It’s affectionately called “The Ultimate Geek Fest,” and it will bring mini drones, GOAT rockets, electric fiddle-faddles, and an artist known as “Robot Maker Girl” to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The New York Hall of Science will host World Maker Faire 2017 this weekend — Sept. 23 and Sept. 24 — from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.

As many as 750 inventors — including professional engineers with new products, weekend DIY lovers with their latest gadgets, and school science club members with their Snapchat followings — will unveil their beeping, levitating and flying gizmos to an expected 95,000 enthusiasts during this eighth-annual extravaganza.

Don’t expect a competitive vibe, as this is really a DIY celebration with attendees enjoying each other’s inventions. There’s also a commercial angle, as the Maker Faire provides a golden opportunity for professional companies to introduce prototypes of their new products to the New York media and appreciative crowds.

This year’s fun will be organized into five stages with host speakers, demos, panels and interviews on such topics as electronics, circuit board, health, science, YouTube and books. Some of the confirmed highlights follow.

  • Melandolly: Figurative artist Cinnamon Willis invented expressive clay sculptures and dolls called “Melandollys.” She will do a show-and-tell on each phase of her doll-making process.
  • Power Racing Series: Participates race tricked out, electric, ride-on vehicles for glory and trophies.
  • Project ORRCA: ORRCA is an unmanned surface vessel that cleans water pollution by separating sediments, dirt, plastics and oil from water.
  • Mechanical Sculptures: Working at the junction of CNC machining, 3-D printing and traditional craft skills, Benjamin Cowden creates mechanical sculptures that offer an interactive experience to viewers.
  • OHorizons: This international coalition of innovators has engineered an open-source method for organizations in developing countries to follow and produce inexpensive household water filters using local materials, tools and labor.
  • Making It with Jimmy DiResta and Bob Clagett: YouTube and podcast stars DiResta and Clagett will share their secrets for DIY fun.
  • A Maker Revolution in Healthcare: MakerHealth representatives Jose Gomez-Marquez and Anna Young lead the movement for finding and supporting frontline health innovators in hospitals across the country. They will share updates on their work to evaluate and advance hospital makerspaces, just-in-time training and tools.
  • Power of the Plant: Stephen Ritz — an urban farmer, educator, and social entrepreneur from Green Bronx Machine — will share how incorporating gardening and plants into teaching curriculum improved the graduation rate from 17 percent to 100 percent in his Bronx high school and improved attendance to 93 percent.
  • A.I. in Support of Creative Learning: Where Are We Headed?: Presented by IBM and New York Hall of Science, this panel will discuss advances in AI.
  • Digital Fabrication Shootout Panel: Make Magazine executive editor Mike Senese will lead a panel discussion on 3-D printing.
  • How to Build a Better Brain: New York University Professor of Neural Science and Psychology Wendy A. Suzuki will share findings about the ways regular physical aerobic exercise improves the brain. She’ll detail what happens to the brain after exercise.

Ticket prices for day and weekend passes vary.

But there’s more than just a weekend of events. Teachers will be able to attend presentations and discussions on computational making, professional development for maker education, and creating a positive DIY culture at the third annual Make: Education Forum at the museum on Friday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In a similar vein, meetups, workshops and parties will take place around New York City during the pre-event Maker Week on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22.

Images: New York Hall of Science


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