Maker Mela 2019 returns with Darwin

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Those of you who were present at the Makermela 2018 in January will no doubt be excited to know that the fest is supposed to be twice as extensive the coming year.
In the month of January ’19, you will witness the inauguration of India’s largest evolutionary fest Darwin, being held within Makermela, at the Somaiya Vidyavihar campus. This means that countless new innovators in the fields of biomedicine, microbiology, genetics, etc will get to exhibit their discoveries and inventions alongside 200+ selected makers at the grand fest. Inspired by and meant as a tribute to the father of evolutionary science, Darwin aims to bring to the forefront the essential but lesser-known disciplines of biology. ‘Makers’, as the organizers like to call them, maybe anyone from a child prodigy to a housewife skilled at a scrumptious recipe, to an experienced scientist or technician – anyone who has in their spare time put their creativity and opportunities together to come up with something unique and relevant to our times.

India’s first bio-fashion show is going to take place this time! Every year, one finds the ideas behind Maker projects to be astoundingly straightforward, yet the projects may themselves be devilishly elaborate. Here are a few highlights of the previous Makermela for those of you who missed it!

A total of 12 schools around Mumbai officially joined in the fest – besides them, thousands of students took a day or two off to participate in the festivities – which, of course, includes the Makers as well, many of whom had traveled from all across India in order to receive much-deserved acclaim for their innovations.

Seminars held at the auditorium concurrently with the makers’ exhibition were graced by speakers of global fame and standing like Shree Prakash Javadekar, Mr. Prakash Mehta, Shree Devendra Fadnavis, Mr. Tanmay Bakshi, Mr. Saket Modi, Mr. Akash Manoj, Prof Ada Yonath, Dr. Ravi Grover and Mr. Michael Ferraro.

The speeches given by our chief minister Shree Fadnavis, Mr. Mehta and Shree Javadekar were filled with wisdom and at the same time were pragmatic enough to engage the youth present and hold their rapt attention. Tanmay Bakshi, the 14-year-old prodigal AI expert from IBM later conducted a workshop on AI & ML which was unequivocally popular among his admirers, old and young.
An attraction for students from various schools as well as enthusiastic grown-ups was the Art Mela which brought out their creative sides – doodle making, crafting, drawing were the main aspects of the competition thereafter.

After dusk fell, makers and visitors alike got to unwind at the Cultural Night with various renowned artists being present – from the nationwide acclaimed Hindi Rock band The Local Train with their raw, desi touch beloved by all the Indian youth, to inimitable and amazing spill poetry from artists the likes of spoken word poets Nadeem Raj, Yahya Bootwala, Darshan Rajpurohit, Jidnya Pandya and Bikram Bumrah. Nadeem and Yahya had gone all the way by conducting a Poetry Writing Workshop in the evening, which was followed by an unparalleled stand-up comedy by Abhishek Upmanyu, who left the audience gasping for breath after his super-fast session peppered with sarcasm and dark humour.

Apart from all this, there were two grand attempts at making it into the Guinness Book Of World Records during Makermela 2018 – the huge interlinked cardboard boat, world’s largest cardboard sculpture, and the incredible Rubik cube’s image solving challenge.

Keep your eyes peeled for more on Makermela and Darwin until January arrives! Participate in pre-events, send the organizers at riidl your suggestions, and if you think you’ve got it, go for being a maker and transform the face of society!
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How to create your own makerspace

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The thought of planning a makerspace can be overwhelming. Where to start? What do you need? Where will you put everything? There are so many more questions. First, let’s get clear with the concept of a makerspace.
A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.  These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.  A makerspace, however, doesn’t need to include all of these machines or even any of them to be considered a makerspace.
1. Identify the Physical Space
One of the first steps in creating your makerspace is to identify the physical space you need. Every academy is different in how it is designed, and space can sometimes be very hard to find. Finding a corner of your room that you want to dedicate to making could be enough to get started. The space that you’ve chosen should be enough for your requirements.
2. Determine How Your Space Will Be Used
Once you have identified the space, start thinking about how it is going to be used throughout the day. Identify who is going to use the space primarily. Maintain an online calendar to manage the space. Bookings can be made online and can help avoid the problem of double bookings.
3. Determine Your Furniture Needs
Now that the space has been identified and you know how it is going to be used, you can start to consider furniture for it. Depending on the size of your space, you might want smaller tables that are on wheels so they can be moved around to form larger workspaces. Whiteboards are an excellent addition to a makerspace because they can create standing collaboration areas and save table space for physical building. Your furniture requirements also depend on what equipment or machines you’re going to install. If you are going to have 3-D printers, CNC machines and other heavy equipment, then you need to dedicate table space to these tools. Any tool that requires a level tabletop is best kept on a stationary table.
Creating a makerspace isn’t an easy job! But what’s the fun in doing easy things! So now that you know what all you need to consider for creating a makerspace, why don’t you give it a try! Take these initial steps in putting together your makerspace, and you will see it grow and flourish in no time.

A guide to Maker Mela

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If you have ever been to Maker Mela, you would know the kinds of vibes you get there. A vibrant gathering of creative minds and excited tech-lovers, brought together by a common passion. There are makers from various walks of life there eager to share their innovations with society – some of which are absolutely mind-boggling! As a visitor to Maker Mela, you’re bound to learn something new and get engaged in creative activities.
What you need to do:

1. Plan your visit:
Have a look at all the events and sessions scheduled on each day by visiting the website. Mark those which really interest you and keep an open mind and some extra time for new possibilities as well. You might find something that really interests you.

2. Participate:
Many workshops are organized at maker mela. Don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and learn something new because learning by doing is the most effective way there is. From poetry writing workshops to AI & ML workshops, interactive learning is the order of the day. Although they might be totally out of your stream, giving them a try would be harmless.

3. Interact:
Talk to people. You will find like-minded people more easily than you might think. Pose questions to the makers there and know more about the innovations that attract you. Interact with the speakers, and the guest visitors during the speaker sessions. Most importantly, get inspired.

4. Take home something:
Make a note of the ideas or innovations that really interested you. Take home amazing merchandise. Consider the innovations that really fascinated you. You might come to Maker Mela next year not as a visitor, but as a maker!

If you think your innovation is unique and out-of-the-box, join Maker Mela and inspire others.
You can register here:
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Hope you have an amazing time at Maker Mela 2019!

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