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Long Island maker festivals: From SLIME to robot battles

Ray Rumore, 10, of Albertson built his own

Ray Rumore, 10, of Albertson built his own 3 1/2-foot-tall, 180-pound companion robot, named Volt, with the help of his dad, Chris. Photo Credit: Rumore family

Two maker festivals are happening on Long Island in the coming weeks — one in Nassau County, the other in Suffolk.

After two years at Bay Shore Middle School, SLIME: Students of Long Island Maker Expo is moving its annual event to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on Saturday, May 20, to open up more space and make it more accessible to more Long Islanders.

Over in Port Jefferson, the annual Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire is scheduled for June 10 at the Maritime Explorium. This is the third year for this event.

Here are three things to do at each:

SLIME

1. Escape the . . . box

You’ve heard of Escape the Room challenges, where groups work to solve challenges and then use the clues to escape a locked room? Now there’s Breakout EDU, meant for classroom use, which uses the same concept to get kids to collaborate and solve problems that let them unlock a box with a series of resettable locks. Adam Bellow, a Plainview dad of two and co-founder of the 2-year-old company, will demonstrate the game to kids, parents and educators. The box sells for $125 and includes access to hundreds of games. The locks on the box can be reset to play another version.

2. Meet Amelia Earhart

Sheryl Faye is a Massachusetts-based actress who portrays women in history in one-woman shows at schools and libraries, and she’ll be at the expo in costume and in character as Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. “She loved challenges, she was not afraid to take risks, and she followed her passion,” says Faye.

3. See a charity pitch

At 2 p.m., five teams of Long Island kids will compete to win money for their chosen charity. They’ll make their five-minute pitches using props, posters and costumes. The finalists were chosen through a previous online vote: Boyle Road Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station; Unqua Elementary School in Massapequa; Long Island Lutheran Day School in Brookville; Kids for Causes from Montauk and Oceanside Project Extra. They’ll be vying for a share of a $500 donation made in their name by the Suffolk School Library Media Association.

EASTERN LONG ISLAND MAKER FAIRE

1. Meet Bumblebee and R2-D2

Tom DePetrillo of Extreme Costumes in Rhode Island will be at the faire in his elaborate, 9-foot-tall Bumblebee Transformer costume. He’ll take photos with faire-goers and explain how his company designs and manufactures their costume replicas. Members of Long Island’s R2-D2 Builders Club will showcase replicas of the “Star Wars” character that they’ve built themselves. “It took me 2 1/2 years, part time, to build,” Babylon resident Nick Tsokris, 48, says of his creation. Club members will explain to kids how they built their robots.

2. Dance with Volt

Ray Rumore, 10, of Albertson, built his own 3 1/2-foot-tall, 180-pound companion robot named Volt with the help of his dad, Chris. “His head is made of binoculars,” Chris says, and other body parts include reclaimed materials. Says Ray: “Volt tells corny jokes. He knows karate. He also dances.” Ray, Chris and Volt will wander the maker faire to meet and greet families, and they’ll be joined by the father-son duo’s newest Alexa-enabled robot-in-progress. “He’s going to be following us around,” Chris says.

3. See a robot battle

VEX robotic teams from Farmingdale High School and Newfield High School in Selden will bring their 3-foot-tall robots, which traveled with them to this year’s world competition in Kentucky. The robots will battle just like they did at competition. “It almost looks like a robot pillow fight,” says Ann Grady, coach for the Farmingdale team. “They’re throwing cube-shaped pillows into each other’s zones. They have to throw them across a fence to each other. ”

SLIME: Students of Long Island Maker Expo

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City

INFO $5 in advance; $7 at the door; separate admission required for museum exhibit galleries, dome theater and video game exhibit; 516-572-4111, slimemakerexpo.com

The Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10 at the Maritime Explorium, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson, and adjacent Harborfront Park

INFO $7.50 through May 27, $8.75 until day of event, $10 day of event; 631-331-3277, easternlongisland.makerfaire.com

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