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About Christopher

Micro Colonel of LVL1


The Vogt Awards in Louisville are accepting applications for their 2013 round! The organizers have been really inspired by LVL1's emergence in Louisville. This year they've refocused the prize back to Henry Vogt Heuser's original vision: hardware and manufacturing start-ups. LVL1 also has 2 members serving as mentors for the participants.



  • $20k in seed funding
  • Access to cutting edge prototyping and manufacturing tools
  • Mentorship in technology, engineering and business
  • 10-week Course in Manufacturing and Lean Startup
  • Connections with investors, partners, suppliers, and customers
  • Demo Day with chance to win an additional $100k

More information and application form at

Henry Vogt Heuser, who died in 1999, was an exemplary corporate citizen and a gifted inventor and entrepreneur. He was a native of Louisville who spent his entire career working for Henry Vogt Machine Company, including 28 years as its president. Whenever Henry had an idea about how to make something better, quicker, or easier, all he had to do was walk out to the shop floor to assess its viability and commercial potential. The endowment he created to establish this award will allow engineers and entrepreneurs to access the same kinds of resources.

The Vogt Award is intended not only to memorialize Henry’s legacy, but also to inspire more inventors to pursue their goals right here in Louisville.

Other things of note:

  • This is an endowment prize which has existed since 1999. That means, unlike most accelerators, they take absolutely no equity.
  • You get access to the University of Louisville's Rapid Prototyping Center for your product development needs. This means you can do things like 3D print 20 micron layer objects in stainless steel, cobalt chromium and titanium. There's a list of equipment and facilities at the University of Louisville's Rapid Prototyping Center website.
  • Louisville is home to Worldport, the world-wide UPS shipping hub. You can ship and receive items globally faster and cheaper here than from anywhere else in the US.

Please pass this around to other hackers, makers, hackerspaces, and engineers!

The first word that comes to mind is "missile" -- but this 11'-4" tall, 43-lb. sky vehicle isn't used for military purposes. It's a science experiment. And its designers prefer to use the term "rocket."

There's a certain giddiness as the various members of the U of L Rocket Team show off their "baby." The group is all smiles, from Nick Greco, the team captain, to members Kyle Hord, Kara Leeds, Dhwani Shah, Nathan Armentrout and Zack Weber -- and for good reason. The team garnered fifth place out of 42 teams in their first national rocket competition last year -- and this year, they believe they've got a shot at being Number One.


Armed with the necessary cash and ammonium perchlorate (the solid propellant that would fuel the model), the team set about actually building the rocket that would fly in the competition. Most of the construction took place at LVL-1 Hackerspace, a community shop of sorts at the corner of E. Broadway and S. Shelby St. The rocket was a mishmash of electronics (to record telemetry and scientific measurements such as temperature, altitude and humidity), wood and a lot of epoxy (to hold the fins in place.)

And as the team would soon discover, not every launch is a success. In fact, some have a tendency to put everyone involved on edge -- especially when the parachute fails to deploy on a half-scale model, and the rocket becomes a 10-lb. missile hurtling back toward the launch pad near the speed of sound.

THE ROCKETEERS: U of L Speed School students build missiles for fun

With some help and inspiration from LVL1, Kentucky Country Day School is developing a Fab Lab for STEAM.


The ideas behind KCD’s STEAM initiative come from an enthusiastic group of teachers in math, science, and the arts, including two teachers who are also founding members of Louisville’s LVL1 hackerspace. KCD already has STEAM projects in place in the curriculum, including middle school robotics classes, a rocketry project in upper school physics, the middle school Scratch programming unit, and a middle school elective that explores math through origami. Our STEAM curriculum will build on these existing strengths; we are already planning to extend the Lego Robotics curriculum into the Lower School. Moving forward, we will continue to introduce new STEAM units and courses across all divisions.

We are particularly excited by plans to develop a fabrication laboratory — or Fab Lab — which will provide a home for many STEAM-based projects. Our goal is to equip this Fab Lab with computer-aided design workstations as well as cutting-edge tools such as a laser cutter and 3D printer. These devices will allow students to design and manufacture many of the components of the projects they will be working on.

This year, KCD teachers have been studying of the role of 21st century skills in our classes. Dean of Studies Anne Glosky points out that “STEAM curriculum enhances the core 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Our faculty is excited about expanding our STEAM offerings and continuing to provide an innovative education to our students."

KCD is laying foundation for STEAM program

The University of Louisville's University Student Launch Initiative rocket team is holding a Kickstarter campaign to fund their rocket develop efforts. The team has been using LVL1's facilities for meetings and fabrication since 2012 and have had great success.

Check out their kickstarter for more information!

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