Classes And Workshops

Intro To GitHub
Sarah Johnson
Sep 17, 7 – 9 PM
Ever make changes that broke your code and forgot how your code worked before? Want to work with someone on a code project, but aren’t sure who has the latest version of a particular file? Interested in open source software, yet not sure how to contribute? Learn how to use Git and Github to solve these problems and more!

Click Here to Get Tickets

Intro To Data Mapping With CartoDB
John Branigan
Sep 23, 7 – 10 PM
All data have a spatial component, even more so with the new prevalence of location-based applications. By asking questions of this data, we can gain insight into our social and environmental context, and tell powerful, analytical stories through visualizations. This class will start by covering the basics of geospatial data: what it is, how it’s organized, and a description of common formats. There are many repositories of open data, so our next step will be to identify a few sources and gather some datasets local to Philadelphia. We will be using the open-source CartoDB to load, visualize, analyze, and share our results. Sign up for a free CartoDB account before the class, and come equipped with a laptop or tablet to follow along in the class. No programming or GIS experience is required.

Build A Retro Game Console With Raspberry Pi
Lee Tusman
Oct 7, 7 – 10 PM
Since its release, the $35 Raspberry Pi mini-computer has been hailed as the perfect all-in-one computer. In this hands-on workshop you’ll build your own retro game console. We’ll build our pi computer, install a new system and emulator, load roms from our computers, and get peripherals such as game controllers working. By the end of class you’ll have your own MAME machine capable of playing games for Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Commodore64, NeoGeo and more.

IMPORTANT: You must bring your own computer (to configure the sd card) and monitor (TV or HDMI). You can bring or bulk order with us a raspberry pi, sd card, and game controller(s).

NOTE ON SUPPLIES:You can use any Raspberry Pi model. Please bring your own Mac (preferred) or PC or Linux to copy files from the computer onto your SD card. We will need an external keyboard (we will have a few provided in class but recommend bringing your own if you have extra so you don’t have to wait!) during install. In addition to the raspberry pi computer, you will need a 4GB SD card. USB game controllers are highly recommended. You can use any TV as long as it takes an S-Video input, or any HDMI monitor. Do not forget that you must supply your own monitor! The SNES Retro controller we will order is sold singly. If you want two, order two.

Please place your order for parts/raspberry pi/controllers by Sep 30 as we will be ordering all parts October 1 and can’t guarantee we’ll have additional supplies.

Click Here to Get Tickets

DrawBot Workshop
In conjunction with Design Philadelphia
Ashley Pigford
Oct 14, 6:30 – 9PM
For those of you who believe design is about MAKING THINGS: In this hands-on workshop, you will construct and program autonomous robots that can draw. Design your own robot-drawn typeface or make original artwork from a kit of parts provided. No prior experience or knowledge about robotics or programming is needed. You only need a desire to play and enthusiasm to learn something new. Participants will come away with drawings their robots have created. To purchase the parts to make your own drawbot, see the related ticket. Sponsored by AIGA of Philadelphia.

Note: You can build a drawBot with our parts, or you can order your own drawBot parts to build and take home your own for an extra fee.

Balloon Mapping with Raspberry Pi
Sean McGinnis
Oct 18, 1 – 4 PM
Balloons, kites and poles are low cost, easy to use and safe methods for collecting aerial images and making maps. Aerial images are usually collected using satellites and airplanes, but these ground-based approaches provide an on-demand alternative to collect information when events or environmental conditions are occurring. This workshop will discuss grassroots mapping, lessons learned from the larger balloon mapping community, the components of a mapping kit and how you can get started.

Intro To 21st Century Fabrication
Eric Manganaro
POSTPONED. Get in touch if you’d like to be notified when this class will be held.
Taught by The Hacktory’s expert Eric Manganaro, this dual session class is an introductory workshop overview of how to go from idea to digital design to digitally fabricating a physical object prototype. We’ll review a complete digital workflow and provide an overview of tools and the process to creating your work. We’ll start with an introduction to tools like Google Sketchup, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk123d, and sourcing from Thingaverse and Google3D. We’ll review fabrication techniques including the VersaCamm Vinyl Cutter, the CNControlled Laser Cutter (and engraver) as well as 3D printing. We last offered this class in Spring 2014 and in the sold-out session people wanted more time with our equipment, which is why we’re offering a 2-sesion class this time.

How The Internet Works
Joe Kovach
Oct 28, 7 – 9PM
Pay What You Wish
So you’ve been using the Internet for 15+ years and you still don’t know how it fundamentally works?! Remain ignorant no longer! Using very basic office supplies we’ll play a game to understand the underlying framework of the internet. This talk is especially for those who think they shouldn’t come. Fear no acronym. After this talk you will be able to speak with confidence about: networks, routers, servers, domain names, .com, .org, .gov, .edu (and who controls them), IP addresses, ethernet, wifi, MAC addresses, DHCP, ISPs, DNS, HTTP and much more.

Advanced Circuits
Doug Poole
Nov 8, 1 – 4 PM
Have you been tantalized by cool costumes & projects using LEDs, Arduinos, or EL-wire? Ever wondered what’s going on inside your computer, television, or vacuum cleaner?
Electricity permeates our modern existence, and learning your way around circuits is an important step in demystifying it. In this class, we’ll go into more detail on soldering, components, and more advanced circuit-building skills. We’ll review circuit components, use multimeters and breadboards, read schematics and datasheets, and tackle some advanced electronic projects.

Intro To Arduino
Tim Bieniosek
Nov 11, 18, 25
$40 each or all 3 sessions for $90
In this class you can expect a fun crash course on everything you will need to get busy creating with your Arduino. We’ll cover all the key concepts, from learning the fundamental aspects of programming with the Arduino language, to the different types of materials you can use in your projects and prototypes. Our aim for this course is to send you home with a cool project to show your friends, a whole bunch of new ideas and the knowledge and resources to produce some Arduino magic! All participants must have a laptop to bring to each session to work with the Arduino code.

General tickets are $90. The ticket covers all three sessions, all on Tuesdays: August 5, 12, and 19 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. If you have some knowledge of microprocessors, basic circuitry and/or programming, you may come to individual sessions that work best for you. Individual sessions are $40 each if purchased separately,

The cost of the class does not include materials. We will have a kit with an Arduino Uno and an assortment of sensors, buzzers, and more for you to experiment with in class. This kit is an additional $45, which you can pay for online or with cash in person. After the class is over if you don’t think you’ll use them anymore, you may return the kit with all the parts intact for a full refund of $45.

Intro To openFrameworks
Wil Lindsay
openFrameworks is an open source toolkit designed for “creative coding”. It is written in C++ and runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android. This is a beginner level class, although a little bit of experience in Python, Processing, Arduino, Basic (or any programming language) will be useful. openFrameworks’ emphasis on “creative” uses draws parallels to Processing as both projects present a simplified interface to powerful libraries for media, hardware and communication. openFrameworks’s main difference from Processing is that it is written in C++, instead of Java. openFrameworks is free and open source and used in hundreds of powerful installations and artist-designed projects. In this intro participants will play with code, experiment, and start building their own systems that go beyond the screen and work in physical space.

Fun With Soft Circuits
Christalee Bieber
Date TBD
Adding some well-chosen sparkle to your look is always the right choice. With sewable electronics, though, you can move beyond sequins and rhinestones into the fabulous world of programmable lights and sensors. This class is designed to give beginners a crash course in circuits and sewing and an introduction to pre-programmed sewable microcontrollers. We’ll provide materials for attendees to sew with blinking lights, perfect for keeping away things that go bump in the night! Or, bring your own materials and project idea and we’ll help you translate your concept into reality. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of e-textiles, we hope you’ll join us for an afternoon of creativity and learning! No previous experience is required. Prior programming knowledge is not required.


DIY Traffic & Bike Counting
As part of the Department of Making + Doing, we want to get to know the comings and goings of people in and around our space. We’re going to take an urban planning lens to this activity, and we’ve gotten our hands on a few Waycount traffic and a Hi-Viz bike counter. Come out with us this Saturday to learn how to use these tools and help measure the traffic. We’ll have some of the people who created these tools, and are part of Planning Corps in NYC. Afterwards we’ll take our counts back to The Hacktory/DM+D and explore how to visualize them and what further questions we want to ask.
All participants will then be able to deploy the traffic counters to take measurements in other locations throughout the city over the next few weeks. We’ll then meet up for a data jam later this summer to compile our data and make sense of it together.
This event is funded by a grant from Art Place America, so tickets are fee, but please register to help us get a head count beforehand.

Intro To Programming For Artists, Musicians and Other Creative People
Programming is a creative process performed by programmers to instruct a computer on how to do a task. If you are an artist or musician, you can make custom instructions or software to create digital visual art and animations, tell a story, manipulate photos, create sound or a whole software instrument, make a game, or build an art installation. Why would you want to do this instead of using Photoshop or a software synthesizer? If you are someone that makes artwork, is interested in aesthetics, or otherwise likes to explore cooking or creating film or design, you will also enjoy being able to build your own custom art tools for the computer.

In this class, we’ll take a playful approach to learning the concepts of programming and then take our first beginner steps. We’ll talk about the connections between writing recipes and writing code and the basic components of every programming language. We’ll cover an introduction to the visual programming language Scratch and then build our own simple instruments, synthesizer, or visual art. When you finish this class, you’ll have created your own first programs, and be ready to jump to the next level and start learning Python, Processing, Java, or other programming languages.

Hacking The Gender Gap
Did you know that computer programming in the 1950s and 1960s was considered administrative work, and therefore best suited for women? Hacking the Gender Gap is an interactive workshop in which we explore the gender ratio in tech fields, unpack the associations our culture has created between gender and technical ability, and share experiences of gender and technology. This workshop has been presented to a number of audiences of different genders and technical ability, and always results in a stimulating and illuminating discussion.

Introduction to Processing
This class is a beginner-friendly guide to Processing, the open-source programming language for visual artists, based on the Java language, and a great first step for artists interested in learning to program and exploring what creative coding can do. No previous programming experience is required. In 3 sessions, we’ll review the basics of creating a program from scratch, do hands-on exercises, and be building our own programs and projects much quicker than you’d think possible.

Projects created with Processing have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and many other prominent venues. Processing is used to create projected stage designs for dance and music performances; to generate images for music videos and film; to export images for posters, magazines, and books; and to create interactive installations in galleries, in museums, and on the street. Some prominent projects include the House of Cards video for Radiohead, the MIT Media Lab’s generative logo, and the Chronograph projected software mural for the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center in Miami.

Intro To Circuits
Have you been tantalized by cool costumes & projects using LEDs, Arduinos, or EL-wire? Ever wondered what’s going on inside your computer, television, or vacuum cleaner? Electricity permeates our modern existence, and learning your way around circuits is the first step in demystifying it. In this class, we’ll start with the very basics, exploring the fundamentals of circuits by building a lemon-cell battery. We’ll teach you how to identify common circuit components, use tools like multimeters and breadboards, read schematics and datasheets, and describe what’s going on with a few equations. You’ll build some simple circuits and go home with a mini-breadboard so you can tackle your own projects! This class is suitable for ages 13+.

Introduction to Max/MSP for music
Learn to write your own digital music making software using Max/MSP! This course covers the basics of digital audio and the Max/MSP/Jitter graphical programming environment. You’ll learn to make your own sample player, synthesizer, and other sound manipulation interfaces. Everything you learn will be directly applicable to the Max For Live add-on to Ableton Live. No prior programming experience is required. The workshop is intended for beginners, so if you already know how to connect a [counter] to a [sel] to make a primitive sequencer, it might be a bit too basic for you. If the end of that sentence made absolutely no sense, then you’ll learn a lot.

Bad Website Jam: How To Make a Vintage 1996-Style Website
In this 1-session workshop and jam we’ll review the early web and the era of geocities homepages before blogs and web 2.0. We’ll share cringe-inducing personal websites that may include clip art, under construction signs, and pleas to “sign my online guestbook.”
If you don’t know how to create a website, you’ll even learn the basics of what goes into creating a simple webpage.

We’ll break down the extreme basics of HTML 2.0and use WYSIWIG web creation software from the 90s as well as today. Participants will create their own mid-90s “dirt-style” website and publish them online. We’ll have prizes for Best In Show, People’s Choice, Most Authentic, Most Mediocre, and Best-Why Does This Exist? Participants should bring their own laptop. This jam is suitable for a range of backgrounds from beginners to experienced.

Intro To Arduino
In this class you can expect a fun crash course on everything you will need to get busy creating with your Arduino. We’ll cover all the key concepts, from learning the fundamental aspects of programming with the Arduino language, to the different types of materials you can use in your projects and prototypes. Our aim for this course is to send you home with a cool project to show your friends, a whole bunch of new ideas and the knowledge and resources to produce some Arduino magic! All participants must have a laptop to bring to each session to work with the Arduino code.


We are a loosely organized group of volunteers, so we want to plan stuff that you’re interested in. Below is a list of classes we have held in the past with success, if you are interested in attending any of them, please leave a comment. Once we reach a critical mass we will make the class happen.


Is there something you want to learn that isn’t listed here? Do you want to teach something that would fit on this list? Contact us and we will try to make that happen too!


  1. Posted March 16, 2011 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Intro to Arduino, Basic Electronics and Nerf Gun Hacking would interest me a lot. I’ve never been to a hackerspace and I feel like I’ve missed something.

    • georgia
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Great Tom! Thanks for posting, if we get some more interest in any of those we’ll let you know or you can always check back to see what others are interested in.

  2. Sarah
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Intro Arduino/Soldering, Basic Electronics would be awesome. Also never been to a hackerspace but am interested.

  3. Sammy
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi Georige.. its your eggdrop lovin’ friend Sammy!… you know Corey and I would love an Intro Arduino class!

  4. Rajiv
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I have a basic knowledge of circuits and programing and I’m interested in an Arduino workshop. Current Arduino based goals, programmable LED bike lights and a breathalyzer that can at some later date be turned into a game (not as complicated as DrunkenNES)

  5. Tess
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I’d be interested in intro to electronics and intro to arduino. I’m a total, total beginner.

  6. Abraham
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Basic electronics, intro to Aurduino/soldering would be great.

  7. Sarah
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Another complete beginner– interested in intro to arduino, beginning electronics, clothes hacking, intro to kinetic sculpture! I have friends who would come, too, let’s make a class happen!

  8. Posted April 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Lock Picking Class – An Intro in to lock picking …similar to the lock picking village @ HOPE.

  9. Nilessa
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I have a 13 y.o. son who would dig Nerf Gun Hacking and has played around with X-Box control modification with mixed results ! I love found object jewelry making….Keep us posted and we’ll be there.

  10. Posted April 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the Arduino class this weekend! I’ve had one sitting in a box for ages. I might know someone(s) who could teach lockpicking (and in fact there’s a TOOOL chapter in NJ. I’d be into teaching how to make audio and network cables. They are great intros to soldering and crimping. Would love to do a clothes hacking day! I can see a room full of sewing machines and a huge stack of old clothes.

    I would like to learn how to make my own perfect bike light. And also how to make bike-powered stuff. It should be pretty simple, but I never know what to look for in inverters. Maybe that could be an applied intro to electronics?

  11. Jon
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I just found this site and saw that I missed the arduino class! Im interested in this class if it runs again. Im trying to use max/msp with arduino and would be into signing up for this class. I will keep checking back!

  12. Lillian
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    My 14-year-old son is stranded in a family of writers, and he needs somewhere to learn about all the cool stuff he wants to do. He’d be interested in Intro to Arduino, Intro to Soldering, Intro to Kinetic Sculpture, LED Pop-up book making, Basic Electronics, Nerf Gun Hacking, and no doubt a huge variety of other classes. Thanks for existing!

  13. ze
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    do the arduino class again! would definitely go

  14. Josh
    Posted June 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Would love to take intro to soldering for minor electronics repairs and to learn how to build my own gadgets.

  15. Posted June 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Trying to get ahold of you guys. Cannot find a contact number or email.

  16. Eileen
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Intro to arduino and intro to kinetic sculpture….would be great.

  17. Lauren
    Posted July 24, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    All of those classes would be of interest to me.

    I’ll spread the word at my local CC (Atlantic Cape, New Jersey) if you have classes lined up…

  18. Rachel
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I’d be interested in attending the basic electronics, nerf gun hacking, recycled electronics jewelry making, and I would bring my little brother to the Arduino workshop for sure (just because I’ve already learned how to use them but don’t own any)!

  19. Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I would love to see a programming class for young beginners, as early as 7 years old, 2nd grade. At this age they can write, etc, …Make a duck quack, etc. Kids love computers, lets help find Philly regions next prodigy’s.

  20. Maanvi
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m definately interested in an Intro to Arduino class.

  21. Bob
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Very interested in Arduino class. Have Python experience, but little experience in soldering & reading electronic diagrams.

  22. Bill Shapiro
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    animation classes

  23. ap
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Intro to Arduino

  24. Kevin Wheeler
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    I’d be interested in a basic electronics and intro to soldering class. Thanks!

  25. rodney gordon
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Would you consider an Intro to Arduino class on Saturday the 10th of December 2011? Can’t make it for the November class.

    • georgia
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Rodney, sorry I didn’t reply sooner. We now have a different class scheduled on Dec 10, and we like to have at least 4 weeks to promote that class. We’re going to aim for a class or other Arduino event this winter, so check back in January.

  26. Posted December 12, 2011 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    +1 for Arduino

  27. mp
    Posted December 30, 2011 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    +1 for Recycled Electronic Jewelry Class (coppertronic, i like to call it)

    +1 for Intro to Kinetic Sculpture

    +1 for Kinetic Recycled Jewerly (a new combo topic)

  28. Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    intro to arduino/ intro to electronics/ soldering /an intermediate arduino with some type of project output would be great as well after the intro, i took an intro to electronics course at nextfab so i have a little experience

  29. JR
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I’d be into:
    Intro to Arduino
    Intro to Soldering
    + anything similar, cheers

  30. Robert Wylie
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m interested in a kinetic sculpture class but also an intro to electronics,

  31. Posted February 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Do the arduino class again. I’ll sign up!

  32. Posted February 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    soldering class as well…

  33. Dave
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I also vote for the intros to Arduino and soldering
    …and sure why not, the sex toy hacking workshop (ah crap, I missed it!)

  34. Shannon Mullowney
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I am a teacher from Perkiomen Valley SD and am interested in seeing if you have any oppurtunities for middle school students as a field trip or if you would come out to our school to share what your organization is about.

  35. David
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Something with the raspberry pi board/computer

  36. Richard
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Hello — Have you decided about July’s Soft Circuit Saturday? I am hoping it is the 21st [[ Please let me know it sounds great — thanks

  37. Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I’m interested in the Intro to Arduino and Intro to Kinetic Sculpture classes … plus I’d really like the Basic Electronics class if you decide to do it

  38. Cat
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I’d be interested in Intro to Soldering, Into to Arduino, Sex Toy Hacking Workshop, Design Day, Basic Web Development, Clothes Hacking, and Basic Electronics.

  39. Mike Mangino
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I would love to take the Intro to Arduino class

  40. Nicole
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Definitely interested in Intro to Arduino, Audio, Sensors, Soldering, and Circuits.

  41. Dylan Pierce
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I would love to attend or help teach a class devoted to Raspberry Pi’s. I’ve completed a few projects myself.

  42. modusjonens
    Posted September 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    A course on designing/printing custom PCBs would be awesome!

    • Georgia
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Yes it would! we actually looked into that for our firefly project but didn’t have quite enough time. We did end up making miniboards to go with the Mini-Pro Arduinos we used, to help guide our volunteers on where to put all the resistors, etc. We’ll post photos soon!

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