Mini Maker Faire Makes a Fun Day For All

Mini Maker Faire Makes a Fun Day For All

Jenny Lupoff, Staff Writer

Mini Maker Faire Makes a Fun Day For All

On April 24, the Westport Public Library hosted the fourth annual Mini Maker Faire, a sunny Saturday afternoon filled with food, music and displays of unique crafts and inventions.

According to The Maker Faire’s website, the launch of MAKE Magazine in 2005 created a tech-influenced DIY (Do it Yourself)  community that has come to be identified as the Maker Movement.

The Maker Faire is a celebration of the Maker Movement.  It is a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, with exhibits ranging from toys made out of twigs, to high tech 3D printers.

Since its arrival in Westport four years ago, makers throughout the area, from professional engineers to students with a passion for technology, have been coming together each year to share their inventions and crafts.

With the ability for virtually anyone to participate, the Faire has been popular amongst many Staples students with diverse and expansive interests.

This year, Jay Mudholker ’17 and Christopher Scherban ’17, both first time Maker Faire participants, showcased the “Inverted Cycloid And Motion Along Curves” model.

The two math team members explained how the experiment proves that no matter where two ping pong balls are dropped along a curve, they will always end up in the center.

“The name makes it sound complicated but it’s actually really simple,” Mudholker said.

While Mudholker and Scherban contributed scientifically to the Faire, other students took a more artistic approach.

“We (Builders Beyond Borders) are partnering with The Stepping Stones Museum to help kids make little cars that they can wheel around,” Tia Pogue ’17 said.

Keanan Pucci ’16, another volunteer at the table, explained how the cars were made using just pieces of styrofoam board, spool wheels and tape.

“A ton of kids have come by,” Pucci added. “There’s a lot of smiles going around.”

While there were nearly 6,000 enthusiastic attendees this year, those contributing to the Faire thoroughly enjoyed their experiences as well.

“I’ve met so many amazing people from a large range of backgrounds,”  Scherban said. “That’s what I love about this faire.”

Likewise, Pogue, who has been attending the Maker Faire in New York City since she was seven, enjoys how interactive it is.

“There are tons of things you can do even if you don’t want to purchase anything,” Pogue said. “You can make tons of little arts and crafts creations or you can watch all of the different robots and stuff like that.”

Indeed, the Faire has an incredibly diverse selection of activities and inventions. Others featured this year included human foosball, a 3D printed light up dog collar and numerous robots.

Bill Derry, Assistant Director of the Westport Library, explained how as it’s broadened and grown over the years, the Faire has become more popular for everyone.

“There’s stuff for kids, there’s stuff for teens… all ages can get involved in the high tech and the low tech,” Derry said. “ It’s for people who are curious, want to become engaged in some hands on learning, and see stuff and say ‘Wow, I haven’t seen that before!’”