NYSCI at World Maker Faire interview

NYSCI at World Maker Faire interview

We are so excited to be one day away from our first ever World Maker Faire, this Saturday and Sunday at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens. NYSCI has been a stellar partner, and of course they have some great exhibits in the works for us. We spoke with Dan Wempa, vice president of external affairs, for more insight.

1. Tell us about the project(s) you’re bringing to Maker Faire.
Since NYSCI is the host site for Maker Faire, we are presenting several projects to give visitors a taste of the best of NYSCI. Our Instructors and Explainers will present a series of science demonstrations throughout the weekend, our Library will feature pop-up book makers, and several of our staff will contribute pieces to a NYSCI sculpture garden. But perhaps the coolest “Made by NYSCI” project is our Oobleck Pool. Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid that demonstrates properties of both a liquid and a solid. So you can step across the surface, giving the appearance of “walking on water.” We want to see how many people we can get to cross over the Oobleck Walk during the course of the Maker Faire weekend, and maybe even set a world record!

2. How did you hear about Maker Faire and why did you decide to participate?
NYSCI’s Chief Content Officer, Eric Siegel, and Maker Faire founder, Dale Dougherty have been friends for many years. Both NYSCI and Maker Faire share a common mission of nurturing curiosity, creativity, and innovation. From the minute we finalized plans to bring Maker Faire to NYSCI, we began thinking of interesting ways we could participate in the Faire.

3. Tell us more about NYSCI.
NYSCI is New York City’s hands-on science and technology center. We have 450+ hands-on exhibits, plus a variety of workshops, demonstrations, and programs for families, students and teachers. Because of the interactive nature of teaching and learning at NYSCI, the concepts of making have been at the core of what we do all along.

Making is about being curious, examining the world around you, and looking for ways to make things better. That’s what science is all about too. Science IS our day job.


4. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
New technologies such as smartphones and tablets. They have dramatic implications for how we teach and learn science, not only at NYSCI but also in school classrooms and at home.

5. What is your motto?
Be curious. Get creative.

6. What advice would you give to the young makers out there just getting started?
Making is about being willing to try new things, to look at things differently. If you’re curious about something, follow that curiosity wherever it leads you.

7. What do you love most about NYC?
What’s not to love about NYC?

Thanks Dan! All the information you need to attend is available on the World Maker Faire New York site.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

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