Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Crowdsourcing a crowdfunding campaign

July 20, 2012

I know… it’s a bit crowded isn’t it. But that’s what we’re doing, at MissionV.

In a few weeks time we’ll be running a Fundit campaign to raise funds for 48+ primary schools to run the MissionV programme next term. And in the meantime we’re actively inviting input from all supporters of the project to help us run the best possible campaign.

But here’s where it gets scary. The biggest amount raised so far on Fundit was a terrific €24,375.00 for the Solar Water Disinfection project. But MissionV will be looking to raise about twice that amount. Gulp!

Are we being ridiculously ambitious? I don’t think so. We have 48 primary schools already registered to participate in next term’s programme and the feedback from those who participated last year has been amazing. There’s a real passion for teaching and learning with MissionV and with your help we can translate that passion into a successful funding campaign.

Import test

February 5, 2012

That should have imported my TypePad blog…… updating to test.

‘Virtual worlds, real learning’ webinar recording now available

January 20, 2012

We (MissionV) were honoured to be invited by Brian Mulligan to make a presentation for the IT Sligo / NDLR Teaching and Learning Webinar series yesterday. The recording of 'Virtual worlds, real learning' is now online.

For Profit: The Future Of Social Entrepreneurship

December 17, 2011

For Profit: The Future Of Social Entrepreneurship is an informal meetup taking place in Dublin next Tuesday December 20th –

"For-profit social entrepreneurs are changing the world. They create a new model for sustainable change, one which doesn't require constant funding campaigns. We will discuss what for-profit social entrepreneurs are doing to achieve their goals and look for best practices and limits of this models through concrete examples. From our show, we've selected Uber Shelter and InVenture Fund as examples of what can be done"

Evernote will buy Plendi

December 16, 2011

Yes, that's what I said. Evernote will buy Dublin headquartered Plendi. And that's my one and only prediction for 2012.

Science Week on MissionV (video)

November 17, 2011

We have been supported by Discover Science & Engineering to run a Science Week event where students from 20 schools around Ireland are exhibiting their 'Chemistry of Life' themed projects in a massive 80 acre virtual arena.

All week hundreds of students, teachers, parents and guests have been 'beaming in' to browse around and learn about chemistry from each other. The video below captures a small flavour of the activities. We think you'll enjoy seeing how they modelled the water cycle and the solar system, as well as programming an interactive quiz on the digestive system –

Electronics Bootcamp at miLKlabs Limerick

October 25, 2011

"The miLKlabs Electronics Bootcamp is an intense introduction to basic and not-so-basic electronics.

Run by members of miLKlabs – Limerick's makerspace – the bootcamp will emphasize hands-on experience and practical skills, but you'll learn enough theory to be dangerous.

Some of the things you'll learn: 

  • What some electronic components look like and what they do 
  • How to wire up some circuits 
  • Some basic circuit theory 
  • How useful a multimeter is 
  • Some techniques for finding out why your circuit is broken

Other topics we'll touch on include semiconductors, analog vs digital electronics and controlling high-powered things from Arduinos. And some fundamental physics.


The bootcamp will be held over the 4 Thursdays of November – Dates: 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th.   


7:00pm to 9.30pm


milklabs, Franciscan Friary, Lower Henry Street


€40 euro, members go free. Limited to 8 places.


milklabs will let you borrow their equipment andcomponents forthis bootcamp. But you will need to bring:   

  • Pen and paper   
  • Knowledge of basic algebra   
  • Calculator or smartphone

Report from Limerick Coder Dojo – the start of something big

September 3, 2011



Photo by Bill Liao (more here)


I went along to the first Limerick Coder Dojo today (see previous post) at Limerick Institute of Technology and was as blown away as the organizers by the turnout and interest. I counted 24 kids, the youngest of whom was 9 (and had already built his own PC!!).

The space was a bit packed due to the unexpected numbers but that issue is already solved with a move to a more spacious city center facility in the offing. Despite being packed in, elbow to elbow, or probably because of it, there was a great buzz and air of excitement.

Adrian, Mark and James took turns at delivering short and to the point tutorials on website design, HTML coding, mindmapping, game design and project brainstorming among other things. There was no lecturing or talking down and the kids were encouraged to collaborate throughout. There were plenty of parents to help and I didn't spot a single participant losing interest or getting left behind.

This is no ordinary computer club either – a lot of thought has gone into creating something quite unique. Ideas like belt rankings and (potentially commerical) group projects hint at the strong emphasis on entrepreneurship.

Well done to all who had something to do with getting this off the ground. I've a strong feeling Coder Dojo is going to get bigger and bigger and will produce a number of James Wheltons*along the way.

James is the 19 year old founder of Coder Dojo.

Coder DoJo coming to Limerick – looking for mentors

August 26, 2011

image from Coder Dojo is a not-for-profit programme founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao in Cork, and now being brought to Limerick by Mark Cahill. It's basically a computer coding club for kids, but in their own words –

Coder Dojo was started to provide several things. Firstly an environment where interested youths can meet similar minded peers, learn new skills, participate in various activities and learn about all the areas of IT. In addition to this, Coder Dojo provides a syllabus of various areas of programming (iPhone dev, Web dev, etc.) to be completed and rewarded with various levels of ability. The syllabus is accompanied by relevant documentation so kids can learn outside of the sessions and reference it. Coder Dojo also provides competitions and events that recognises talent and allow youths to meet and see developers in action and learn more about careers in IT. Finally Coder Dojo provides the structure in which students can setup their own Dojo’s in school easily

I think it's a brilliant initiative and am delighted to see Mark bringing it to Limerick. Despite my complete lack of developer skills I hope I can help them out in some way. And you can too – they're looking for developers, designers, media people, photographers and entrepreneurs. Just contact Mark.

Arduino Fest at miLKlabs Limerick – register now

August 24, 2011

When: Saturday 27th August, from 10am to 5pm

Where: miLKLabs, Franciscan friary, Lower Henry Street, Limerick

Hosted by: Members of miLKLabsCost: €10 (for non-members)Limited to 20 participants (Pre-booking mandatory)

What is Arduino? Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. ( ) Ardunio makes it easy to learn how to read sensors, control electronic devices, and communicate between various hardware and your computer. 


– Laptop (Mac OS X, Windows or Linux) with a USB port

– Software installed (Optional):

– Arduino IDE (

– Processing (

Good to bring (optional):

– Some experience with a programming language. If you know what if statements and loops are, you’ll be in great shape.

– Some basic knowledge of electric circuits

– Wire cutters / strippers

Aimed at students, artists, and designers or anyone who wants to learn the basics of Arduino, simple electronics and building interactive projects.  The workshop covers the basis of Physical Computing using Arduino and Processing.  Participants will be able to control media (graphics, video & sound) in Processing using a variety of Sensors (distance sensor, light sensor, temperature sensor, potentiometer, etc..).  This initial session will be followed by groups or individual follow-up sessions to help participants complete a personal project or expand their knowledge in specific areas.

Session 1 (10am-12)

We will begin with a brief introduction to some basic electrical principles (no math, just how things get hooked up and how lights and switches do their thing). We’ll talk about the role of a microcontroller (such as an Arduino board) in an electronic circuit. Once everyone has the Arduino development software up and running we’ll start controlling LEDs or tiny motors by writing some simple code.

Lunch (12 -1pm)

Session 2 (1pm-3pm)

We’ll get information from sensors, and see how to make some sense from that information by filtering it. We’ll send that data to a program running on your laptop, and then use that program to control some devices connected to the Arduino.

Session 3 (3pm-5pm)

Once everyone has mastered what we’ve covered, we will look at examples of projects that use the Arduino.  Participants will then be offered the opportunity to create a small project on their own or with a group.  Finally we will spend a little time talking about slightly more advanced concepts to give you a starting point for your next steps.

Register for the miLK Labs Arduino Fest