Meet the Makers Festival hits NYC

Writing for DNAInfo, Emily Frost reports that the upcoming Meet the Makers Festival at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan will invoke a DIY spirit by celebrating the use of handmade objects over mass-produced items.

“We hope that kids come away with a different understanding of careers they could have in the world and what they can do in the world,” Leslie Bushara, the museum’s deputy director of education, told DNAInfo. “Makers work with old materials and recycled materials and [are] coming up with these innovative and sometimes crazy ideas.”

Indeed, Ricardo Cid, a Mexican engineer and artist living in Brooklyn, says he routinely incorporates the Maker philosophy in his work.

“I can explain how electronics work through telling a story,” he said.

“[And] if you ever wonder why mathematics is important, it’s to create robots like this.”

Cid wants to create an atmosphere where kids can ask “weird” questions – while disabusing themselves of the notion that artists and engineers work in separate spheres.

 As such, the artists will be showcasing a wooden robot he made during the festival and offer participants a chance to tinker with their own creations.

Bushara predicts Cid’s sessions will likely be a big hit.

“When kids can make things and they have movement, it’s very exciting for [them],” she added.

“And when Maker sessions aren’t in progress, kids of all ages can hang out in the lab, finding inspiration and running with it.”

The festival, which runs from April 12-22, will be hosted inside the museum’s new lab which is specifically devoted to science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

According to Bushara, the new ground-floor lab was inspired by various MakerSpaces and features a wide-open space with chalkboard walls, along with blocks for tinkering.

Interested in learning more? The festival schedule can be accessed here. Tickets are priced at $11 each, with children under 1 invited to attend for free. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m on Saturdays.

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