On April 29, Northern Kentucky Makerspace will host its second annual World Maker & Inventor Expo at Boone County High School. The family-friendly event is designed to celebrate emerging technology and help engage students in STEAM subjects from an early age.
“We know students are losing interest in these fields as they progress through their education,” says spokesperson Emily Greene. “By connecting them to real-world experts, and providing authentic experiences, we are fostering the interest and providing the educational opportunities for growth during each stage of primary and secondary education.”
The daylong expo will feature workshops and competitions that highlight innovations in robotics, 3D printing, drones, aerospace, coding, micro-computing, graphic design and more.
In addition, visitors will enjoy local food, outlaw derby races, drone-flying obstacle courses, a “live” BB-8 robot, Star Wars-themed rides and a solar-powered telescope demonstration by the Cincinnati Observatory.
To learn more or to register for the expo, visit themakerexpo.com.
NKY Makerspace is a regional program serving K-12 students in Greater Cincinnati through field trips, workshops, internships, events and other hands-on activities.
The program is made possible through a partnership between Leadership NKY and Boone County Schools, with support from sponsors like the NKY Chamber of Commerce and Perfetti Van Melle, a locally based confectionery manufacturer.
The program was created in response to the growing national dependence on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) disciplines that are projected to make up about 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the coming years.
NKY Makerspace shares with its sponsors a mission of creating an academic environment to encourage “the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to think, create and build.”
The group’s facility at Boone County Fairgrounds currently features dedicated spaces for students learning about engineering, robotics, coding, 3D printing and audio-visual production. Northern Kentucky high schools can apply for credit-bearing internships through NKY Makerspace and its affiliate partners.
“The nature of our building, being owned and operated by Boone County Schools but located as an independent facility open to the entire region, makes us an incredibly unique facility and the first of its kind here in Kentucky,” Greene says.
For that reason, NKY Makerspace has received attention from the U.S. State Department and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, regularly hosting international delegations from those groups and guiding them through the makerspace’s STEAM-focused facilities.
“Generally speaking, these groups are coming to learn from our program to in turn build their own programs in their home countries,” Greene says. “Most times, our visitors leave us with wonderful insight and ideas for growth here in our own facility as well, building an invaluable international partnership.”