OSWEGO — The popular Maker Madness, which last year brought together more than 400 people who love to tinker, create and craft, returns tomorrow on the campus of SUNY Oswego.
Presented by the Zonta Club of Oswego, Maker Madness is an afternoon full of free, hands-on event provides plenty of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities for families.
“My favorite part is just sitting back once everything gets going and watching the families enjoy the day,” said Zonta’s Iraina Gerchman said. “There’s so many things to do, so many things to participate in.”
Gerchman chairs the Zonta committee on International Women’s Day, which will also be celebrated this weekend, and while Maker Madness is open to young people of all genders, the event holds a special significance in celebrating the accomplishments and potential of young women.
Maker Madness will be held at Penfield Library SUNY Oswego from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday for the third annual Maker Madness. Along with Zonta and the college, Maker Madness is also sponsored by Novelis and the Central Square Central School District.
Planned activities include robotics, jewelry making, rock painting, 3D printing, LEGOs and more, Gerschman said, all led by local expert “makers.”
“These are places where kids do a lot of exploratory stuff, which can be anything form basic crafts to coding. It can be anything,” Gerchman said. “Those Maker spaces are developing in schools, so when we were looking for a project, we wanted a project that was a little bigger that everyone could come to.”
Gerchman said Microsoft is coming for coding fun with its popular Minecraft game, and e-NABLE will show those in attendance how they 3D print prosthetic hands. The Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant will be also be on hand giving virtual tours of its core.
“Nobody gets in to see the core of a nuclear plant, but you can take a virtual reality tour,” Gerchman said. “That’s pretty cool.”
With last year’s scavenger hunt around the library making its mark as a fan favorite, this year’s hunt will focus on the women’s suffrage movement, which fought for women’s right to vote.
“People can participate and learn about the history of the Suffragette movement,” Gerchman said. Participants will compete for a Microsoft Chromebook. Additional Chromebooks donated by CDI will be raffled off at Maker Madness.
The event has also partnered with the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways so participants can work towards earning badges.
Free parking is available in Lot 1, and more information about the event can be found on the Zonta Club of Oswego’s Facebook page.
Per SUNY policy, children under the age of 17 who attend programs on the SUNY Oswego campus must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the event/program.
“I have people stopping me in the streets asking ‘When is that thing again? When is that thing again?’” Gerchman said with a laugh. “It’s a great family event.”