Robotics, 3-D printing, math-based art and volcanic-style eruptions will be part of the first Long Island Maker Festival scheduled for Sunday at the Port Jefferson Village Center, Harborfront Park and Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson.
The family festival highlights invention and creativity and aims to inspire young people to be the science and technology innovators of the future, says Jacqueline Grennon Brooks of Setauket, who teaches STEM education at Hofstra University and is president of the board of the Maritime Explorium, a nautically themed children's musem.
"Are you trying to build a bridge and span a certain length? Are you trying to get a light to light? You are designing solutions," she says. "A lot of the maker movements are in cities. We felt that there was a need here."
Artists and musicians will also play African drums and Native American flutes. More than 50 makers, artists and scientists are slated to participate.
Here are six topics participants will learn about at the festival:
David Ecker runs the Stony Brook University Innovation Lab, and he and Stony Brook students will be building a 3-D printer throughout the day, as well as demonstrating 3-D printing on a one that's already operational. The Innovation Lab will also present green-screen technology: Visitors can stand in front of the green screen for photos, and Ecker and his assistants can change the background to make it appear as if the photo were taken elsewhere, for instance in Paris or on a ship. Two sophomores from Port Jefferson High School -- Neal Masone, 16, and Paul Simmerling, 15 -- will also exhibit 3-D printers they built from kits. "What I think is great about it is it could change the way we get some of our goods," Masone says. For instance, people could print their own smartphone cases, he says.
Sean Kean and the team at VOXON have been developing the Voxiebox, a holographic computer. Picture a 3-D printer, but instead of the images being made of physical material, they are made of light. "It's like sculpture you can see from all sides," says Kean, a co-founder of the start-up company and a 37-year-old entrepreneur who lives in Mt. Sinai. "The most interesting thing about it is, it's a completely new type of display. It's one of those things you really need to see." And visitors to the festival will get to see it in action. "You'll be able to play with it," Kean says. "We have little animations and games."
Douglas Baldwin of Sound Beach is an artist-in-residence at the Maritime Explorium, and he'll be presenting his Nano Art. "My artwork is based on fractal images, which is a computer generation of mathematical formulas," he says. "They create really beautiful mandala images." Mandala images are usually circular, kaleidescope-like images used in Eastern cultures for meditation, Baldwin says. When Baldwin changes the mathematical formulas, the art changes. "People will be able to create their own images interactively, and we'll be able to print it out for them," Baldwin says.
KidOYO, a Farmingville-based nonprofit that offers year-round STEM programs for kids ages 7 to 17 at Stony Brook University and Long Island University, will have students demonstrating coding they use to create computer games and websites, Arduino projects, 3-D printing and even a drone. The Arduino is a circuit board similar to a computer's motherboard that lets users do rapid prototypes of the internal workings of a product.
The Science Academy Camp at Park Shore is bringing three types of interactive robots to the festival for a robotics showcase, says Bob Budah, owner-director of the Dix Hills summer and after-school program for kids in grades one through five. Using sensors, kids as young as 4 will be able to instruct Kibo and Cubelet robots to make turns in a sequence and interact with their environment. Kibo robots are constructed atop a two-wheeled platform, and Cubelet robots are made from cubes and Lego bricks. aWe want to show the public what weare doing and how interesting robots can be,a Budah says. Vex robots, which look like theyare made from Erector sets, will let users manipulate a joystick to move the robot through a maze. The Science Academy Camp will be joined at the showcase by four high school robotics teams. Rocky Point High School, for instance, will be sending members of its robotics club to demonstrate its 18-inch-tall robot, which the team uses to compete in regional challenges.
Ping-pong balls will fly when geoscience students from Stony Brook University demonstrate the principles of explosive volcanic eruptions at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. They'll fill a trash can with water, float ping-pong balls on top and then sink a soda bottle of liquid nitrogen into the water. "As the liquid nitrogen gets warmer, the pressure will be enough to rip through the bottle," says Timothy Glotch, professor of geosciences at Stony Brook. That will cause the water to erupt and the balls to be ejected into the sky. "It's really kind of impressive and fun," he says. "It makes a loud boom." It teaches how gas expanding in molten rock below the surface of the Earth can lead to explosions.
INFO $10 per person ages 2 and older or $40 per family in advance, $15 per person or $60 per family day of event, includes admission to the Maritime Explorium and free outdoor roller-skate rentals and roller-skating at The Rinx at the Village Center; 631-331-3277, limakerfest.com.