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College News

Seeking "makers" of all varieties for inaugural Maker Week and Maker Faire

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 02, 2021

The dictionary definition of the word “maker” is simply “a person or thing that makes or produces something.” Do you spend your spare time creating and crafting? This is more than just robots, though they are certainly cool. This is wearables, puppets, human-powered machines, interactive art, upcycling; inventions of all types qualify someone as a maker. It’s time to bring those creations out into the light at College of Lake County’s (CLC) Maker Week, which includes Maker Faire Lake County.

Student working on his creation in CLC's Baxter Innovation Lab“We are reimagining how we can recreate the fun and excitement of wandering around an exhibit hall and seeing unique creations, as well as trying out a wide variety of make and take projects,” said Jan Edwards, CLC engineering instructor and avid maker. “We envisioned this event as something community members would not only attend, but also showcase their own projects. There are many makers in Lake County.”

The result is a variety of virtual competitions, demonstrations and “show and tells” leading up to the culminating Maker Faire event on Apr. 17. The call for makers to fill these slots opens on Feb. 1 with each maker generally falling into one of four categories:

  • Be a Maker Workshop – Provide a tutorial that will enable other makers to work along with your presentation. If possible, incorporate items that most makers would already have around their home. Plan on having live Q&A with the viewers.
  • Maker Showcase or Tour – Here is your opportunity to show us how you made that amazing project or take us on a tour of your workspace. We can take advantage of this virtual format to get a sneak peek in to spaces all around the county. Plan on having live Q&A with the viewers.
  • Technology showcase – Makers are always interested in learning more about the technology available to use in a project or build for themselves. Inspire us with the possibilities. Plan on having live Q&A with the viewers.
  • 5 Minute Lightning talk – Prerecord your talk to be added to the Maker Faire Channel.

Though this event is entirely virtual, in subsequent years the plan is to gather all the many makers and interested community members in one fascination-filled space, which has always been the long-term goal of CLC’s engineering department.

“In 2018, we opened the Baxter Innovation Lab to provide more opportunities for hands-on experiences that would support the theoretical courses. This goes with the tag line for the lab, ‘Design. Innovate. Make,’” said Edwards. “Even as we designed the lab, it was envisioned as a community space. Over the last few years, we have hosted summer camps and personal enrichment courses. Our goal is to continue to grow these programs with an emphasis on supporting underrepresented populations.”

Makers and non-makers alike who are interested in attending the free Maker Faire will still need to register for online admission which, when opened, will be found here.

About College of Lake County: 

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.