NWAIS MakerFest Preview

This coming Saturday (May 16), the NWAIS Makerspace Group will host the 1st NWAIS MakerFest at University Prep in Seattle. The NWAIS Makerfest is a festival to celebrate our students' maker projects and their maker mindset. It is an opportunity for K-12 students to showcase their creativity and work in a variety of categories, talk with like-minded peers, and both inspire and be inspired. This event will feature almost 40 student-designed projects from area independent schools in the areas of Arts/Crafts, Engineering, Food, Green/Sustainability, Music, Science, and Technology/Robotics. If you are interested in making in schools, either as a curricular or extra-curricular activity, this is a great chance to talk to students and teachers about how making and learning go hand-in-hand.

Here is just a sample of some of the projects that will be featured, along with the students' own description of their work:

"We made a Ferris wheel for Pom Poms with a Hummingbird kit and a program on Scratch. It is a Ferris wheel that spins, lights up, and plays music depending on how light the room is."

"Arcade fans can attest that a game feels much more exciting when playing with a joystick and colorful buttons. But dragging a classic, standing arcade game system into our homes is no easy feat considering the large size of most games. This project is a mini fully functional Arcade using a Raspberry Pi — a tiny computer that normally works with TVs or keyboards — and plays classic games with a proper joystick and buttons."

"I created a somewhat accurate 3D representation of an area in brooklyn, and then poured paint on it, Holton Rower style."

"My project was to design a hind leg prosthesis for a horse. I looked at how horses move, the anatomy of their legs, and why they would need a prosthetic. I also learned how human prosthesis are made and what they are made out of. This influenced how I designed my prosthesis. After I had made my design, I made a prototype out of wire mesh, fiberglass casting tape, and a thermoplastic called Worbla. Since this was my science project, I have a tri-fold presentation board with pictures and information about my prosthesis."

"A 3D printed prosthetic hand developed for people with amniotic band syndrome. Main components of the hand are 3D printed, pieced together with moldable plastic and cables."


"I will be playing my piece of music that I wrote myself for solo cello, and I will be playing it live."

"I love to bake creative desserts. I made wheat, egg and dairy free pac man and ghost cakes from scratch and placed them on a pac man board that I also made. I plan to share my paper blue prints of the board and my recipes for making the pac man, ghosts and pac man food. The hand-on activity will be eating the extra ghosts and pac man food (cake pops) I plan on making. I tried out a lot of frostings, cake mixes and, decoration ways and i believe this allergen free pac man is the best thing I could do."

"I built a skull inspired by the talking skull at the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland. My skull, however, responds in real time to an input by moving its jaw up or down. As of now, the input is currently only a button, but within the next week I hope to integrate a microphone so that the skull will move its jaw in response to what you say into the mic. I 3D printed the skull and used an Arduino board connected to a servo for the moving parts. In some sense, the skull could be considered interactive for attendees because it will respond to anyone who talks into the mic."

This event is free and open to the public from 9 AM to Noon in the U Prep Commons and Library (8000 25th Ave NE, Seattle, WA, 98115), and we invite everyone to see the projects and talk with students about their work. University  Prep is proud to host this event through our work in the NWAIS Fellowship for Collaborative Innovation, representing the teamwork of four Northwest independent schools (Open Window School, Overlake School, Evergreen School and University Prep) researching and developing making, tinkering and fabricating for students and teachers. For more information about the event, contact Jeff Tillinghast, jtillinghast@universityprep.org.