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Cal Poly Learn by Doing on Display at Second Annual SLO Mini Maker in Mission Plaza

Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing approach to education will be highlighted in the second annual SLO Mini Maker Faire from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo. 

The SLO Mini Maker Faire celebrates do-it-yourself (DIY) creativity and tinkering in a show-and-tell event for engineers, “makers,” and creative technology enthusiasts. Participants of all ages create, learn, invent, play and find inspiration by celebrating the arts, engineering, music, science and technology. Mission Plaza will be transformed into a farmers market-like venue, but with robots, toys and original art instead of produce.

Interactive performances take place on stage throughout the day. The Cal Poly Kennedy Library’s Science Café will host “Binary Dance,” a gaming experience designed by Pete Hawkes, whose work is well-known in the field of interactive design.  Maker booths will showcase demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Cal Poly participants are:

  • Audio Engineering Society
  • Electrical Engineering Department
  • Materials Engineering Student Societies: Sand You Can Feel and Forging of Steel
  • Cal Poly Solar
  • Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Innovations Sandbox
  • CESAME Magellan Sculptures
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • IEEE: Soldering
  • KCPR 91.3 FM Radio
  • Learn by Doing Lab

Additional exhibits include rockets and robots, DIY science and technology, unique textile arts and crafts, unusual tools and machines, green technology, sustainability, upcycling, alternative energy, bicycles, music and local food, educational workshops and installations, and more. 

In true Cal Poly Learn by Doing fashion, students were involved in the planning, design and operation of the event. Students from the Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program and Professor Tom Fowler’s third-year architecture design studio collaborated to design the interactive centerpiece structure of the Mini Maker Faire.

Cal Poly co-production partners include the Center for Excellence in STEM Education, the Center for Expressive Technologies, Kennedy Library’s Cal Poly Science Café, the Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program, and the departments of ArchitectureComputer ScienceEthnic StudiesMaterials EngineeringPhysicsPolitical Science, and Women’s & Gender Studies.

In addition to Cal Poly partners, the SLO Mini Maker Faire is co-produced by the SLO Museum of Art (SLOMA), Central Coast Makerspace at Los Osos Middle School, the Central Coast STEM Education Collaborative (CCSTEM), iFixitSLO MakerSpace, and the Sm(ART) Studio in collaboration with faculty from Cuesta College’s Fine Arts Department and mentors from the Greybots, an Atascadero robotics team.

Sponsors include multiple organizations at Cal Poly, including the Center for Excellence in STEM Education, the Center for Expressive Technologies, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Engineering

Community sponsors include the City of San Luis ObispoPacific Gas and Electric, Pacific Energy, Clever DucksNew TimesSLO MakerSpace, and The Tribune.    

SLO Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated under license from Maker Media, Inc.

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