News / Arts & Entertainment

'Maker Faires' Encourage Kids to Create

'Maker Faires' Encourage Kids to Createi
X
March 20, 2014 4:27 AM
Hands-on creations from robots to rockets were highlighted at a Northern Virginia Maker Faire. Artists, inventors and hobbyists shared their knowledge of things they make themselves, which included science innovations. VOA’s Deborah Block takes us to the faire in Reston, Virginia.
Deborah Block
Hands-on creations from robots to rockets were highlighted at a Northern Virginia Maker Faire. Artists, inventors and hobbyists shared their knowledge of things they make themselves, which included science innovations. At the faire in Reston, Virginia, children discovered that science can be both informative and fun.
 
With metallic conductive thread, a girl creates a simple electronic circuit. Artist Sally Byers incorporates tiny lights like this in her clothing designs. She said the art of making things yourself is disappearing and hopes the younger generation will continue to create whatever moves them.
 
“I want them to learn that they can make it happen whatever it might be, that they can do all kinds of stuff, but I’m not sure they learn that in school,” said Byers.
 
But they can learn it at Maker Faires, which began in the United States eight years ago as a gathering for people who enjoy creating and sharing. Now, the faires have spread worldwide to countries like Nigeria, China, and Egypt.
 
Lorelei Brown, media coordinator for this event, said faires provide a creative outlet in a world full of ready-made goods.
 
“This kind of thing gives people an incentive to do something, and maybe to change a thing, or think differently,” said Brown.
 
Robots, such as drones that flew and robots designed like the Mars Rover that the children could control, were popular at the faire. Engineer Ivan Galysh said the robot can be built from a kit.
 
“They actually have a rocker suspension system designed to go over rough terrain, uneven terrain and keep all four wheels on the ground,” said Galysh.
 
Nine-year-old Mamoun Kolovos enjoyed learning about the robots.
 
“How they go through the ramps and how fast you can make it go or rotate it around,” said Kolovos.
 
At a display sponsored by a high school team that builds high-powered, motorized rockets, kids are propelling pieces of plastic representing small rockets. Senior Alison Yu shows off their homemade creations. She said the team did a project with NASA, the U.S. space agency. 
 
"Our body tube is made out of cardboard-like materials. Because we design our own pieces we bought the materials and also cut them ourselves. The rocket we did for our project went about 3600 feet,” said Yu.
 
Yu plans to become a rocket scientist. Faire organizers hope today's activities launch lots of the young people here into exciting, creative careers.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."