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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 12, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mary Elliott Keane, Director
The Foundry, Bellingham

Making a difference: The Spark Museum and the Foundry Join to Help People with Disabilities

The Foundry, Bellingham’s Makerspace, and The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention in Bellingham will join together by hosting the Maker’s Making Change LipSync Buildathon on June 24, 2017. The public is invited to join as part of a team that will build mouth-operated joysticks that make it possible for a person with no use of their hands to control a touch screen device such as a tablet computer. The LipSync Buildathon is an opportunity for individuals to join a team of 2-3 others and build a LipSync. Teams will be supplied with the tools, components, parts and instructions, and will work together to assemble, solder, transfer the code onto an Arduino board, and mount the device to a wheelchair. Technical knowledge isn't required, as team members will be supported by the LipSync creators, the Neil Squire Society, and their new program, Makers Making Change: connecting makers to people with disabilities to create open-source assistive technologies. "We're excited about partnering with the Spark Museum on our first buildathon, " says Mary Elliott Keane, Founder and Director of the Foundry. "We expect a great turnout as people come together to make a difference in the lives of fellow members of our community". Individuals interested in participating in this event, receiving a LipSync device, or interested in supporting this program with a donation, please RSVP here.  Tickets for building participants are $10 each, and funds will go towards the cost of materials. A light pizza lunch will be provided as well. This is an event for participants ages 14 and up. The Foundry, Bellingham’s Makerspace is a member-based, non-profit, community fabrication center that provides access to space filled with tools for makers, inventors, builders, students, entrepreneurs and teachers. Members gain access to state of the art tools and a creative, thriving, supportive community. The mission of the Spark Museum is to offer exciting and educational experiences for audiences of all ages through galleries and public programs that illustrate the development and use of electricity, the radio, and related electrical inventions that changed the course of human history. Using the collection as inspiration, Spark Museum fosters a spirit of innovation and invention through dynamic hands-on programs.

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