Maker Faire Long Island Goes Virtual for 2020

Maker Faire Long Island Goes Virtual for 2020

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Scenes from the Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire in Port Jefferson Village June 9. Photo by Kyle Barr

For its fifth year, Long Island Explorium’s Maker Faire will be going virtual — but it is still packed with tons of activities for kids of all ages.  

The Port Jefferson-based children’s museum that focuses on science and engineering produces the event, under the license from Make Community LLC, and brings makers near and far to show off their talents. 

On Oct. 16 and 17, the Empire State Maker Faire, a statewide showcase organized by local producers throughout New York State, will share the creative work and technical know-how of all kinds of makers who share a passion for making. 

“We will share the creative work and technical know-how of all kinds of makers who share a passion for making,” said Lisa Collet Rodriguez, the director of digital media and marketing for the explorium. “The event will feature demonstrations, performances and how-to workshops —  everything from 3D printed chocolate, cosplay and robots to programming haunted houses, creating cardboard creations and hacking board games. It will have something for every person and age.”

Normally the faire would be in person, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, the explorium decided to join in on a virtual experience that can go far beyond Port Jefferson. 

“The biggest change comes in the scope and ambition of it all,” she said. “We had to think of a way during this time, to expand the reach and help out the community.”

The faire will stream live on YouTube, in addition to a collection of prerecorded sessions available to the public. 

Rodriguez said that while also reaching a larger audience, the virtual component will allow viewers to see the makers in their natural habitat. 

“It works in our favor as we, for the first time, are able to show you locations and places that a physical faire could not, for example live tours of Maker Spaces,” she said. 

On Friday, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., the faire will cater to students and educators learning in-person, remotely or who are homeschooled. The day will be filled with hands-on activities and demonstration focused around STEM and other aspects of the Maker Movement. 

A full schedule of all the makers, demonstrations and activities is available online at longisland.makerfaire.com