Four students from University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges traveled to Washington D.C. this summer to participate in the inaugural National Maker Faire that included inventors, tinkerers and makers of all ages. The four students attending the two-day event were Jasmine Hoapili, Patrick Sundahl, Bayan Kelly and Geena Wann-Kung accompanied by John Rand, director of STEM Education for the UH System. Each of the students represented Hawaiʻi with their own inventions and student Bayan Kelly received a Maker of Note distinction for his handmade electric guitar.
“The Maker Movement is focused on growing and nurturing a vibrant community of creative and curious people,” said Rand. “In my experience, Hawaiʻi students are some of the most creative in the nation. This creativity coupled with a strong and rich culture, makes the opportunity for creative innovation come alive and this sparks an entrepreneurial spirit. The National Maker Faire provides opportunities for Hawaiʻi to showcase grassroots innovations. We need to do more to showcase Hawaiʻi talent—a lot more.”
The student inventors are a part of the Hawaiʻi’s Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative funded by the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program at the National Science Foundation that involved Honolulu Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College, Leeward Community College, Windward Community College, UH Maui College and the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa.
- Leeward CC natural sciences student Bayan Kelly showcased his handmade electric guitar honed from a block of wood in the tradition of the modern day luthier. The guitar was constructed as part of an NSF sponsored Summer Bridge program at Kapiʻolani CC.
- Jasmine Hoapili, a computing, electronics and networking technologies student at Honolulu CC, entered her Ka ʻImi ʻIke (search for knowledge) autonomous robot with a sensor to detect if an object is in front of it with a mounted camera.
- Honolulu CC liberal arts student Patrick Sundahl demonstrated a motorized skateboard with an Arduino micro-controller and a three-dimensional printed driven gear.
- Geena Wann-Kung, a Kapiʻolani CC student in natural sciences, submitted her autonomous payload consisting of an Arduino micro-controller and barometric pressure sensor mounted on an air rocket, which is able to capture video footage and altitude measurements during flight.
“Instead of seeing industry people or vendors I was actually able to talk to students who made their projects,” said Hoapili. “It is special to see students light up when they are talking about their project. I like being able to share the same passion as them. I received a lot of feedback and was able to get ideas for my next project.”
About the National Maker Faire
Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.
The popularity of Maker Faire events has been growing in the past several years with more aspiring makers interested in hands-on approaches to showcase skills in innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.