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  • Alessandra Ong

RHS Maker Week: My first time attending Maker Workshops

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

It was a regular day of sitting on my computer browsing the youtubes, when I suddenly heard the familiar ding. It was Facebook! I’m popular! It was a message from Anthony Tan. Who in the heck is Anthony Tan? He approached me and invited me to come to his event “Maker Week,” a week long event that features different student-run maker workshops. Prior, I had seen flyers about “Maker Week” and I was intrigued by the “student-run” aspect. At first I didn’t think much of it, but after receiving a direct invitation, I decided to go. Forcing my friends, mainly my best friend Kelly, to come with me, I soon arrived at the first workshop: Succulent Propagation by Anthony Tan.

Monday: Succulent Propaganda Propagation

“Plot twist!”

I choose to sit with fellow freshmen at the back of the room. As the smart, intellectual I am, I believed it was going to be propaganda about plants. Was I wrong, yes, but in my defense I had just learned about World War I propaganda in history so my brain read succulent propagation as succulent propaganda. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned about propagation, different ways to reproduce plants. Anthony illustrated its use in the agriculture industry by asking the audience “How do we get seedless grapes?” (Grapes with seeds are gross, no questions asked, but seedless grapes are delicious.) By using cuttings, cutting a stem off and planting it, farmers can breed grapes without seeds. At the end there was a raffle! The prizes were plants Anthony grew himself. I didn’t win but Kelly did!

It would seem the presentation was over, but Anthony had one more thing to add. At the end of the workshop, Anthony announced that he was looking for people to join the team and help manage events like this in the future. I was intrigued, but decided to hold off on joining.

Tuesday: Computer Building

“It was brief but good”

Then Tuesday came, computer building by Wesley Hu. The driving factor for my friends to go to this workshop was a personal interest in computers. Wesley came in with his computer; it had fancy neon green rim light, tinted glass to show off the inside. I was dying of jealousy and amazement.

Brief but good overview of computer building because Wesley explained in simple terms what each part of a computer is and its importance. If I was a person who knew nothing about computer building and I went to this workshop, I would be inspired to build a computer myself. After the workshop Anthony announced once again “Anyone interested in joining the team next year, come up to me.” At this point I decided to join the team, because I could see this club benefiting me. I like public speaking. I like showing off my creations. But the last part of the club message stood out to me. “Inspire others”. That is probably one of my greatest aspirations in life: to become someone who can inspire others. And if I can inspire others to make, I’ve achieved my goal. Filled with excitement, I looked forward to the next workshop. Wednesday: Origami

“I KNOW ORIGAMI”

The next day was an origami workshop by Ginny Vong. Not to toot my own horn but I was a bit of an origami nerd back in Elementary. Except I didn’t know that origami techniques were used to help fold airbags in cars. An important takeaway is that hobbies other people may call useless may have real world applications that can LITERALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE. (Now I feel like I didn’t waste my time studying things not important to school!) On to the interactive part of the workshop. We were all given a piece of pre-folded origami paper. Ginny attempted to teach us how to make an origami rose but it was far too complex for most people to finish. I didn’t finish it, but Kelly figured it out. They also held a raffle, but the prize this time was origami paper. MY BEST FRIEND KELLY had once again won the raffle. With another day to an end, I eagerly awaited the next workshop.

Thursday: Hydraulic Robots

“Educated once again”

Thursday was Hydraulic Robots by Nathan Jong. Unfortunately Nathan got sick so Matthew Tran subbed in for him. Side note, apparently I was the only person who had no clue what hydraulic meant. Basically, it is a method of moving things around with water. So once again I was educated on something I had no clue about. Matthew addressed the importance of hydraulics and how people take them for granted. He pointed out how hydraulics make heavier objects easier to move. The raffle prize was building your very own hydraulic robot. My BEST FRIEND KELLY, had not won this time. After the presentation was over, we were allowed to play with the hydraulic robots on the table. It was pretty fun trying to pick things up with the robots.

Friday Drone Building

“I lost perfect attendance...”

Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the last workshop, Drone Building with Zion Yambot and Joshua Bicera because I did not attend.

My Conclusion

Overall I had fun attending the workshops. I learned about new topics, like hydraulics and propagation. In the future, I plan on attending more workshops because I love to learn. Needless to say, this event was educational and inspiring. It wasn’t flawless like TED Talks, but the message was clear. “Spread our love for hands-on projects and inspire others to make.” Each presenter was clearly passionate about their topic. One day, I’ll become a presenter myself, hosting my own workshop to spread my love of resin and clay crafts!

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