“It fires the imagination and gets kids excited about science and engineering – that’s the vital first step in getting them to think about careers where they can use these skills!” said Anne Reece from the Reece Foundation which has pledged £20,000 in support for Maker Faire UK which returns to Life Science Centre this April (25 & 26).
Billed as the “greatest show and tell on Earth”, Maker Faire UK is a celebration across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft. Makers from all walks of life will descend on Newcastle to showcase their projects to an expected audience of more than 10,000 visitors, all keen to soak up the buzz of this creative, innovative and inspiring event. The two-day spectacular has also attracted the interest of one of the largest chip-design companies in the world, MediaTek.
Mimmis Cleeren, Director of MediaTek Labs for Europe & India, said: “Maker Faire is a world-wide phenomenon and the Makers who attend are at the forefront of new emerging technologies and the burgeoning Maker Movement. As MediaTek Labs identifies with and supports creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, we are delighted to support Maker Faire UK 2015 in Newcastle. We are looking forward to demonstrating interesting new prototype devices built using MediaTek LinkIt™ development platforms for Wearables and IoT, and to engage first-hand with makers from all walks of life.”
With everything from robots to rockets, the aim of the event is two-fold: to give Makers a platform to show what they have made and share what they have learned and also to spark and nurture a curiosity for science and the role it plays in our lives amongst adults and children alike.
According to Lucy Winskell OBE, Northumbria University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Engagement, Maker Faire UK is the ideal event to get young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). She said: “Northumbria University is supporting Maker Faire UK because it makes a difference and helps inspire people – especially young people – to have a go and see what they can do. That’s exactly what we need if we want to plug the skills gap and address the gender imbalance in STEM. It is vitally important we encourage the next generation to see the exciting range of careers available to them in this area.”
She added: “Our ongoing support for this wonderful, family friendly weekend of invention and creativity further demonstrates Northumbria’s commitment to driving world-class research and teaching across STEM disciplines following the launch of our innovative Think Physics project and our co-funded £6.7 million investment in new STEM facilities.”
Linda Conlon, chief executive at Life, said: “It’s clear from the success of previous Maker Faires that people are viewing science and engineering differently.”
She added: “While the event is for all ages, it’s an important part of our efforts to inspire and support the next generation of scientists and engineers, Maker Faire really emphasises the huge range of opportunities open to young people by studying STEM subjects. So we are thrilled to have our key supporters on board, as without them, the event would not be possible.”
This year’s headline supporters are: Northumbria University, The Reece Foundation, MediaTek Labs and Make Magazine.
Tickets are now on sale and cost £9.95 per adult and £24.10 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children). For more information or to buy tickets online, please visit www.MakerFaireUK.com