Dover Maker’s Faire 2018
IEEE NH had the opportunity to partake in the 6th annual NH Maker & Food Fest (formally known as Dover Mini Maker Faire) on Saturday, August 25th. With the help of many volunteers consisting of engineers and maker hobbyists, this event is focuses on exposing children to STEM and engineering concepts. Many people brought their pet hobby robots, circuit assembly games, and 3D printers. The children had a blast playing with the robots, solving the puzzles, meeting Storm Troopers, and letting their creative minds explore.
The IEEE booth was manned by three IEEE-NH volunteers: Kat Reagan, Ed Nelson, and Robert H’obbes’ Zakon. Kat introduced the children to the MIT programming language Scratch – a plug and play online language for children. Scratch has many example programs, online user programs, and tutorial so children can easily learn to program whatever they aspired to write. Surprisingly, many children had previous exposure to the application through camps, school, or engaging parents. One boy created a flying fire breathing dragon to dance with his sister’s dancing unicorn. One girl couldn’t wait to return home and program. These are our future engineers and NH is preparing them to succeed.
Teach your children how to program with Scratch! https://scratch.mit.edu/
Ed Nelson also brought a MIT Scratch Minecraft game which he called Minecraft Hour of Code for kids. This Minecraft theme game provided puzzles that users must program through. Steve, the Minecraft character, must build through the puzzles by placing blocks to finish the world (or level). Children plop down block code to direct Steve. Ed’s demonstration shows that children can learn while having fun. And boy did they have a blast!
Robert’s demonstration really was the shining star – nothing can beat a dancing robot. ROBOTIS mini can dance, bow, wave, BREAK DANCE, and win everyone’s heart. And it did. At the turn of the century, Honda wowed the world with ASIMO. And only 18 years later, similar robots are available for the average hobbyist. ROBOTIS design is open sourced and can be either bought or 3D printed. Robert also brought the “Seeing Wand” that can describe objects it points at. Sadly, the environment was too loud to demonstrate. Read more information about Robert’s “Seeing Wand” project at https://www.zakon.org/robert/projects/seeing_wand/