Makers Fair inspires

Gaby Mudd News Contributor

Maker Fair sparks creativity and hands-on learning at OSU

Oregon State University hosted the third annual Makers Fair on Saturday in the SEC Plaza and Memorial Union Ballroom,to bring together the Corvallis community in order to support the Maker Movement.

Exhibitors from all around the state of Oregon and Washington provided hands-on learning experiences to attendees of all ages in the arts, crafts sciences and technologies and included a mixture of university and community collaboration. Exhibitors included Bricks for Kidz, Wooden Express Selfies, HP Printing, Chic Tech, and many more.

One of the Exhibitors, Mike Town, a Physics and Engineering teacher at Lakeside School, taught attendees the process of making a skateboard. Town also teaches a club at the school to give more students the opportunity to learn how to design and create their own projects.

Providing a learning experiences about processes like engineering a skateboard spark an interest in students early on in their education according to Town.

“I offer the engineering class because I think it exposes more people who would not consider engineering as a degree before,” Town said. “Specifically with regard to women and underrepresented groups.”

Town said that understanding basic concepts behind how hints function could help people in their daily lives.

“Not a lot of people understand the basic mechanics behind their everyday lives,” Town said. “They would save a lot of money if they did.”

HP Printing, another exhibitor and sponsor for the event, provided an array of activities for attendees to observe and interact with.

Tracy Lang, a volunteer for HP spoke about how the makers space at HP adds to the creative and innovative community they foster.

“A makers space if a community learning space,” Lang explained. “It is a place where different passions and interests come together to inspire more collaboration and learning.”

Lang described the impact of having a makers space on the creative mindset.

“When I think of a traditional conference room I associate it with having a conference or a meeting,” Lang said. “However, with a creative space my mind mentally shifts into a domain of creativity. My brain is conditioned to know the difference between a conference room and a makers space. When I go into the makers space my brain is more creative and I get more things done.”

Lang also explained the positive impacts that come from having strong ties with the community.

“I like HP because of how we show up in the community,” Lang said. “We invest in our young learners. We want them to have a passion for making cool things. These relationships are good for the immunity and for HP.”

Lang also explained how getting kids involved and learning at a young age, keeps them interested later in life.

“ We want to act as the catalysts to start that creative vision,” Lang said. “We want them to think differently about what is possible and what they can accomplish.”

The OSU Craft Center was another exhibitor that offered information and an interactive experience for all ages that attended the fair. The craft center is a non-profit organization on campus where students or faculty can learn different crafts or utilize the different painting, glass, poetry or drawing studios.

Heather Bullock, a natural resources major and employee for the craft center, encouraged more people to take advantage of the resources the craft center offers.

“People should absolutely take advantage of this space,” Bullock said. “There is really no other space like this available where you can express yourself.”

Overall the event itself was a success according to Charles Robison, a coordinator for the college of liberal arts and a coordinator of the event.

“The event was fantastic,” Robison said. “By having it on a Saturday it allowed more people to come out and see what the event was all about, it was great.”

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