Maker Faire Capitol Hill: The Maker Faire Happening in the Middle of Congress

Maker News
Maker Faire Capitol Hill: The Maker Faire Happening in the Middle of Congress

Tomorrow, June 12th, Maker Faire Capitol Hill will bring the maker movement to Congressional leaders, policymakers, and the public alike. Forty-three makers will take to the Hill to share their projects, alongside the day’s panel series featuring leaders in making from libraries, museums, academic institutions, the federal government, and the private sector.

“The breadth and impact of the maker movement on sectors of the U.S. such as education, manufacturing, economic development and innovation are simply remarkable,” said Executive Director of Nation of Makers, Dorothy Jones-Davis. “The Maker Faire Capitol Hill is an amazing opportunity to share the enormous impact of makers on cities throughout our great country with policymakers and families alike here in Washington, D.C.”

Nation of Makers, along with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in collaboration with the Congressional Maker Caucus, will host the 2018 Maker Faire Capitol Hill. “The maker movement has always been about getting tools, and technology in to the hands of more people,” said Rep. Mark Takano of California, co-chair of the Maker Caucus, along with Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio. “The Capitol Hill Maker Faire is a great way for Congress to see up close how Makers are adapting technology to democratize manufacturing.” IMLS

Show Preview: Panel Luminaries and Innovative Projects

Running from 5 to 8 PM at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C., Maker Faire Capitol Hill offers a lineup of diverse maker exhibits from around the country following panel discussions throughout the day on the impact of the movement on education, economic and workforce development, entrepreneurship and the development of vibrant, innovative communities across the United States.

Make: magazine and Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty will moderate a panel on Concept to Scale: Fostering Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development through Making featuring Joel Gordon of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and Jason Hardebeck of Baltimore’s The Foundery, which offers job training and second chance programs whose graduates then work on city contract for capital improvement projects, two of the country’s most innovative regional making centers. Exhibiting at the event, companies like Xometry, show how increasingly on-demand manufacturing to a diverse customer base, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies, can fuel business development at all scales.

Ira Socol, from the Albemarle County Public School District, a thriving community of adult and youth learners and nationally recognized as home to some of the most engaging contemporary learning spaces, will talk alongside Sonya Pryor-Jones of Fab Foundation and its new program SCOPES-DF, on Rethinking the Design of Curriculum, Systems and Preparation Through the Lens of Making.

For the first time, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) will be participating in a Maker Faire! Their booth will demo how to get involved in the growing DIYbio/Maker movement through genomics research and data. Starting with a quick and fun hands-on activity to extract DNA from strawberries, they’ll show how you can go from biological materials to data using more accessible and affordable tools than ever before. On display will be a suite of mini/DIY lab equipment including a pipette, a miniPCR machine, and a nanopore sequencer—both hooked up to a laptop—as well as freely available tools for diving deep into biological datasets.

Another bio/Maker in the lineup is the Baltimore Underground Science Space, a non-profit community science space, will have iGEM high school students coming to present their work in biotechnology of degrading plastic and represent our bioart community project of glowing bacteria that will be stimulated to glow with the introduction of oxygen (or just movement of the media). And Nova Labs, producers of Maker Faire NoVA, brings Be Bionic! Electricity generated from your muscle activity can be used to operate external devices. Can you control the arm on a display model through electricity sensed by a pickup on your biceps?

Made in DC opens doors to Fashion Designers and Artists to display their work on center stage. Among them, the Fashion House of Léonché’s lead designer Almira Wilson, will construct a haute couture evening gown onto a painters canvas. The canvas represents a sneak peek into Fall 2018 New York Fashion weeks presentation of Princess Revealed.  Almira’s dream is to create a Manufacturing Firm in Washington DC, that offers apprenticeships to the less fortunate, homeless, senior citizens, orphans, veterans, and refugees. And Pattern Sample Sew offers pattern making, sample making and small batch manufacturing for apparel, accessories and soft home goods. We will be demonstrating flat pattern drafting and will present examples of the types of items we design and manufacture. Painted Palettes is a calligraphy and watercolor creative business that will be demonstrating envelope calligraphy.

Unsurprisingly, government organizations, including DoD and USPTO, are showing off their commitment to expanding opportunities for making. NASA’s STEM Innovation Lab is offering a hands-on workshop to create a paper circuit and construct a wearable NASA badge and demonstrate how NASA uses remote sensors to measure the composition of the atmosphere and study land cover from space. NASA’s Troy Cline, Director of the STEM Innovation Lab, alongside Tracy Frost of America Makes and Tim Bailey from the Every Marine a Maker Project will participate on The Federal Government and Making panel.

USMC brings its The Next Generation Logistics (NexLog) initiative, which seeks ways to provide dynamic combat service support to the Marine Corps of the future, address the growing gaps with innovative capabilities through four thrust areas: Additive Manufacturing (AM), Unmanned Logistics Systems (ULS), Smart Logistics, and Battlefield Medicine. The Marine Maker effort has provided accelerated innovation training and AM equipment to hundreds of Marines across the globe and seeks to provide a makerspace to every Marine base in the country by next year. For example, Marines used additive manufacturing to build a replacement brain box for this TRV-80 while in the field.  Marines used additive manufacturing to build a replacement brain box for this TRV-80 while in the field at Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, CA.Marines used additive manufacturing to build a replacement brain box for this TRV-80 while in the field at Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, CA.

Fresh from NOMCON, Nation of Makers’ Dorothy Jones-Davis moderates the last panel on Making Community: Leveraging the Power of the Maker Movement to build vibrant, inclusive communities with Don Martin of Intermediate Unit 1 Fab Lab, David Wells of NYCSI, which hosts the World Maker Faire New York on September 22 & 23, and Illana Preuss of Recast City LLC — all organizations which are working to build sustainable communities for making and makers to thrive in. This theme is picked up in exhibits by the Navajo Technical University, which will display the history and impact of Making on Navajo; the Free Library of Philadelphia, the DC Public Library Fab Lab and Baltimore County Public Library, both of which are sharing innovative maker learning programs. Shelter 2.0, the brainchild of Bill Young and Robert Bridges, hopes that by offering their designs and cut files to the public that they can help change the way the homeless are displaced or provided for in the future.

With support from event collaborator IMLS, a diverse array of museums such as The MiX at the Science Museum of Virginia; Museum of Science, Boston<; Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; and D.C.’s KID Museum are bringing hands-on activities.

And what would a Maker Faire be without robots. Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital Cadette Troop #2627, from Ashburn, VA, will present a robot they built using metal sheets, screws, servo motors, batteries and controllers. They programmed the robot using robotc, a robotic programming language. The robot is designed to pick up cones and mobile goals and move them to specific areas and stack the cones. Troop #2627 will help Capitol Maker Faire participants use the controllers to stack cones and move mobile goals. Building Momentum, a service-disabled veteran small owned business that provides science and engineering consulting, technology development, and training to defense, education, corporate, and entrepreneurial organizations, invites participants to watch an Arduino robot fight and the  National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories displays how their mobile robot uses a laser scanner to map its environment, and how augmented reality will make it easier for humans to control robots.

Register for Maker Faire Capitol Hill or follow the event at #capmakerfaire.

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Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee


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