From Moonbeams to solar power, Maker Faire draws a crowd

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Sep 08, 2014
Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds Children enjoy the solar-powered merry-go-round at Camden Public Library's second annual Mini Maker Faire Saturday, Sept. 6. Inventor Arthur Haines stands at rear, in tie-dyed T-shirt.

Camden — Adults and children packed into the Camden Public Library Amphitheatre Saturday, Sept. 6, for the second annual Mini Maker Faire, featuring more than 20 exhibitors, ranging from homemade cars to a solar-powered merry-go-round.

As of Monday, Sept. 8, library staff estimated the crowd at around 700 on a steamy, late summer day. The Maker Faire motto is “Make, create, recycle, build, think, play, and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science, and technology!” A Maker Faire is a place where inventors, artists, tinkerers, thinkers and learners share their passions for innovation, creativity and do-it-yourself activities. They are meant to inspire the next generation of makers and entrepreneurs.

On hand were students from Rockland District Middle School's Lego Robotics Team with their creations. They also brought along some Legos so participants could help build a Lego bridge. The Coffeeman stand, claiming to be “the world's only wind-powered coffee stand,” served coffee, tea, and other beverages. At Art Lab Lego Lab, children and adults could make necklaces and keychains using Legos and bits of hardware. Participants could learn how to build a motor-controlled plane, how to make sauerkraut and other foods using fermentation, or how to build a robot army, among other things.

Jory Squibb brought his homemade Moonbeam car, which he built in his garage using parts from two motor scooters. The car, which can hold three passengers, took 1,000 hours to build, cost $2,500 and gets 100 miles on a gallon of regular unleaded, Squibb said. It cruises at 35 to 40 miles an hour and can go up to 55. He uses it for 90 percent of his driving needs, even in the winter, Squibb said.

Eva Szillery, academic director of the Maine Mathematics, Science and Engineering Talent Search Program and director of the American Mathematics Competitions for Maine, demonstrated modular origami, a hands-on technique for teaching mathematics to children.

She showed how the folding principles used in origami can be applied to robotics, hydraulic tube bending, protein folding, sheet metal bending and even folding the air bag in a car. The Hungarian-born math teacher has used modular origami to teach math since 2000. Her own modular origami work has been displayed at University of Maine Presque Isle, Bates College, University of Southern Maine and several public libraries in Maine.

Hamish Bodine, a Union sixth-grader, sits behind the wheel of the Moonbeam car, as inventor Jory Squibb talks to a visitor at the Mini Maker Faire in Camden Saturday, Sept. 6. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Mabel Glick, 9, of Montville, enjoys one of the more popular activities at Saturday's Mini Maker Faire, making giant bubbles. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Eva Szillery, center, academic director of the Maine Mathematics, Science and Engineering Search Program, demonstrates modular origami to Hope residents Abby Harrison, left, and her brother, Archer. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
An example of Eva Szillery's modular origami on display at the Mini Maker Faire Saturday, Sept. 6. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Kids gather around to watch -- and pop -- giant soap bubbles at the Camden Public Library's second annual Mini Maker Faire Saturday, Sept. 6. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Rockland District Middle School seventh-graders Erin Corcoran, left, and Amanda Frost, display the Rainbow Groover dancing robot they made as part of their schools Lego Robotics Team. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 09, 2014 08:37

Great article, great pictures. Hopefully solar power will take over and oil companies and electric companies will be obsolete. Then local individuals will have choices that use the environment and care for the environment. Maine surely will lead the parade!

Mickey McKeever

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