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  • U.S. Reps Build Model Satellites at First Capitol Hill Maker Faire

    U.S. Reps Build Model Satellites at First Capitol Hill Maker Faire

U.S. Reps Build Model Satellites at First Capitol Hill Maker Faire

Sunday, July 19, 2015

In June, U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA), and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) built and tested their own model satellites at the first-ever Capitol Hill Maker Faire in Washington, DC.

Referring to his successful satellite launch at the Museum of Science's National Center for Technological Literacy® display on Capitol Hill, Minority Whip Hoyer said with a grin, "I only design things that go to the top, not just half way."

Meanwhile, Rep. Bonamici, who chairs the House STEAM Caucus, re-engineered her satellite nine times to make sure it could float in a vertical wind tube.

The Capitol Hill Maker Faire also launched the first-ever National Maker Faire at the University of the District of Columbia June 12-13. Inventors, tinkerers, and curious makers of all ages poured into the Nation's capital to demonstrate technologies of all kinds, homemade robots, electronic instruments, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) projects, and crafting activities. The White House Week of Making followed on June 12-18.

At the Museum's National Maker Faire display, hundreds of visitors participated in the Soaring Satellites Design Challenge, where they tried to design and improve their satellite prototypes.

One 8-year-old girl said, "I'm guessing this is engineering because you have to use your brain to figure out how to invent things."

Hosted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with the Congressional Maker Caucus, Maker Media, Nation of Makers, the DC government, and the University of DC, these events represent a growing movement of hobbyists and innovators who are attracting the attention of American manufacturers and shaping informal education at community institutions with experimental, creative, and project-based learning.