South West Tafe hosts Maker Fest
People can learn how to code robots, create 3D art, ride virtual reality bikes and make vessels from discarded fishing rope when innovation and technology combine at the 2018 South West Maker Fest.
The Maker Fest on Friday September 14 is an initiative of local schools, South West TAFE and Warrnambool City Council giving regional primary and secondary students the opportunity to present Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) activities and inventions in a unique way outside of the classroom.
The free event at South West TAFE’s Warrnambool campus is open to everyone and will include interactive workshops by inventors and makers, demonstrations of cutting edge technologies and hands-on activities for children and adults.
Victorian 2018 Local Hero, engineer and prosthetic limb innovator, Mat Bowtell, will present at the Maker Fest. While in the south-west, Mr Bowtell will also visit schools in and around Warrnambool and talk to students at the South West TAFE Portland campus about how to apply STEM and to industry in Portland about the changing landscape of manufacturing and how STEAM innovation is producing smarter engineering.
Event coordinator, Jack Gillson of South West TAFE, said the Maker Fest would demonstrate cutting edge use of technology and include everything from robotics, 3D printers, drones, a Tesla vehicle display and artificial intelligence.
“It’s creating a lot of interest again this year” Mr Gillson said. “We have a brilliant range of activities and demonstrations that will be popular with students and adults of all ages.”
Among the program highlights, Warrnambool artist Megan Nicolson will outline techniques to create small vessels from discarded fishing line and rope, while leaving participants with a message about the environmental damage caused by rubbish on south-west coastlines.
“I enjoy the process of turning something horrible that we find on the beach into something special,” Ms Nicolson said.
South West TAFE’s information technology department will present a facilitated webinar on cloud services and how they can be exposed to attack and used for cybercrime.
Information technology teacher David McIntyre said cybercrime was becoming more prevalent and the webinar would give people a chance to further explore the issue.
The program also includes 3D projections of Victoria’s geology, creating games on iPads, green screen activities, an interactive workshop on what happens to water flushed down a toilet, marble gadgetry, programming robots, stitch and knit creations, building model cars with Lego, bridge building, unicycle puppet challenges, and animation and virtual reality workshops.
There will also be an exhibition of student artwork, woodwork kits and activities for children aged 3-5 showcasing STEAM opportunities.
Mr Gillson said Maker Fests were a global phenomenon. “This is our take on the Maker movement and it’s specifically aimed toward sparking interest in young people so that they get excited about jobs of the future,” he said.
The South West Maker Fest will run from 9.30am to 2.30pm and all members of the community are invited to attend.