Berbawy Makers Craft a Successful Showing at Maker Faire

Geoffrey Zhang, Staff Writer

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On October 27th, Mrs. Berbawy and her team of makers were invited to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in Oakland, California, to participate in an annual public exposition of inventive, creative DIY projects people make around the world. For the past decade, Ms. Berbawy has participated in various Maker Faires to showcase engineering projects her students made during the school year. This year, Ms. Berbawy brought over 30 Irvington makers from her Intro to Computer Science, Intro to Engineering Design, and Principles of Engineering classes to the event, many of whom were experiencing it for the first time.

“We brought a variety of projects to the event,” said Ms. Berbawy, “We had an augmented reality sand table. We showed off robots that the robotics academy had built for their competition. We had several 3D printing projects, [like] Thor’s hammer that Sairam, a student of mine, 3D printed, and more.” As always, Ms. Berbawy and her Berbawy Makers booth are always a popular attraction to visitors of any Maker Faire, drawing the attention of thousands. Young children, parents, teachers, engineers, and other makers were frequently found talking to some of Ms. Berbawy students about the projects they made.

Jared Hughes (11) brought a CNC drawing machine to the fair. “It has two arms and two motors that control the position of the arms,” said Hughes, “We could feed it code to draw whatever picture that we wanted. ” Beyond that, Hughes also helped out the other makers in the Berbawy Makers booth. “We had two spaces, one indoor and one outdoor, [and] I was mainly indoors helping set up things, [like] a field for the robotics academy, tables for other projects, and the sand table.” 

Ms. Berbawy also brought along a number of freshmen to the event, giving them a first taste of what future Maker Faires to them. Eric Xie (9), one of the freshmen, was tasked with running the 3D printing area of the Berbawy Makers booth. “People really took an interest in some of the squishy NinjaFlex figures we 3D printed, and many played around with fish we printed that articulated,” Xie said, “[But] besides our own booth, I also really enjoyed exploring the fair and all the other makers.”

So why do all this for her students? Ms. Berbawy believes that showcasing her makers and the maker movement is important since the students gain experiences that they wouldn’t gain in a classroom setting.

“I’m really, really proud of them, said Ms. Berbawy, “I want people to know that there are kids in the world doing super cool things. And for the kids showcasing their projects, it means that they’re doing their projects for more than a grade, they’re doing it to show the world.”

In the coming months, Ms. Berbawy plans to prepare for her next Maker Faire, where she hopes she will draw the same attention to the maker community and movement she has built up at Irvington through the East Bay Mini Maker Faire.