October 16, 2016 –
On Sunday, October 16th, 2016, 30 youth from the Britannia Woods community, and 5 youth from the Morrison Gardens community, participated in the Annual Maker Faire Ottawa (MFO) at Lansdowne Park.
Organizers of the MFO field trip provided notebooks & pens to participants to take notes at the event. Age of participants ranged from 6-15 yrs old. Many returned to MFO for the second year, and others experienced this hands-on tech exhibit with new wonder.
Organizers encouraged youth “reporters” to collect 20-30 names of inventors, inventions, exhibitors, exhibits on this 4-hour trip. Over 50 tables at MFO provided opportunity for new learning, understanding and retention. For every 10 names collected, 1 candy would be awarded upon completion of the scavenger hunt.
The impressive tech-related words collected by youth-reporters can be found below.
Shifting through youths’ notebooks on the bus ride home, organizers learned about tech exhibits retroactively (there is a lot of learning adults can miss at the fair). They were thrilled to learn that the youngest participants (ages 6-9) collected as many as 10-20 words.
Some of the older participants collected 80 words, and one very ambitious participant in grade 3 collected 110 tech-related ideas at MFO. This 3rd grader, typically quiet, eagerly asked questions of every exhibitor to collect 110 words and ideas. He was determined to gather the most knowledge, have fun, and earn the most candies.
Asked to highlight a favorite exhibit, one youth said: “I love Oliver. It’s an automatic cooking machine. Oliver makes great pasta.”
Another said the highlight was learning about a Mustang lifejacket that keeps swimmers underwater until more air is needed. Mustang Survival, a BC-based company, is the leading supplier of quality marine and aerospace survival equipment.
Another said the highlight was a head cap called “SIMON”.
SIMON is equipped with sensors that can read and interpret a range of emotional states of the brain. If you’re feeling sad, for example, the helmet goes bright with a color affiliated with sad (say blue). Feeling angry? the light goes red. On a deeper level, SIMON is a tool that allows users to communicate feelings non-verbally with others.
The tool can enhance the public’s ability to feel empathy for another person’s emotional state(s). SIMON was created by Jeremy Viny of Ohio State University with Adafruit technology.
The final highlight of MFO 2016? Musical pillows. When musical pillows are moved in different directions, sound effects are programmed to reflect type of movement. Apparently the best kind of fun is a pillow fight with lively and silly sound effects.
We extend our gratitude to the partners who made this field trip possible:
MakerFaire Ottawa, Jewish Family Services, Networking4Youth, Britannia Woods Community House, Britannia Woods Homework Club & Staff, and most importantly the youth who constantly inspire and amaze us with their knowledge, skills, questions and drive to learn.
Words collected by youth:
- Spaceship Chair
- Impossible Triangle
- Hello, I’m Oliver. Oliver is a cooking appliance connected to a phone.
- Tardis Police Box (space travel on Dr.Who)
- Dalek (Dr.Who)
- Cyberman (Dr.Who)
- BC-based Mustang Survival_ lifejacket for underwater swimming
- Mustang Survival
- Chipsetter (Hamilton-based desk-top printer to print chips)
- 3D flying
- Bot Feeder
- Carleton’s Ravens Racing Car
- Smart Chair Platform (wheelchair connected to smartphone)
- BB8 (Star Wars)
- R2-D2 (Star Wars)
- Destination Imagination (STEM projects)
- Ottawa Tool Library
- Tick Tock Tom (motorhead)
- Inventor Artist _earrings made from CDs and records
- University of Ottawa Robotics Club_ OttaBotics: Drone hexacopter 360 degree footage
- Firefly Art Project
- Villa made from Lego, based on real home in Italy (200 hrs to build)
- Prop Maker (homemade props for tv and film)
- Laser Cutter (cuts acrylic)
- Vectoring, Rostering
- Filament material for 3D printing
- Ottawa Innovation Centre
- Design 1st
- Dumpster Puzzle Box
- Greta Grip: machine-knit-robots
- Ray Guns
- Harvey and Vern’s (old fashioned soda)
- Inventors Dad
- DIY Pinball
- Maker Junior
- Vivid Theory
- Wool, Loom, Warp, Weft, Shed
- Bass Analyzer
- Laser Gun, Light Gun
- Tint and Twist
- Science Mobile (Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa)
- Fine Art Sculpture
- Spark Headset (reads brainwaves)