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Master List of Episode Pitches

Page history last edited by Sasha-Ann Simons 11 years ago


MakerCulture - The Episode Breakdown 

prepared for rabble.ca and thetyee.ca


Episode 1: Prepare to Meet Your Makers

 Curtis File, Pia Bahile, Kevin Young 


Chefs, activists, artists, and... a small army of journalism students? That's right, 45 journalism students from the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University have teamed up to introduce you to Maker Culture. It's a growing community andthat brings us to the cutting edge, from the technology that can print tissue cells to radical new approaches to education. This is the story of a community that is paving our future with their hands - literally.


The overview piece will tell the story of these 45 students and act as an introduction to our exploration of the blossoming subculture of makers – a teaser of the stories to come about those who do it for themselves technologically, gastronomically, politically and scientifically among other ways. 


Episode 2: Printing Reality 

Christian Bergmeister, Geoff Turner, Matt Lundy, Mike Kennedy


What would you create if you had a machine that could make almost anything? Pretty soon that won't be a hypothetical question. There is a new wave of fabrication technology that will realize almost anything you can dream. Did you know there is already a 3D printer that can replicate itself? And that's just the beginning. A lab at the University of Missouri is printing human organs. Now what would you do with that? 


Episode 3: History In The Making

Anna Delaney, Marika Motiwalla, James Jackson, Joel Tiller


 Name three things that sparked Maker Culture. LEGO, PlayDoh and McGyver probably weren't the first objects that came to mind. But, toys and popular culture played an enormous role in the development of Maker Culture as a modern movement against corporate consumer life. This entire makerculture project is focused on makerculture in the here and now. But where did these makers come from?


In this episode we'll explore Maker Culture's shift from a necessity of life, into a lifestyle choice. Hundreds of years ago, if you weren't a maker you would be dead. People made their own clothes, their own food, and their own toys.


Yet today, thanks to modern technology, many people in our society are capable of abandoning the maker culture and embrace a consumer culture of buying 'things' from China instead of making them themselves.


But, as we have found in this project, they have not. In fact, the maker movement is growing rapidly.


Why?  We'll show just how deep Maker Culture goes. The motivations for makers can be as varied as the things they make; some do it because they have a life-long love for LEGO or for blowing up chemistry sets, and others became Makers for the sake of the planet and the health of their kids.  Maker Culture from necessity to choice, that's our focus.


Episode 4: We're All Hackers Now

Lauren Strapagiel, Steph Gellatly, Patrick O'Rourke, Luke Vandezande


Hack it to Bytes

Bored with your gaming system? Hack it. Tired of your web browser? Hack it. Trouble with your smart phone? Hack that too. Hacking is about altering the components of our digital lives, turning them into something entirely new, all in an attempt to improve functionality. And, that’s what MakerCulture is all about too.



Users are never satisfied with technology, and now we're more able to make things work the way we want them to. In an increasingly collaborative, open source world, from hardware to software, we can come together and shape technology — we can all be makers. Take Mozilla's "Drumbeat" movement. It asks you to become an active participant, a contributing "webizen" who treats the internet as a public resource that should be open to all.


Technology is evolving into a public resource. In this episode, we decrypt into the hacker community - the ones who made it that way.


Episode 5: Handheld Politics

 Alana Power, Conal Pierse, Katie Atkinson, Andrea Damiano and Shannon Kelle


 What happens when the personal becomes the political? Then who has the power? Does Stephen Harper because he's our Prime Minister? For sure. Does Oprah Winfrey because she's a multi-million media celebrity who likes to share her political views and ideas? Yep, she's got some sway. How about ordinary citizens who come together to champion certain causes, or try to tackle certain socio-economic problems? Do they have any political power? Darn right they do. And they're what maker culture politics is all about. People, united in cause, working together to spread a message and set changes in action. Whether at the local, provincial, national or global level, examples of maker culture politics are everywhere. And in this episode we'll open your eyes to just some of these movements. We'll show you political power is not limited to a select few with high profile positions. Rather, it's everywhere there's people coming together to make change happen.


Episode 6: MEdia 

 Brittany Seki, Lauren O'Neil, Laura Schober, Daniela DiStefano, Isabella Ssozi


  Did your high school English teacher force you to read Jane Austen? Have you ever snored your way through a Star Wars marathon with a sci-fi loving friend? How many times have you scoffed at ANOTHER overexposed starlet on the cover of a glossy tabloid when you’re in line at the grocery store? 


What if you could add a dash of your own flavour into the media mix? A pinch of zombies, a sprinkle of sea monsters. Or maybe you want to change the recipe completely, making your own magazines, films or music with the inexpensive tools at hand - tools as simple as scissors, paper, and glue.


Apparently, a lot of people would like to. They’re taking the media and making it their own. All types of folks are homebrewing their own eclectic music, films, and literature. And they aren't stopping any time soon. In this episode, we look at what drives people to take media into their own hands, and why what they do matters.


Episode 7: Dr. Everyman

 Maria Ionova, Carrie Simmons, Jess Brady


 Congratulations, you're a scientist.


Care about Alzheimer's research? Think you might be able to pick out a new constellation on a clear night? Have an answer to a math problem that is leaving researchers scratching their heads? Step right up, Dr. Everyman.


In your own home, you have all the tools you need to contribute to the next big scientific discovery. All you need is an idea, an opinion and a keyboard, and you're welcomed into the scientific community.


Some scientists believe that the days of keeping discoveries hidden behind closed doors are over. They are part of a movement towards a new model of research: one that prefers the input of many minds - formally educated in science or not. Today, some science is being done in an open, interactive and collaborative way that encourages people from all walks of life to get involved. What is all this? Welcome to Science, version 2.0.


With a website called Folding @ Home, students, kids, stay-at-home moms, farmers, hairdressers, construction workers and anyone else - anywhere else, can help researchers learn about the folding of the proteins - proteins that form the building blocks of our lives when they work properly, and cause us to get sick when they don't. Scientists and citizens interact on websites like Galaxy Zoo, where anyone from your five-year-old niece to your 90-year-old Grandpa can help identify a galaxy in a satellite photo.


At the heart of this movement is a big change in science: scientists themselves are creating new ways of doing research. Instead of keeping their ideas, methods and discoveries secret until they're ready to make headlines with them, scientists are opening doorways into their labs online. From their first ideas to their final discoveries, they're publishing their work on websites like Open Science, and asking for contributions from other researchers and from the new and growing pool of citizen scientists.


This culture of Maker Science isn't exactly new. It started long ago when big thinkers like Bell, Edison, Tesla and Engelbart revolutionized our lives and our ways of thinking with their discoveries. 


In the Science Episode of Maker Culture, Carrie, Maria and Jess will tell you all about where Science Makers got their start, and how the scientific method itself is changing, and how citizens and scientists themselves are dealing with those changes.


Episode 8: Building Communities through Culture

 Madelyn Chung, Sasha-Ann Simons, Lauren Solski


 What if there was a fourth little pig? A pig that didn't use sticks or straw or bricks to build her home but fired up a giant 3D printer to extrude it in concrete. What if the clothing or jewelery you wanted didn't come from a store but from a store you created online after you created the clothing and jewelry itself. And what if you only had bones and skins to create your clothing and shelter? Welcome to the alternative housebuilders, crafts and indigenous people who inhabit this episode.


Episode 9: Playing With Our Food

 Arti Patel, Vincent McDermott, Sonya Benjamin, Adam Vrankulj, Christian Nathler


 Your mother always told you never to play with your food. This episode looks at people who ignored that advice.


We'll talk to folks who have grown their own food organically, choosing self-reliance and ingenuity over grocery store line-ups and outrageous prices. Others think outside the box, and use their food for art instead of a meal: as jewellery, clothing, makeup, or art.


Still others distill their own spirits or use eggs and oatmeal to create an inexpensive moisturizer or even a detailed canvas painting. Food, it's not just for breakfast anymore.


Episode 10: EduPunks

 Jim Saunders, Steve Howard, Nicole Veerman


 We may be the last generation to attend traditional schools. Not only are classrooms becoming more reliant on technology, but ordinary people are starting to take it upon themselves to find ways to take control of their education. Enter EduPunks.  People who are mixing traditional education with the do-it-yourself attitude of the 1970s punk scene.


While a lot of the other makers were holding conferences and meetings to discuss their ideas, the EduPunks were working in isolation. 


So we decided to hold our own conference.  On November 16 we will meet with Jim Groom, the man who coined the term "EduPunk", along with several self-educators from London, Ontario.  We will look at whether the value of an education is what you learn or who teaches you. How have employers responded to a do-it-yourself education and do they care how you know what you know?


This episode will look at a group of makers who are trying to change to future of education.


Episode 11: What Now?

 Savithri Sastri, Colin Schultz, Julianne Hazlewood, Mark Melnychuk


If we can start making everything, including our own organs, then what? What are the legal, corporate, cultural and psychological roadblocks Maker Culture needs to break through to become mainstream? And if it does, then what? How does business, society and responsibility change then? In this episode we take a look at the possible futures, and consequences of Maker Culture.

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