Sunday, October 2, 2011

Maker Faire NYC, Day One

This was our first time attending Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science, and it was awesome! Geek nirvana!
Within minutes of arriving, Mikro was engrossed in building an LED lightup frame project. Next, there was Happy City, where kids could construct model urban infastructure. Mikro and I put together a traffic light using colored LEDs. We talked to the folks at Cognizant, who are using one of our favorite curriculum resources-- the Engineering is Elementary series of books from Boston's Museum of Science. And we wandered over to the submarine building station, where Mikro constructed a pop bottle submarine which could dive and surface and maintain position under the water, using a bottle, a balloon, tubing , a magnet, rubber bands, and a plastic syringe. He had a great time at all the hands on activities. Then he spotted the dragon, GonKiRin, and we *had* to go see it, right now! He was ecstatic over being able to push the button that makes the dragon breathe fire!

We headed over to the main stage to see several presentations: DARPA's Crowd Sourcing for UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Geek Dad David Giancaspro's Projects and Geek Parenting; What's Next for Arduino? with Massimo Banzi, and roboticist Heather Knight's Tech Narratives and Robotic Futures. You can watch videos of these and other talks here. Afterwards, Mikro got to talk to Ms. Knight, and pose for pictures with her and her robot, Data. Later in the day, he got to check out some UAVs, and horrified his mother by manhandling a quarter million dollar piece of military hardware...

Mikro had fun firing off a robotic slingshot, and checking out lots of different robots and some 3D Printers in the Maker Pavillion. Mikro made a bristle bot at Maker Shed, and got to hang out for a little while with his best buddy, who was volunteering at Maker Shed with his mom via AlphaOne Labs, a hacker space where we took a robotics workshop last year. We visited the display by InfoAge Science/History Learning Center, where Mikro learned about such diverse things as the Enigma Machine, a theremin, teletype machines and Morse Code. Very fun! We will have to check out the museum some day, since antique technology is a passion of Kev's. We also checked out the cool fossils and the Mastodon Matrix Project from the Museum of the Earth and Science for Citizens . I really want to make it up to Ithaca some day and see the Museum of the Earth and Cornell Lab of Orinthology...

If this has you hungry for more, visit the Maker Faire website. There are also videos on Make Magazine's YouTube Channel and many more photos available on flikr.

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