We Need to Announce that NH TechFest is Cancelled for 2020.
Even though the stay at home order will soon be lifted, it appears that Social Distancing will be with us for the foreseeable future. Schools have yet to determine if it will be safe to return to the classroom in September. So, our wonderful event will take a backseat as the world around us works to figure out what the “New Normal” looks like.
We Are Not Going Away
We started NH TechFest to increase the accessibility of STEM careers and bring cool tech to students. By showcasing the latest technology by New England companies, Middle and high school Students could touch, try, or play with new and exciting tech developed locally. Students were also given an opportunity to talk to scientists, and engineers and learn how they could pursue those careers as well. And, this experience has changed lives, and gotten students excited about pursing a STEM related career path.
As our use of technology expands so does our need for workers in the tech sector, and as technology is constantly changing the need for new skills continues to grow, and NH TechFest will continue to share that story with teens.
Our New Normal
While we wait for the time when we can once again put on a live event, we will look for new ways to engage young people looking for their future. In the coming months we will explore new ideas and new ways to share new technology and science careers with teens.
How Can You Help
We are looking for a few new people to join our committee. NH TechFest is a 501(c)3 non-profit and is operated 100% by volunteers. If you find our mission exciting and have an idea to share, a knack for fundraising, PR, organizing, or helping out wherever the need may be; please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A week ago I attended the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race. These were human powered all-terrain art inspired vehicles that raced through the City of Lowell, made their way through the Maddening Mud Pit and then drove their kinetic sculptures into the Merrimack river to see if they could float, stay up right and travel a bit down stream where they got back on land and raced back through the City of Lowell. It was an exciting fun filled show of creativity, ingenuity, tenacity and never giving up.
One of the teams was our friends at Makeit Labs. Their creation was called Fruit Roll-up; this Kinetic Sculpture was powered by a four person peddling team and they managed both the Mud Pit and Water Obstacle very well. Their costumes were also a hit as they entire team sported fruity head gear.
Makeit Labs is a non-profit charity organization and Maker Space in Nashua NH. They will once again participate at NH TechFest, on November 2nd this year, and we can’t wait to see what they will come up with next.
NH TechFest is a free one-day Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) science festival. Let us help you get your middle and high school students excited about STEM with hands-on exhibits and entertaining presentations. Invite your students to explore STEM career fields in a fun and engaging way.
Experience some of the area’s top leading-edge tech companies and educational institutions as they showcase the latest and coolest technology with hands-on exhibits.
Students will have the opportunity to speak to multiple professionals about potential careers in STEM as well as the areas they should study in order to achieve their goals.
It All Started with Marvin Minsky
Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) was a professor emeritus at MIT Media lab and a pioneer of Artificial Intelligence research. During his graduate work at Bell Labs in 1952, he came up with the idea for a device that he called the “ultimate machine.” He envisioned a simple box with a switch. When a user switched the machine on, a “hand” would emerge from the box and switch it off again. His mentor, Claude Shannon, was apparently amused by the idea and created the first working version which he kept on the desk in his office, no doubt to the interest, delight or confusion of many visitors.
Decades later, the device still intrigues and inspires many “makers.” Today, it is more commonly known as the “Useless Machine,” or “Useless Box.”
Here is what Wikipedia says about the Useless Box https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useless_machine
The device is widely available as kits or as completed boxes. A quick Internet search will reveal many unique interpretations of the device, from a simple electronic box with a small motor and a few switches like the one above, to far more elaborate boxes that almost seem to have personalities. You’ll find animals coming out of the boxes, multiple switches, temper tantrums and even a box that will hide the switch or run away to keep you from switching it on again.