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October 18, 2021

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Maker Faire showcases students’ inventions

Riddhiman Gupta, a sixth-grader at Shanghai Community International School, has invented a convenient mask vending machine.

Made from recycled paper boxes and with an easy gear, the light and cheap device can be installed at local subway stations, office buildings, shopping malls and other public places where masks are compulsory due to COVID-19 measures.

His invention was one of the innovative exhibits at the Maker Faire Shanghai 2021, a carnival gathering local tech enthusiasts, craft workers, educators, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists and students.

“More than 100 people have visited my booth due to the invention, way beyond my expectation,” said Gupta, 11.

About 15,000 visitors, mainly local parents and children as well as expatriates, attended the annual maker faire, the second session in Shanghai, on Yuanmingyuan Road on the Bund over the weekend. It brings the latest technology, creative ideas and innovation to the masses.

Scientific experiments

Started in 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the movement has since spread to countries all over the world with more than 200 Maker Faire’s in places such as Tokyo, Rome, Shenzhen, Taipei, Seoul, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona.

“The event aims to create a platform for individuals and small companies to showcase their innovative ideas,” said Praveen Rao, co-founder of Maker Faire Shanghai. “Children are expected to be inspired with various scientific experiments and innovation designs.”

The event in Shanghai features more than 60 interactive and engaging booths such as 3D printing, robo-wars, science experiments, learn to code, pottery, wood-working and many other maker/STEAM education activities.

Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, one of the main exhibitors, set up several booths to showcase the innovative projects of its professors and students, which attracted a large number of parents and children.

Saverio Silli, an Italian professor with the college, said such events encouraged students to introduce their own designs and projects to visitors, while solving various problems themselves during the exhibition arrangement.

“Over 40 students have applied to serve as volunteers at the fair which is helpful and a great opportunity for them.”


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