By: BRANDI VINCENT
From operating robots to coding video games, children at Maker Faire Silver Spring were in for a technological treat.
Held on September 24th at the Silver Spring Civic Center, the event united diverse “Makers” and exhibits to engage people of all ages in innovative art, science, technology, engineering, and do-it-yourself projects.
The Faire was also a glimpse into Montgomery County’s up-and-coming KID Museum, which will open at Davis Library in Bethesda on October 26th. The new museum aims to “cultivate creativity, curiosity and compassion through interactive exhibits and hands-on learning.”
So, what exactly is a “Maker”?
Cintia Cabib, the museum’s Director of Communications and Marketing, said the founders of the global maker movement coined the all-inclusive term. She believes it highlights the creative innovations displayed at the Faire.
“A Maker is someone who likes to invent new things, or someone who is just curious about how things work and is interested in exploring that through art, science, technology or engineering,” Cabib said.
Cabib estimates that roughly 12,000 people attended last year’s Maker Faire – and she said that attendance seemed even higher this year.
Vanya Gorbachev, an eighth-grader and Maker for the Reimagined Drones project, has worked closely with the KID Museum staff after attending his first Maker Faire two years ago.
Gorbachev said his work with the museum and experiences building things as a Maker have enhanced his passion for science and inspired his career goal – to become an aerospace engineer.
“I love doing this, I get to make things, learn things, and do things that I’ve loved to do and wanted to do for a really long time,” Gorbachev said.
Melanie Thomas attended the Faire with her two toddlers. She said she was pleasantly surprised by her children’s ability to use the technology.
“I was amazed at my 4-year-old’s use of the robotics and that she was so capable of operating a control panel,” Thomas said.
The mother of two said she was impressed by the immense amount of interactive learning at the event and that she definitely plans to bring her children to the KID Museum once it opens.
“I am looking forward to the future events,” Thomas said.
Starting November 1st, the KID Museum will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum will only be open for scheduled school visits on weekdays.