstarter campaign LIVE!

The Kickstarter launch party was a huge success, and a ton of Nova Labs members and supporters were still on hand long after the party “ended” at 9.

On Thursday night, with a full house of nearly 200 makers and supporters, Nova Labs launched its 2015 Kickstarter campaign! Everyone enjoyed tours of Nova Labs’ new facility, great food, and demonstrations from members. By the end of the night, the campaign total was just shy of $7,000!

We want you to help us keep the momentum going! Visit our campaign page at

Nova Labs Kickstarter campaign LIVE!

Please visit our Kickstarter campaign and consider supporting one of the premier makerspaces in the Washington DC area (if not the world!)

If you have already contributed, thank you! If you haven’t, check out the great backer rewards. You can also help spread the word on social media; give us a shout-out @nova_labs on Twitter, or like us on Facebook!

Nova Labs Kickstarter campaign LIVE!

Pressing launch for the Kickstarter campaign with the help of young maker.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

On Thursday, April 16, Nova Labs is launching a Kickstarter campaign (we’re even having a big party to celebrate and ‘pull the switch’ – sign up for updates here).

Until then, here’s a sneak peek of the campaign and some of the excellent backer gifts we have planned!

Who is Nova Labs?

Nova Labs is community of MAKERS that supports a 501(c)(3) non profit all-volunteer makerspace in Northern Virginia. We provide the facility, tools, knowledge, and mentorship needed to help everyone rediscover the joy of making things!

As a family-friendly makerspace, and as part of our charitable mission, we sponsor a wide variety of fun and engaging classes and hands-on making activities for adults and kids.

 Our makers also enthusiastically support open source development for projects that benefit the local community and the world (Learn more about these projects below!). In just a few years, our NOVA Makers Meetup group has grown to over 1,900 makers (one of the largest in the world)!

For more info check out our Flickr Stream.

Why are we launching a Kickstarter?

Due to the tremendous growth of our community, our first space quickly became inadequate to support all the classes, projects, and equipment that our community wanted. So in July of 2014, we leased a fabulous 10,500 sq. ft. facility allowing us to expand our programs, house more fabrication equipment, and grow and sustain our community for the next 5-7 years!

Moving to a large facility presents a number of challenges. Due to the types of uses we seek to support, local building code requires that we make a number of costly modifications to the facility to convert the space from its current form into a MAKERSPACE!

Our major renovation costs include:

  • Architect and Engineering Services
  • Construction of classrooms for up to 60 people
  • New electrical and ventilation to support our Matsura Tiger CNC Mill, our Laser Cutters, Wood & Metal working equipment
  • New paint, carpet, fixtures and furniture

Overseeing our buildout project is architecture and design firm VOA Associates who designed Google’s DC office and is providing their services at a discount.

A significant portion of the needed funds have already been raised through grants, corporate sponsorship (Including GOOGLE), and donations from our members, but we need additional support to help us complete the project. We need this Kickstarter to be successful to make our vision for Nova Labs 2.0 a reality!

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!


In addition to the basic renovations, we have a number of stretch goals we are waiting to roll out. In order to help you get excited about getting past our initial goal and on to our stretch goals, we’re releasing our first stretch goal to wet your palate!

Stretch Goal #1: Welding Station

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

 After our initial goal we hope to raise an additional $7,000 to support welding at Nova Labs.

The cost includes:

  • Welding table
  • Tig and Mig Welders
  • Safety equipment (gloves, helmets, and shields)
  • Ventilation

Backer Rewards

We are grateful for your help bringing this project to life. In addition to our heartfelt thanks, we are offering a variety of unique rewards at different pledge levels. Whether useful or just cool, we also hope these rewards will serve as an ongoing reminder of your support for Nova Labs.

Social Media Shoutout!

If Eternal Glory wasn’t enough, we’ll shoutout your name in abundant gratitude to hundreds of our followers. Be sure to tell us your Twitter handle!

Nova Labs Sticker

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Your Name Written by a Young Maker on a Featured Wall

Your name will be written on our ‘Thanks For All The Fish!’ wall by a Young Maker. Spelling and quality of handwriting cannot be guaranteed Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign! !

Laser Cut and Etched Acrylic Key Chains

Show your support for Nova Labs everyday with these cool laser cut and etched acrylic key chains featuring the Nova Labs logo.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Carbon Fiber Money Clip

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
The money clip jig and newly molded carbon fiber money clips!
Whatever cash you don’t throw our way can be kept in this geek-approved carbon fiber money clip produced by makers from our materials lab!

DM-1 Card Wallet

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
Ditch the wallet, help your posture and support us all at once!
 The DM1 is milled from a solid billet of 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. It weighs 0.8 ounces and holds up to 12 ID or credit cards. You’ll feel and hear a “click” when cards are inserted to let you know they are secure.

Nova Labs PCB Reference Ruler

Need a quick reference for surface mount sizing for your PCB designs as well as standard inches and centimeters? This PCB Ruler will feature the Nova Labs logo and will be your handy guide during those late night PCB design sessions.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Tech Orange on Black Nova Labs T-Shirt

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
 Our striking logo and color scheme will catch the eye of envious makers and let them know you support one of the largest non profit all-volunteer makerspaces in the country!

Available in the following sizes: YS, YM, S, M, L, XL, XXL, and XXXL.

Sudo Man Page Signed by “SudoBob”

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
 Bob Coggeshall (aka “SudoBob”) is a Nova Labs member, founder of Small Batch Assembly and is credited as the co-author of the sudo command. SudoBob will send you a signed copy of the sudo man page on card stock.

Nova Labs “Blinky” Board

The Nova Labs’ custom-designed Arduino-compatible microcontroller is finally ready to share. It is a great educational tool to help new makers learn Arduino!
Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Priority Registration for Popular Nova Labs Classes

Many of our classes are so popular they fill up quickly. Beat the crowds by contributing for a small private session and get expert training in Laser Cutting, Woodworking, CNC Machining, or Carbon Fiber Molding Making.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Nova Labs Flying Wing

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

 The Nova Labs Flying Wing is a custom-designed RC wing created by our Rhinohawk team. It is easily customizable for autonomous flight.

Name Our Work Tables, Benches, or Equipment

Your name will be featured on one of our work tables, benches, or equipment.

Founder, Benefactor and Sponsor Plaques

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
What a great way to display your support in your home or office!
 Backers contributing as Founding Contributors, Benefactors or Corporate Sponsors will receive this commemorative plaque. The plaque is laser engraved wood w/ acrylic cover. Your name will also be featured on a special wall at Nova Labs indicating your backer level!

Thanks for reading so far

That’s just a preview of what’s to come. We have more backer gifts in store that we’re keeping as a surprise.
Sign up to receive updates on the campaign at

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

The 1st annual Nova Labs Lost Rhino fundraiser was a success! The ride toured from Nova Labs in Reston to the The Lost Rhino Brewery in Ashburn. Proceeds benefited the Nova Labs RhinoHawk team, which is competing in the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge to stop rhino poaching in South Africa.

Here are some pictures from the event!

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Commemorative pint glasses etched at Nova Labs featured the RhinoHawk UAV and The Lost Rhino logos.

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

These glasses were etched on the Nova Labs laser cutter!

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Matt was our lead safety guide.

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser


Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Some UAVs and other model aircraft were put on display.

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Riders were treated to a private tour of the brewery!

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Some fierce cornhole broke out!


New Kitz at Makerspace!

You may not learn grammar here, but you will be sure to gain other excellent skillz at Makerspace with the purchase of one of our new kitz. Along with learning to hack, solder, and program you will get to take home a shiny new toy! We have:

TV-Be-Gone: Turns off almost any kind of television so you don’t have to watch Fox News at the pub anymore!

MintyBoost: A battery powered charger for any electronic device that uses USB. Charge your phone on the go! In the club! on a hike! Never be without Facebook again. NEVER.

Gemma started kit: Tired of the same old boring clothes with absolutely NO LEDs?? Suffer no more! This Gemma starter kit will get you on the way to the long term goal of being seen from space!

Atari Punk Console: This noisemaker will be sure to delight any parent or grandparent. What exactly does it do? Brings joy through noise. Get one today, kids.

Blinky Badge: The world’s most entertaining and affordable way to learn how to solder! Your new skillz will be accompanied home with a LED decorated robot badge, which is only appropriate.

Fonera Router: This ready to hack router is perfect for introducing you to the world of Open Source Router Software! With a few easy steps you can hack this router to do all kinds of things the large router companies routinely block you from doing with their locked down software.  More about OpenWRT and installing it on the Fonera.

Kickstarter fundraiser for HackerMoms

Many of you know that HackerMoms saved my life. The non-profit hackerspace I founded with 9 other mothers gave me courage enough to balance a newborn baby, a toddler and a husband battling cancer. The HackerMoms took care of me so that I could take care of Sean. Sean finally beat cancer and is forever my hero. I beat cancer by creating HackerMoms. These women taught me to linocut, blowtorch resin, use power tools, start a non-profit and laugh again. We believe that happy mothers are good for the family, the community, the world. I am so proud that this village exists – with childcare!

After 6 months in our space, we need your help to build a workshop with tools and equipment, plus create a kids program and business incubator for moms inside it. HackerMoms just launched a Kickstarter fundraiser to accomplish this. I hope that you can help me with a donation pledge and by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter and by email to your family and friends.  If each of us 20 HackerMoms can get 20 loved ones to donate $25 each, we can make our $10,000 goal by the November 18 deadline. Just click this link to Kickstarter, watch our funny video, and click the righthand “Back This Project  ” link. We’ll send you gifts. Your dollars will go towards equipment, a DIY construction fund (we are the builders), and hired experts. As budget-conscious moms made a list (of course) you can read with cost detailed in our Kickstarter description. Here we are in our 1,000 square foot space…

We have 20+ members (including one HackerMom dad!)and our 25 + kids. Our mission is to give mothers the time and space to explore DIY craft and design, hacker/maker culture, entrepreneurship and all manner of creative expression, with childcare.


Please help promote HackerMoms by forwarding on this email, retweeting, and sending to your heavy retweeting friends. I dream that someday, there’ll be HackerMom spaces in every country, so that moms everywhere can have a room of their own. We all thank you for your generous support.


Sho Sho Smith, Founder