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Inventiveness To Shine At Westport Mini Maker Faire

Children create their own devices at last year's Mini Maker Faire in Westport
Children create their own devices at last year's Mini Maker Faire in Westport Photo Credit: Contributed
Robots designed and built by high school students are demonstrated at last year's Westport Mini Maker Faire.
Robots designed and built by high school students are demonstrated at last year's Westport Mini Maker Faire. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – Adults and children alike can learn about 3D printing, rocketry, robotics, solar-powered race cars, new and vintage technology, and much more through hands-on workshops and demonstrations at the second annual Westport Mini Maker Fair this Saturday.

The event – bigger than last year’s – will include more than 100 exhibitors, including artists, scientists, hobbyists, musicians and students from around the region.

“We are thrilled to offer this event again,” said event co-chairman Bill Derry, assistant director of Innovation and User Experience at the Westport Library, which is hosting the Mini Maker Faire. “The library is the perfect place for showcasing inventions and art, the incredible things that people come up with in this wonderful age of fast-moving technology and creativity. Last year, people left full of ideas and excitement. That’s the point—to connect people with new resources that allow them to be more creative and collaborative.”

Last year’s inaugural event drew 2,200 visitors, Derry said. Both he and event founder Mark Mathias expect this year’s event to surpass that.

Among the many exhibitors will be Westport resident Scott Rownin, who created SafeRide, a device that blocks texting capabilities in cars. Rownin will demonstrate how his invention works.

Nerdy Derby, a no rules miniature car building and racing competition, will one of the faire’s highlights. Another highlight will be Caine’s Arcade, where kids can build arcade games, such as pinball machines, out of cardboard boxes and other materials.

Visitors can also see robots playing “Ultimate Frisbee,” build Lego robots, catch amateur radio demonstrations, learn about solar-powered race cars and see a 3D printer in action.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will host a KidVenture Lift demonstration booth in which kids, through a hands-on project, will learn about lift and air foils from aerospace engineers.

Wakeman Town Farm's junior apprentices will lead hands-on demonstrations about homesteading and sustainability. Younger children will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session about how to raise backyard chickens and how to make compost.

Allison Gazerro of Allison in Wonderland will be back by popular demand with her creative terrariums.

Numerous food vendors will also be on hand.

The Mini Maker Faire will take place on Jesup Green and throughout the library this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required. Registration can be completed online or in person.

For more information, contact Bill Derry at bderry@westportlibrary.org or Mark Mathias at mark@mathias.org.

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