Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” will be at the Maker Faire in Port Jefferson on June 11 — but not on the stereotypical fairy tale quest of finding true love with a prince. She’ll be there to teach girls and boys how to use power tools.
Caeley Looney, 25, is flying up from Florida to don a costume and show that being feminine and being interested in STEM are not mutually exclusive. Princesses with Powertools is just one of more than 60 exhibitors scheduled to be at the Maker Faire, which is back live after being canceled in 2020 and virtual in 2021 due to the pandemic.
The rain-or-shine event, which takes place indoors at the Long Island Explorium and the Port Jefferson Village Center and outdoors under tents at the adjacent Harborfront Park, bills itself as the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth. It features engineers, artists, scientists and crafters, some of whom are arriving from other states. “It’s overall a day that inspires,” says Angeline Judex, Explorium executive director.
Here are the details about Looney’s booth, as well as five other activities that attendees can explore.
Use a power drill
Looney, an aerospace engineer who graduated from Farmingdale High School in 2014 and currently lives and works in Melbourne, Florida, created her not-for-profit to encourage girls to take an interest in engineering. She and a handful of other Princesses with Powertools characters will teach children how to use a handheld drill. Each child will have the chance to drill holes in a board in the shape of their Zodiac sign constellation to make a DIY projector that they take home with them. Once home, they can shine a flashlight on the board and see it illuminated on a wall. “They usually get really excited when we let them put the safety glasses on,” Looney says. The free project takes about five minutes to complete.
See a Mandalorian
Members of New York’s Mando Mercs Club create and wear Mandalorian costumes, modeled after the “Star Wars” bounty hunter character. Anthony Laurella, 32, an accountant from Staten Island, plans to wear his black-and-red armor. A costume will also be on display for people to examine. Mando Mercs members will demonstrate how they make costumes from PVC boards, using heat guns to shape pieces such as shoulder armor. “You start with nothing, and you make something,” Laurella says.
Lock eyes with a robot
Jorvon Moss — who also goes by the nickname Odd Jayy — will be flying in from Los Angeles with his “wearable robot” named FRR (pronounced Fur). FRR uses facial recognition to detect when someone is looking at him, and his LED eyes light up. FRR will sit on Moss’s shoulder as Moss walks about the faire interacting with people. Moss, 30, will also be giving a talk about why makers should build robots of their own instead of copying other people’s templates or designs.
Meet characters from “MythBusters Jr.”
Rachel Pizzolato, Allie Weber and Elijah Horland from the 2019 Discovery Science Channel show “MythBusters Jr.” will be meeting-and-greeting as well as presenting, says Pizzolato, who was 14 when the 10-episode show filmed and is now 18. Pizzolato lives in New Orleans, Weber in South Dakota and Horland in New York, Pizzolato says. “It will be us talking about what we do and how we became MythBusters,” Pizzolato says. The reality-TV show focused on scientific myths such as whether duct tape could be used to make a working parachute and whether an arrow really flies straight.
Learn about mechanical design
A Stony Brook University mechanical engineering professor and a team of students who work in his Computer-Aided Design and Invention Lab will demonstrate SnappyXO Design. “Using this platform, we are trying to teach students how to design robot motion,” says professor Anurag Purwar. He says he wants robot makers to focus less on programming software for a robot and more on designing its hardware holistically.
Chat with the Crafsman
The Crafsman puppet helps demonstrate craft projects on the SteadyCraftin YouTube channel, which has 515,000 subscribers. The Crafsman was built by Albertson 15-year-old Ray Rumore, with the help of his father, Chris, 47, who works in IT, especially for the YouTube channel’s creator, who lives in Mississippi. At the Maker Faire, people will be able chat with a telepresence robotic version of the Crafsman. The Crafsman’s responses will be given by the actual YouTube crafter; as he answers remotely from Mississippi, the Crafsman puppet’s lips will move and deliver his message.