The World Maker Faire can best be described as a show and tell for everyone. From October 1 to October 2, 2016 the World Maker Faire took over the New York Hall of Science to display a community of “makers” and technologies. With hundreds of “makers” and approximately 100,000 attendees the faire is a gold mine of creativity, teaching, and learning. From a saxophone that shot fire to a two-story high 3D printer to NASA simulations the Maker Faire had something for everyone to explore.
Split over five zones the faire included crafts, electronics, makerspaces, robots, and much more! Representatives from numerous companies (including Arduino, Glowforge, Raspberry Pi, and Sisyphus) were on hand to demo their products and / or offer free learning opportunities to interested participants. Participants learned to solder with Google and build drones with Radio Shack. Individuals with more sinister intentions learned to pick locks.
If attendees had a need for speed they checked out the Aerial Sport League (ASL) who hosted a first person view (FPV) drone race tournament during the two day event. Pilots flew drones at high speeds through an obstacle course hoping to achieve the fastest time over five laps…if they did’t crash or get caught in the protective netting. Ian Roy and Tim Hebert from Brandies University both participated in the event with Tim taking first place on the final day.
One of the many event sessions included an intercollegiate panel discussion, Instilling a Maker Mindset on Campus: Case Studies, hosted by Sabrina Merlo, Maker Faire Program Director. The session focused on the development of “makerspaces” to support the exploration and use of “emerging technology.” Douglas Higgins (Colgate University), Jordan Tynes (Wellesley College), Ian Roy (Brandeis University), and Lucian Chapar (University of Connecticut) explored topics related to “makerspaces” in higher education with a focus on developing these spaces on campus. Over 100 attendees took the time to join the conversation, one of which was a prospective Colgate University student who is currently creating a “makerspace” at his high school.
In addition to the panel discussion each institution contributed to a booth for the event. Colgate displayed a drone fabricated by Ahmad Khazaee and other members of the Colgate community, and a variety of 3d printed items, including a full sized ukulele from Thingiverse. These efforts did not go unnoticed, the booth won a blue ribbon for Maker Faire Editor’s Choice New York 2016!