BugFest

Another annual event that we’re looking forward to each fall is BugFest. It is organized by the Science Museum, and it clearly deserves being called a “Fest”. Live Bugs, Dead Bugs, Small Bugs, Big Bugs, Bug Movies, Bug Crafts, Bug Races, Bug Art: It is BugFest. To point out my personal favorites:

  • The Alberti Flea Circus: We’ve all heard of a Flea Circus, but have you actually seen one? Performing at BugFest throughout the day.
  • Cafe Insecta: They serve bugs. No kidding! Fried Grasshoppers, anyone?
  • Horseshoe Crabs: If you’ve been to an aquarium around here, you’ll know that they are among the most fascinating sea creatures.
  • Cyborg Insects: NC State’s iBionics Lab connects microcontrollers to cockroach brains, and makes them run left or right.
  • Stump the Experts: Bring any bug to the examination table and the experts will identify it. (We did that last year, and brought what turned out to be a Phidippus Audax we found earlier that day.)

Visit the BugFest website for detailed directions, or just head out to the museum and the Plaza and enjoy what you find.

Phidippus audax

Phidippus audax (yes, we singlehandedly caught one last year)

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Engineers Day at Museum of Life and Science (Sat 10-4)

Saturday is Engineers Day at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Some of the programs are geared towards kids 10+, but the many engineering-related exhibits are suitable for all ages. Plus, if interests for engineering should wane, there is always plenty more to explore at this marvelous museum, like the butterfly house or the cool outdoors playground.

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Robot Extravaganza at the library

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Wake Robotics is a non-profit that aims to bring robotics to Wake county kids. They have many camps and semester long  programs, among them FLL and First Robotics teams.

They are hosting an outreach event this Saturday at Eva Perry library in Cary from 1p-2p. This is for kids from Kindergarten through 5th grade, and registration is required at 919-387-2100.

Photo by Nate Swart, used under the CC BY-NC-ND license.

Sun Power at Crowder District Park; Water Works at Blue Jay Park

sunSign up today for these two family program today since pre-registration is required.

Many parks have free or cheap activity program, and I just picked two examples: Crowder Park is looking up to the sun, and forward to harnessing solar power on Sunday from 2p-3p. $5 for the entire family.

On the opposite side of Raleigh, Blue Jay Point is focusing on water and all the nice little creatures that live in it. This is on Saturday from 10-11.

Photo is by Rhys Asplundh

Maker Faire – Creativity in all its Diversity

The great thing about Maker Faire is that is bring together a wide, wide range of creative expression. Here three shots that try to capture that diversity.

Stormtrooper vs. Quadcopter
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Spinner and Giant Robots
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3D Printer and Recycled Glass Art
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First impressions from Maker Fair NC

Here some first impressions from Maker Faire NC.
Open today until 6pm – much more stuff than last year, so come on out!

Felted electronics = Feltronics
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spoonflower-powered make and sew kit
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Awesome self-designed tank differential gear made in Lego
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Maker Faire NC 2013 (Sat 6/15, 10-6)

“To make” is probably one of the broadest terms in language, but Maker Faire does it all justice. Make your own combat robot? Crochet your own superhero mask? Build your own bass guitar? Fly to Outer Space, launching from the NC Fairgrounds? All that and more can be seen at the Maker Faire.
MakerFaire is a mashup of robotics, hacking, crafts, knitters, steampunks and Stormtroopers. And my kids. you wonder? There are many kids in attendance, and a good number of exhibits are suitable for little ones. They may not yet appreciate the intricacies of a steampunk trebuchet, but they will like the Chaos machine (a marble run that is larger than their room), the combat robots, and much more.

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