Board Game Day + SEM Event

This past Saturday, two events were held at the South Side Hackerspace: Chicago. The first included over 15 people meeting up to play board games and enjoy each other’s company. We had two tables of games going for Board Game Day, check us out in action:
Board Games + SEM 3
Board Games + SEM 2
Later that afternoon, more people arrived exclusively to check out a very cool demo of a Phenom desktop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)! What can a SEM do? SEMs are widely used in industry, from research to quality purposes, such as monitoring the quality of laser cuts, PCB solder accuracy, or even the composition of metals. One can also determine the elemental makeup of a sample using elemental analysis.
Board Games + SEM 1At our SEM event, guests were encouraged to bring in samples of small items to view underneath the microscope. Items ranged from human hair, beach sand, a plastic toy, a pistol shell casing, a piece of a hot pepper, and coffee beans. Along with optical and electron microscopy, we used the attached Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) to conduct an elemental analysis of on the samples. Here are pictures of the microscope in all its glory, with Dr. Diane Hickey-Davis explaining how to operate it:


What’s that you’re scanning there???


A big THANK YOU to Dr. Diane Hickey-Davis, who was gracious enough to bring her SEM over and allow us to test it out! If you are interested in learning more about SEMs and have a question to ask, you can contact Dr. Hickey-Davis at

SEM1We will be looking to make the gaming day a quarterly event, so think of what games you want to play, and keep an eye out for the next event!