Hall of Science Hosts Third Maker Faire
BY BARBARA ARNSTEIN
|A recreation of Yankee Stadium, made with toothpicks, was one of the things you could find at the third annual Maker Faire. Tribune Photo by Joe Marvilli
When you see printers creating 3D items, robots doing all kinds of things and a suit for dancers generating sounds and sights, then you know the annual Maker Faire is back at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing. The event, known as the "Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth," held this year over the weekend of Sept. 29-30, brought together scientists, engineers and artists and offered countless hands-on activities, acrobats performing aerial acts, a huge version of the game "Mousetrap," and much more. It celebrates robots and recycling, ingenuity and innovation, creativity and cool technology, and to honor it, Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed the week of Sept. 24-30 to be "Maker Week."
At the Young Makers pavilion, students from New York City's MOUSE Corps presented projects to help the visually-impaired, including a wristband to help users discreetly locate items on a plate. Visitors thumb-wrestled, using levers to control the thumbs of giant red and blue hands. Kids pedaled a floating bike in a kiddy pool, controlled underwater toys and raced child-sized vehicles. Adults rode mechanical bulls and mastered an intricate tabletop maze. Parents and children alike admired models of the Eiffel Tower, Yankee Stadium, the Taj Mahal and other famous structures made from toothpicks, and interacted with "the Wizard of Fun," a colorful robot head that made facial expressions. Musicians played with a choir of electronic singing faces, and riders scooted along in little cars shaped like cupcakes and rode bikes with big butterfly wings.
One of many stage presentations, "Art and Science and Making Things," featured bestselling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin; another, "Going Big: From Maker Movement to New Industrial Revolution," included Chris Anderson of "WIRED" and Bre Pettus of MakerBot. One of the most popular attractions, the 3D printer, can create any design in three-dimensional form, by forming the item layer by layer, a technique perfect for creating prototypes of inventions, household necessities, figurines and so on.
The New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th St. in Queens. For more information, call (718) 699-0005 or go to www.nysci.org.