Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cambridge Science Festival Part 1

Rocket Blast Off
Rocket Building
     This weekend I visited the Cambridge Science Festival, which is continuing all week long in various sites around the area to offer free/discount programming for all ages. On Saturday, I visited the Cambridge Public Library for a free Robot Petting Zoo and Mini Maker Fair.  Here are just a few highlights that can be integrated into maker spaces at home or in the library. 
Squishy Circuits

     An outdoor crowd pleaser was air rockets. The rockets, constructed from magazine paper, glue, and tape, were placed on a simple PVC piped stand with an empty soda bottle on the end. Kids were then invited to stomp on the bottle which produced the air to propel the rocket.  Not only did the kids enjoy the rocket taking flight, but there was a group gathered to try and catch them.
The Match Game
Bread Board Building
     Many of the DIY projects were various forms of circuit building.  Squish circuits were built using salt in the play-do as a conductor to attach between a battery pack and a LED light. There was also a project using aluminum foil, batteries, and a LED light to make a simple bread board. More complex circuits were built using the electronic "The Match Game" which challenged students to light up an LED light by connecting wires to screws in a crisscross matching pattern.
    And that was only a small sample of all the activities taking place outside! Inside the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School gymnasium located next to the library, many companies, high schools, and colleges hosted booths to demonstrate their robots such as a robot that hurled frisbees and a Harvesting Robot that could move plants. Other robots explained new surgery or oceanography techniques. It was great to see kids so excited about science.  One booth was explaining how someday 3D printers will be able to use the environment to create entire colonies on Mars before we even got there.  Everyone's eyes went wide. It sounded like something out of a science fiction novel. Another great maker space activity came from The MIT Society of Women Engineers who hosted a drawbot building event where kids were invited to make a robot made from a simple motor, cup, and markers that draws through vibration to make beautiful art projects.  Stay tuned for my next write-up which will highlight my visit to the Artisan's Asylum in Somerville on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Jess! I'm SO glad you were able to get up to this event. Thanks for taking all these snaps. We could do a lot of these activities in our soon-to-be-formed Library DIY Club...;-)


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