Exhibitors sought for Regional Maker Faire

Doug LeDuc

There is not much more than a month for artists, scientists, inventors, crafters, tinkerers and techies to reserve exhibit space at this year’s Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire – powered by TekVenture.

The family-friendly annual event featuring the work of do-it-yourselfers is scheduled for Aug. 8-9 under the Lincoln Pavilion at Headwaters Park East in Fort Wayne. The call for makers is open through July 4.

Every year, organizers look to showcase makers with exhibits relating to activities such as robotics, green technology, do-it-yourself science, rocketry, radio operations, art cars, unusual craft projects and whimsical technical creations. Space at the event is free unless it is used to sell something.

Makers interested in demonstrating how they make things or displaying the results of their work can complete an online application or learn more about the event at www.makerfairefortwayne.com. The website also has sponsorship information.

Makers are charged $100 to sell their wares at the event; enterprises of three or more individuals are classified as vendors and charged $250. Food or beverage vendors make separate arrangements with the event organizers.

TekVenture is a Fort Wayne nonprofit group with a mission to improve public access to the kind of specialized tools, equipment and training required by artists and inventors to advance innovative projects.

It opened a permanent “maker station” for that purpose last year in the former American Sweeper Co. building at 1800 S. Broadway in Fort Wayne.

Creator’s Space encourages budding student “makers”

Concordia Lutheran High School is providing students with access to a variety of tools inventors often find useful in their creative processes.

The assortment of DeWalt tools are in a new “maker’s lab” Concordia has opened in its instructional media center. The Creator’s Space also is equipped with two 3D printers, music and computer-aided design software, electronics, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and other materials useful in model construction, such as cardboard and Styrofoam.

“These items provide an easy entry point into the world of ‘making,’” Joshua Sommermeyer, assistant principal for curriculum and technology, said in a statement. “The space allows individuals to make or unmake items in order to learn how they work as well as create new items, model specific ideas or simply learn with their hands.”

The Creator’s Space was made possible through donations and grants, including endowed funds from the Concordia Education Foundation, said Sommermeyer, who oversaw the lab’s creation.

“We added the Creator’s Space in response to the growing ‘maker movement,’” he said. “The maker movement basically strives to put real world tools in the hands of those that would normally not have access to them.”

Students finish first year of IPFW’s Sci-Tech Academy

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne worked with Indiana Michigan Power, 80/20 and Engineering Resources this year to provide 25 students from 16 area high schools with extra preparation for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The STEM pre-college career program known as the Sci-Tech Academy was launched last fall at IPFW to help accomplish a regional economic development goal to “increase educational attainment and create quality of opportunity,” according to a university statement.

The program involved the students in competitive problem solving activities during Sci-Tech Challenge nights in November, February and March.

The students learned about energy audits and electrical power activities from I&M, about bridge design software from Engineering Resources and about prototype creation from 80/20.

The program ended with an awards night and “mini” career fair where students could learn about STEM majors at IPFW, as well as related scholarships and internships.

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