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Queens Chronicle

Maker Faire demos to amaze and illuminate

Fourth annual Maker Faire comes to Hall of Science

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:30 am

The Maker Faire will wing into the New York Hall of Science on Sept. 21 for its fourth annual event here in New York City.

The interactive festival is a playground for the creative and inventive and anyone who wants to see what these crafty do-it-yourselfers and scientists have up their sleeves.

The website describes the two-day fair that started in 2006 in San Francisco as “part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new.”

Last year 500 "Makers," 100 more than the year before, participated in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park-based event. The Long Island City-based Circus Warehouse, the city’s only professional circus training school, showed off their acrobatic skills for the second year with 20-foot-high-up-in-the-sky tricks.

This year the organizers are expecting 650 Makers with 40 Queens-based participants repping our borough in our borough.

“We’re so excited to be back at the New York Hall of Science for World Maker Faire,” said Sherry Huss, vice president of Maker Media.

Hector Orellana, an East Elmhurst artist who has been going to the New York Hall of Science since his days as an elementary school student at PS 19, will bring “Congo” a giant elephant sculpture for his first “Faire.”

The elephant invites everyone to draw, scribble and doodle on each of its 389 plywood triangles.

“My inspiration was to build a sculpture that represents strength, power and courage,” Orellana said. “And what better than a giant elephant? I wanted the public to interact with my piece. I wanted everybody that approached it to leave a mark and write or draw what represents strength, courage or power to them.”

David Rios, a interactive telecommunications graduate student at New York University with a family in Astoria, connects physical exertion with creating electricity — a sort of more technical and less Stone-Age Flintstone approach to modern conveniences.

So what he did was to hook a pedal to a synthesizer — a music maker.

“I came to realize that it requires a considerable amount of mechanical work to do things like charge a cell phone or run a TV long enough to watch a show,” Rios said. “I also realized that I had been consuming electricity my whole life without ever thinking about where that electricity is coming from.”

With the use of magnets, copper wiring and gears the pedal creates enough electricity to produce a variety of sounds.

Another sound project is Jessen Jurado’s refurbished 1936 Silvertone tube radio.

The idea started when the Elmhurst resident, who grew up in Jamaica, found the antique for $5 while shopping at a flea market with his girlfriend. They thought it would be fun to combine his experience with electronics and hers as an artist to reimagine the broken radio.

Instead of buffing the wood to its original state they covered it with photos — turning it into more of an art piece than an antique. Also instead of replacing the radio with antique pieces they outfitted it so it could hook up to an iPad or Android as well as play FM stations.

The duo will be teaching the masses at the Faire how to make one on their own.

“We decided that this was a relatively simple, unique project that we could show people of all ages how to do, to teach them about basic audio electronics in a fun and creative way,” Jurado said.

There will be many more Queens residents showing off their talents. Maria D. from Rego Park will show off her glass beads and Aditya Venkat of Flushing will demonstrate how to make functional hovercrafts, airplanes, quadcopters and robots. Venkat, along with Arun Kumarakrishnan, will be selling kits to bring home for $20 to $200.

“Queens is such a diverse community and that diversity is represented by the wonderful local attendees that attend and the almost 40 Queens-based makers that will be exhibiting their projects this year,” Huss said.

Maker Faire

When: Sept. 21 to 22, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., closing at 6 p.m. on Sunday

Where: New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111 St., Corona

Tickets: $55, adult weekend pass


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