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DIY for all ages: NoCo Mini Maker Faire gets kids into science Oct. 5

DIY for all ages: NoCo Mini Maker Faire gets kids into science Oct. 5

Think of the NoCo Mini Maker Faire on Oct. 5 as a combination of robotics, creative problem-solving, DIY projects and a nerdy version of the Pinewood Derby.

“It’s all of those things wrapped into one,” says organizer Elizabeth Weiland.

She decided to organize the event as a way to meet others with similar interests in science, engineering and problem-solving.

Such fairs have become popular across the U.S. As Weiland made the rounds of potential exhibitors and participants for her own, the response astonished her.

“It was unbelievable, like tapping an oil gusher,” she said. “I got responses from all over Colorado.” Just one example: Raspberry Pi, based in Colorado Springs, makes devices that control robotics. All in all, 93 presenters will be attending just from Colorado Springs.

Hands-on activities will include a 29-Second Film Festival, the Global Cardboard Challenge, an exhibit of industrial design work from Denver Design Students affiliated with IDSA, building solder electronics with Boulder’s SparkFun, and the Nerdy Derby handmade tiny car race.

If you, or your teens or tweens, enjoy the popular extracurricular school programs Destination ImagiNation and Odyssey of the Mind, they’ll enjoy this, says Derek Berthold, president of the Metro State student chapter of the International Design Society of America.

“These programs all share an underlying effort to engage people of all ages in solving problems using logic-based thinking and readily available manufacturing processes and electronics,” he said. In other words, it appeals to anyone, from artists and jewelry makers to designers, mechanical and electrical engineers — “anyone who is interested in how stuff is made.” Berthold and other IDSA students will present an exhibit of the winning projects in a competition for hand-crafted projects, Shopbots and 3-D printing.

The venue, the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology, is unaffected by the recent flood that devastated other parts of Loveland.

Claire Martin

NoCo Mini Maker Faire

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 5, Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology, 815 14th St. SW, Loveland; tickets $7 to $10.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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