By Shannon O’Brien/reporter

TR Campus is hosting the Fab Now maker conference Feb. 16-17 that provides a collaborative environment for educators, craftspeople, students and small business developers to showcase their creations and experience hands-on demonstrations.

The maker movement gives priority to active learning in a social environment. Learning through doing rather than learning through seeing has come to be more helpful for people.

“Fab Now is all about the chancellor’s goal #3: ‘Serve the Community,’” TR humanities dean Scott Robinson said. “In this case, it’s the maker community.”

Among many of the creations attendees can see at the conference is a programmable controller system. TR Campus will host this year’s Fab Now conference Feb. 16-17.
Among many of the creations attendees can see at the conference is a programmable controller system. TR Campus will host this year’s Fab Now conference Feb. 16-17.
Photo courtesy Danelle Toups

On Feb. 16, a workshop called A Day of Maker Ed will go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for educators and librarians who might want to introduce a “maker space” in their community.

The expo Feb. 17 will include booths with demonstrations of projects built from elementary school students, 3-D printing, circuitry and more from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An afterparty takes place that night at HopFusion Ale Works at 200 E. Broadway Ave. in Fort Worth. The first-come, first-served private party will be located in the tap room and include a full tour of the brewery.

“During the expo on Saturday, we have different panels. Each of the panels will cover different topics,” said TR library services assistant director Danelle Toups. “From hackers’ panels to students talking with engineers, 3-D printing, everything about making, we will have.”

Using a pen and various other materials, participants in the expo created a robot that can draw. At the event, attendees can view booths for projects, demonstrations included.
Using a pen and various other materials, participants in the expo created a robot that can draw. At the event, attendees can view booths for projects, demonstrations included.
Photo courtesy Danelle Toups

The purpose of maker spaces is to allow people to make, create and invent new things. In 2013, Chicago Public Library released a report about high-school-age users of YOUmedia that listed the effects maker spaces had in their library. Students had improved academic, communication and writing skills, got a better understanding of opportunities after high school and felt safer in the community, the report said.

“To try and get more students, I’ve partnered with the technology department on our campus, so what that allows us to do is work with technology using a computerized drafting system,” said South art associate professor Paul Benero, who will present at the fair. “So, my students design rings, necklaces and bracelets, and they sketch them with sizes. We then give them to the CAD [computer-aided design] students who put them in the programming language necessary to print through these 3-D models.”

The conference is free. Students can register at txmakersguild.org.