A team from the OAD participated in the 2016 Cape Town Mini Maker Faire, which was held at the Cape Town Science Center from 26-28 August. The Maker Faire is an international movement that brings together those who build, design, think and innovate to produce fascinating products that might change the world. Drawing robots, drones made out of cardboard, and homemade 3d printers were just a few of the items that were showcased. During the 3-day event, groups representing both academia and industry collaborated with each other and empowered visitors to embark on their own maker projects.
The mission of the OAD is to bring together international volunteers, partners and collaborators to contribute to ‘Astronomy for a better world’. Because of the variety in backgrounds of everyone on our team, we pulled together several different projects for the OAD exhibit. One of these projects, developed by our partners at the Open Space Agency was Ultrascope, a 3D printed telescope developed to help aspiring astronomers around the world contribute to real scientific research. Alex Gagliano and Jeran Cloete collaborated on a set of 3D models to simulate gravitational waves and other physics concepts, while Jamie Ferguson presented software to turn constellations and other visual data into sound. All of these projects were developed to help make astronomy accessible to the general public, and the excitement of those who visited the booth emphasized the fact that the sky truly is for everyone. Our communications intern Karabo Makola also used this opportunity to engage with interested volunteers to help us brainstorm ways to use astronomy to make a better world. You can find the pictures from the faire here: https://www.facebook.com/CTMiniMakerFaire/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1746667935584793 In all, the team had a great time and is looking forward to next year’s Mini Maker Faire. Remember: Everyone is a maker!
Written by Alex Gagliano
The Team: Alex Gagliano, Karabo Makola, Jamie Ferguson, Jeran Cloete and Ramasamy Venugopal