Second Annual Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire
The Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing has been participating in and supporting Maker initiatives since 2012. It started with sponsoring and exhibiting at the Champlain Mini Maker Faire in Shelburne, VT. The experience of seeing a community come together to learn more about each other's STEM projects was very positive and has led to additional Maker initiatives for the RCNGM. In 2015, the RCNGM held the first Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire (GHMMF) in partnership with the CT Business & Industry Association (CBIA) at Tunxis Community College for over 1500 attendees as well as sponsored the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire - East Bay Edition.
The RCNGM team received such positive feedback from the first GHMMF that a second one had to be held! On October 8, 2016, the RCNGM again in partnership CBIA held the second GHMMF at Tunxis Community College for 1400 attendees. Half of the Makers (exhibitors) had returned from the 2015 Faire for a total of over 200 Makers at 55 Maker booths. Makers spanned all ages including students from high schools and CT colleges. View pictures from the GHMMF here!
The RCNGM has found that Mini Maker Faires are a great way to teach the community about how STEM projects are part of engineering and technology programs, including manufacturing, at local colleges. Students from Tunxis Community College, Asnuntuck Community College, Gateway Community College, Central CT State University as well the Mechanical & Manufacturing Technologies for Energy & Sustainability Program were able to demonstrate projects that they researched and prototyped. Industry representatives from GHMMF sponsors: Stanley Black & Decker, Legrand, Stanadyne, CSS and Renewal by Andersen were also there to talk to attendees not only about their products, but also abut what it takes to have a career in manufacturing.
Nation of Makers
RCNGM PI and Executive Director, Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch, was also invited by the White House to connect Makers in Connecticut through the Nation of Makers initiative. Today, the Nation of Makers is proud to announce that is officially a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Makers. The RCNGM team looks forward to continuing its work with the Nation of Makers and the extended Maker community as a platform for educating communities on technologies and how when they are combined with creativity and critical thinking can benefit others in the community as well s on national and global levels.
Stay tuned for more exciting news on Maker initiatives from the RCNGM!