Project in Progress


About | Project in Progress (PIP) is a social event I produced and facilitated as part of my work at an educational maker space in Toronto. The goal was to attract new faces to the lab, build connections within the existing community, and position the organization as a creative hub within the city.

Contributions | Project lead & host

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The event needed to demonstrate real use cases for how a membership might be used with our available tools and tech, and be simple to organize and facilitate, with the possibility of passing it on to a volunteer community member to organize in the future. Speakers presented for 3-5 min on anything they were working on, be it an idea, a prototype, a failure, so long as it wasn't finished. The event was designed to cut through the 'know-it-all done-it-all' tech-expert veneer, encourage a culture of vulnerability, and provide opportunities for members to connect and collaborate. The event successfully ran five times (reaching 40 attendees), and partnered with the Planetary Society for a specially-themed Space Makers event to celebrate Yuri's Night in 2017.


List of Past Presenters


Natalie Draz is an cross-disciplinary artist who makes large-scale story-based fold-out artwork using paper, textiles, and other fibres she can find. Investigating the structures of books, maps and anatomical studies, Natalie creates works that immerse the viewer. She’ll be sharing her Alice in Wonderland inspired fold out tunnel book.



Sarah Friend is the production manager and senior designer at Guild Eyewear, as well as the Founder of Small Talk, an Interdisciplinary Lecture Series. Her current research interests include: abstract and educational games, sustainable manufacturing tech, and issues surrounding cryptography and net neutrality. Twitter: @isthisanart



Nadine Lessio, Alex Leitch & Yifat Shaik of The Grove Collective are working on The Bloom – an interactive puzzle art installation where players “water” large motion-controllable robot flowers and by doing so rejuvenating the gallery environment with lights, music and color.


Jonathon Moneta is the Founder and Creative Director of MakeLab who specialize in producing undiscovered activations for remarkable events.


Ness Karsenti recently finished her undergraduate studies in Microbiology at the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing an M.Sc. in health policy. 2 billion people worldwide are affected by soil-transmitted helminths, or parasitic worms. Currently, the diagnosis of these pathogens is done by examining stool through a microscope slide, but the method used to load this slide is prone to contamination, inefficient, and not very pleasing. Her team is working on a tool that will help load microscope slides more efficiently, and with less contamination risk, for easier diagnosis of these parasites.


The Astro Space Makers is a group of space enthusiast focused on exploring and building projects that are out of this world! The team grew out of STEAMLabs' first round of Astronaut Boot Camp, where participants built projects using hi-tech tools and technologies that had outer space applications. The Space Makers Clubs' first project is to launch a helium high altitude near space balloon into the stratosphere – launching soon!

Tiffany Pang works as a propmaker for a practical effects company: WKFX ( http://www.wkfx.ca/ ). Currently they are juggling a few productions, including Star Trek Discovery and The Expanse. 

Xavier Snelgrove is CTO at Whirlscape, as well as an active educator and researcher in all things machine learning and generative art. Xavier will talk about his recent work in using neural networks to create images and animations in new aesthetics.


Nadim Michaty (aka AKid Withabeard) is a larper, cardboard construction expert, and maker of awesome costumery & weaponry. He’ll be showing of his gigantic mechanical crow wings that have been years in the making!


Onome Igharoro is the co-founder of Robot Playtime – an educational robot toy that teaches basic programming to kids and integrates with any smartphone. Himself and Alex Hong are powering through the early stages of their start up, have confirmed a market demand, and are now looking to scale.


Andrew Lamb is a multi-disciplinary artist and puppet designer/mechanic living in Toronto, Canada. His practice often involves large scale theatrics and a childlike/childish imagination. His latest creation, the Wendiceratops, was commissioned by the ROM and was last seen stomping the ground of the Toronto Reference Library for Maker Festival.


Eric Boyd is the president of HackLab.TO, and founder of Sensebridge – a wearable electronics company that makes the ‘invisible visible’. Products include Heart Spark, a necklace that flashes to the beat of the wearers heart, and NorthPaw, an anklet that let’s the wearer know at all times, which way is north.


Chris Caira spent 4 years at McKinsey & Company, advising Fortune 100 clients on strategy and operations. Today, he is leading a team that’s bringing the FabCafe concept to Toronto; FabCafe’s mission is to provide an open, creative platform to inspire everyone to make something, and to connect that community with innovative organizations.


David Hamilton is a freelance technology writer, community organizer and entrepreneur who missed the energy of working at an office, and as a result, just recently launched Toronto’s newest co-working space for digital and creative professionals in Toronto.



Erin Kennedy is a Roboticist, Developer & fellow at Studio[Y] who is working on “Rapidly Deployable Automation System” – a ROBOT that goes on community driven environmental missions.



Sibling misfits Karen & Amos Shaw are working on The Next Super Geek tv show in collaboration with a major Canadian Broadcaster – which puts (proudly) geeky youngsters through brain and gut busting challenges (think robot battles, making the *perfect* slime, or using drones to solve secret codes)!!!



Natalie Panek is a rocket scientist, explorer, and champion for women in STEM. Natalie’s love of space and aviation led her to obtain a private pilot’s license, design and subsequently drive a solar-powered car across North America, to building space robotics. She currently works in Mission Systems at MDA’s Robotics and Automation division, on Canadian space robotics and other space exploration programs.


Hugh Elliott is a developer-come-creative-technologist who is working on an Arduino-controlled 2-axis plotter using laser cut and 3D printed parts.


Erica Tiberia is a tech educator and creative technologist. She has a background in molecular biology and biotechnology and a passion for science communication, digital education, and hardware UX research, design and prototyping. She has designed education programs involving electronics, robotics, digital fabrication and programming for kids and adults. She also builds robots, is a level 1 winner of the 2016 sample return robot NASA Centennial Challenge, and is currently competing in NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge. 


Severin Smith is a co-founder at Whirlscape and has a practice designing and fabricating novel objects and interactive experiences. He will talk about his ongoing design and fabrication process for Esper a wireless development board for realtime interaction and performance.


Julielynn Wong is a Queen’s and Harvard-educated physician-scientist, innovator, and educator whose life’s mission is to take technology to the extreme to benefit the world. She founded 3D4MD (www.3d4md.com), a social enterprise that makes 3D printable medical supplies and was the first to 3D print medical supplies on the International Space Station. Julielynn founded Medical Makers (www.medicalmakers.org), a program to inspire, educate, and empower a global community of innovators, patients, and healthcare providers to make sustainable solutions to save lives, time, and money.


Co-founder of STEAMLabs and Managing Director of Earth & Space / Fossils & Evolution at the Royal Ontario Museum, Marianne Mader has dedicated her career to sharing her love for space exploration through planetary science research, innovative public engagement, participatory education, and science communication. With over 13 years of research & field experience, she's studied some of the oldest rocks on Earth in Greenland, explored impact craters across the globe, and collected meteorites in Antarctica. Put yourself in her shoes and practice a little meteorite hunting of your own!


Doug Sinclair runs a company called Sinclair Interplanetary in downtown Toronto just a stone's throw from STEAMLabs. He designs and builds altitude determination and control hardware -- the components on a satellite that measure its pointing and turn it in the right direction. He has been doing this for almost 20 years, and there are currently 64 satellite's on-orbit with his equipment onboard.