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Mini Maker Fair shows off tech projects

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Layla Abbas
Assistant Editor

The third annual Mini Maker Fair attracted more than 50 people who saw personal creations like a programmed walking spider, an interactive LED dress, a kinetic water droplet sculpture and a 3D printed dancing ballerina Wednesday in the Wilson Library.

The innovative pieces were developed by students in the Makerspace, where 3D printing, laser cutting, circuit design, LED lights, fashion design and other programs are available to students to use for free.

Caroline Hammond, junior history major, shared a preview of a project she plans to complete by the end of next year.

The project, Lordsburg Revisited, will be a small-scale model of the Lordsburg Hotel, the building that originally housed Lordsburg College before it became the University of La Verne.

Hammond said she will create this model from 3D rendering software like Blender, Google Sketchup, Sculptris and Cura.

“When I finish, all Leos will have a scale model of the old Lordsburg Hotel building to enjoy,” Hammond said. “This will be a part of our history that people can look at from front and back in a tangible form.”

Hammond, who is also a student worker in the Makerspace, encourages people to visit and utilize the resources available in the space.

“The world is now shaped by technology and that is not going to change anytime soon,” Hammond said. “Whether your projects are personal or for school, students can find a reason to get involved with the technology.”

Isaak Serrano, senior computer science major, created a kinetic water droplet sculpture from one of the five 3D printers located in the Makerspace. The printing process for his sculpture took 30 hours.

“If you are a first time user of 3D printing, Tinkercad is user friendly and fun to use,” Serrano said. “I used Tinkercad for this project and find it one of the easier 3D design programs to navigate.”

Serrano said everyone who works at the Makerspace is eager to help first time visitors who are experimenting with the technology for the first time.

“We will help you create whatever you want to create,” Serrano said. “We are there to help and push you through whatever problems you might come across while creating your project.”

Sabrina Herrera, freshman criminology major, displayed her project using the Makey Makey, an electronic invention tool that connects to any computer by USB and allows users to connect everyday objects to computer programs.

As long as you place the connectors into something that conducts electricity, it will act as a keyboard.

Herrera placed the conductors into bananas and then anyone could play games like Dance Dance Revolution by using the keyboard connected to the bananas.

“As long as you are holding the ground (the cable) and have anything that conducts electricity you can play piano or any other game using this keyboard,” Herrera said. “I chose bananas as my keyboard because it conducts electricity.”

Herrera said people have connected the cables to water as their keyboard and even had Play-Doh as a keyboard on the other table.

The Makey Makey is available to check out at the Makerspace.

Alvaro Alvarez, technology support and applications specialist, displayed a project he is working on of BB-8 from Star Wars.

“Once I get a bluetooth module and a sound card I can add sounds to the card and the bluetooth will connect to my phone,” Alvarez said. “After I do that, I will be able to make the head move from my phone and it will make noise.”

“The Makerspace is a good place to learn new things,” Alvarez said. “We can teach you coding and how to program. We can teach you how to use emerging technology that you will see a lot in the future so it is good to get your feet wet now.”

For more information about the services offered at the Makerspace visit http://laverne.libguides.com/librarymakerspace.

Layla Abbas can be reached at layla.abbas@laverne.edu.

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