Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How was it? Poughkeepsie Mini Maker Faire

The recent snow and damp conditions did not stop the crowd from making it to the Poughkeepsie Day School on Sunday November 18th to participate at the Poughkeepsie Mini Maker Faire.

So many people actually arrived, a shuttle bus needed to be arranged at the last minute to ferry guests from a not too distant parking lot at the local Boardman Library back to the event site.

Poughkeepsie Day School Puma - the official mascot of
both the school and the 2018 Poughkeepsie Maker Faire

The 2018 Poughkeepsie Mini-Maker Faire: What you missed

The official event was from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, with sponsors and demonstrations setting up before 9:00 AM, including the goats, llamas, chickens and rabbits!

Eager human attendees were outside before the official start time and there was a steady trickle up until 2:30 PM. 

Lets make some cheese and memories with
 the goats from Sprout Creek Farm

Attendees had a chance to make cheese from goat milk,  spin yarn from locally sourced organic fiber and also make robots.

Outside in the parking lot gourmet food trucks to help keep stomachs almost as full during such a well organized and educationally rich event.

Mini Maker Faire has been taking place for a few years in Poughkeepsie.
Here is a photo from 2015 attendees using microscopes to view interesting things.

Members of the local makerspace called Squidwrench invited Hudson Valley Digital Network to help with the soldering demonstration where each willing participant was going to create a commemorative blinking LED light badge for workshop attendees to take home.

Correct temperature control and soldering of an LED

There were only 150 LED badges available for building and with 5 soldering stations setup, every station completed between 20 to 40 each. All but just a few of them being assembled by children between the age of 7 and 13 years old.

Using a 1000x microscope, it was possible to view the inside of
common LED lights found in many electronics and the badge
being assembled thanks to Squidwrench and Makezine.

Each of the multi color blinking LEDs contained 8 separate and different colored light emitters.

 A high power digital microscope that Hudson Valley Digital Network uses to take photos of circuit boards for some of our articles was used to show children what the inside of the small LED looks like and how sensitive they are if too much heat is applied when soldering them to the board.

This experience gave children a unique view into the world of electronics for possible future career inspiration.

A damaged LED from too much heat while being assembled.

Further learning under the microscope

One father who works as a design engineer for a semiconductor company and his two children even had a look at the fine details of fingers, including the dirt discovered that will make sure his little guys will always wash under fingernails from now on. 

Another young man and his brother each wanted a badge and one for mom and dad. Both were asking about how hot the soldering iron got, how much it cost, what else it can do and if it can melt other things other than solder.

One of the last badges of the day nearing final completion

Demand was so great that Squidwrench ran out of badges and had to tap into private stocks of components to finish a few badges and even repair a few where makers got a little too enthusiastic. 

One maker got a special blue LED that looks like a Lego building block since the normal blinking LED got damaged during construction.

A member of HVDN and his daughter helping others
assemble the Squidwrench provider Maker Faire LED badges

It was a great day that brought a lot to the community and helped raise awareness of what goes into making and playing bagpipes, puppetry, how to care for animals and so much more not just related to electronics.

For anyone interested in purchasing the same digital microscope used at the Poughkeepsie Maker Faire, please have a look at Quicksilver Radio which is where the microscope was purchased while attending the Deerfield Nearfest and New England Tech Trek reviewed in an HVDN this past October.

Learn more about upcoming Maker events at makerfaire.com

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