Mini Maker Fair showcases student projects

Starlett Preciado sells her crafts at the Mini Maker Fair on Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn. She shared the table with her sister, senior digital media major Lindsey Preciado, whose handcrafted reversible tote bags were displayed alongside Starlett’s knitted stuffed animals. / photo by Ayalen Ortiz
Starlett Preciado sells her crafts at the Mini Maker Fair on Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn. She shared the table with her sister, senior digital media major Lindsey Preciado, whose handcrafted reversible tote bags were displayed alongside Starlett’s knitted stuffed animals. / photo by Ayalen Ortiz

Stephen Gilson Jr.
LV Life Editor

This year’s Mini Maker Fair was held Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn, along with an Innovation Block Party, which offered students the opportunity to display their academic work on poster boards to share with their peers.

About 120 students and faculty showed up for the events, which also featured food trucks from Roll ‘Em Up and The Habit. 

DJ Santana was also playing current hits on the turntable with an ensemble of students performing songs such as “About Damn Time” by Lizzo using barrels and other unique instruments in between songs.

“An event like this takes a team to organize,” Assistant President of Strategy and Implementation Shannon Capaldi said. “It took representatives from the president’s office, the library, advancements, and events then delegated the tasks. This event came together in about six weeks.”

Guests could earn free food from the food trucks by going around the lawn and talking to students who were presenting their work. After talking to 10 presenters, they could go to the main stand and receive a voucher to eat food at whichever stand they would like to enjoy. 

A multitude of stands were available for students to purchase a variety of items, such as succulent plants and hand-made jewelry. Some stands decided to use the funds they generated from the event to go towards charity efforts for different causes they support.

Sophomore biology major Katelynn Orton discusses her research with freshman legal studies major Wintana Tsegaye at the Mini Marker Fair event Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn. Orton presented research she was working on with the Randall Lewis Center for Well-Being and Research. / photo by Ayalen Ortiz
Sophomore biology major Katelynn Orton discusses her research with freshman legal studies major Wintana Tsegaye at the Mini Marker Fair event Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn. Orton presented research she was working on with the Randall Lewis Center for Well-Being and Research. / photo by Ayalen Ortiz

“Right now we are selling an item that goes between your seat and center console to prevent things from falling under your seat,” junior business administration major Cinthia Rodriguez said. “I know personally I can drop an airpod in between my seat and get distracted trying to get it while I’m driving. A lot of students get easily distracted, so it’s a product that promotes safety and convenience.”

All of the profits from Rodriguez’s stand will go to the Streets Are For Everyone non-profit organization, whose goal is to minimize road fatalities from pedestrian, bicyclist and driver accidents. 

Other stands coincided with different clubs on campus. Those stands elected to use their funds to continue funding the day-to-day operations of their respective clubs and to market them to a new demographic.

“As president of the Crochet Club, I felt the need to come out here and market my passion,” sophomore computer science major Haylee Hewton said. “Compared to other hobbies, crocheting is super cheap and I wanted a new hobby. Now I like to teach other people how to crochet.”

In the center of Citrus Lawn, many of the participants sat in their chairs to enjoy their food and discuss the event with their friends and classmates. 

Other participants showed up in support of their friends who were showcasing their academic work for the poster board walk. 

“Some of my friends are presenting here, so I wanted to be here to support them,” sophomore biology major Eman Fasih said. “I’m also interested in looking at the different research from the different faculty are doing.” 

With the school year winding down, the Mini Maker Fair and Innovation Block Party allowed students to take a step back from their end-of-the-year workload and take some time to feel the sunshine breathe some fresh air. With the success of the Mini Maker Market and Innovation Block Party, plans are currently underway for next year.

“We are an educational institution, so they should be able to showcase what they are doing and show everybody what is happening,” Capaldi said “We do want to make this an annual event and we do see this expanding based on the interest of this first event.

Stephen Gilson Jr. can be reached at stephen.gilson@laverne.edu.

A range of knitted creations greet visitors at the Mini Maker Fair on Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn. They were created by senior digital media major Lindsey Preciado and their sister Starlett Preciado. / photo by Ayalen Ortiz
A range of knitted creations greet visitors at the Mini Maker Fair on Wednesday on the Citrus Lawn. They were created by senior digital media major Lindsey Preciado and their sister Starlett Preciado. / photo by Ayalen Ortiz

Stephen Gilson Jr. is a sophomore journalism major with a concentration in broadcast journalism. He played baseball and football in high school and is an avid sports enthusiast.

Ayalen Ortiz, a freshman art major, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine. He has past experience with graphic design, fine arts and video editing.

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