The CALL FOR MAKERS is now open for the Scranton Mini Maker Faire at Johnson College 10/4/14. So why Scranton?
- Scranton is well known. i.e.: “The Office”
Michael Scott and his assistant Dwight famously rapped “The Electric City” in NBC’s ‘The Office’, the TV show that made Scranton, PA famous. Now Johnson College hopes to rebrand Scranton as “The Maker City” when it hosts the “Scranton Mini Maker Faire” on campus this October 4th.
Scranton became known as “The Electric City” when electric lights were introduced at area businesses in 1880. Six years later, the nation’s first successful, continuously operating electrified streetcars began operating in the city. An electric sign was put up in the 1920’s claiming “The Electric City” and is still a centerpiece of the downtown today.
Scranton is also referred to as “Steamtown” with a National Park of restored trains, which is near the aptly named “Steamtown Mall” in downtown. (Also a favorite “The Office” location)
- Scranton is Becoming a Tech Hub
Today, new technology is fueling Scranton. The downtown has many great tech start-ups. Several variations of business incubators and entrepreneur centers have also sprung up to help farm locally created innovations. Plus a newly discovered underground energy is now powering the region. A natural gas boom has brought development to once stagnant farmland just north of Scranton.
- The Host, Johnson College, is a cutting edge tech school
Johnson College, a 2-year technical college in Scranton, is posed ready to harness what’s now powering North East Pennsylvania. “We chose to host a Maker Faire to help bring together businesses and Makers that need an outlet to display their technology innovations,” says Kathryn Wynn, Development Associate at Johnson College. “I think people will be surprised to see just how many tech companies and new innovations are being created locally.” All proceeds from the Scranton Mini Maker Faire will go to the new “Innovation and Opportunity Fund,” which funds initiatives on campus that promote technology innovation and advancement, like 3D printing.
For Johnson College, hosting a Maker Faire on their campus just makes sense. Katie Leonard, Johnson College’s Senior VP of College Advancement explains. “We offer 13 technical driven programs, many of which are seeing fast changing developments in their industry. For example, the natural gas boom in our area has driven us to be the first in this region to incorporate compressed natural gas (CNG) training into our transportation programs. We are the only place in Northeast Pennsylvania offering mechanic certification courses for inspections on CNG vehicles, many of which are already being added to our area’s businesses fleets, like UPS.”
Johnson College is also connecting with area middle and high schools to show them the possibilities of 3D printing and careers in technology that they didn’t know existed.
Students from Scranton Area High schools STEM Club (Science Technology Engineering & Math) were shown how our 3D printer works to create items with working parts, no assembly required.
Johnson College also developed a career discovery day for young women called “Girls on Fire for Technology.” The girls from Scranton High School were exposed to non-traditional career options in science and technology.
Both groups are very excited about the upcoming Scranton Mini Maker Faire!
Johnson Collegecan’t wait to open the gates to the inaugural “Scranton Mini Maker Faire” at 10am on Saturday, October 4th! Now if we can only get Steve Carrel to rap about us? That would be “A plus plus!”
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