Tech event showcases 60-plus exhibitors and demonstrations

Kids with an interest in technology, robotics or digital design will want to mark the calendar for MakerX the Columbus Maker Expo. The April 21 event will showcase hands-on opportunities in a wide variety of science and technology disciplines.

MakerX is modeled after the popular Maker Faires occurring around the country, said Bill Ball, scholar in residence of interdisciplinary studies at Capital University. The movement brings together individuals, teams and companies to create physical or virtual projects to share with others and create a growing understanding of the scientific concepts behind them, he said. “It's a celebration of DIY around technology. There's a lot of sharing and demonstrating of knowledge,” Ball said. “Attendees will have lots of opportunities to check things out.”

He's particularly pleased that MakerX will bring together students from elementary school through college—offering visitors a look at how technology is impacting education at all grade levels. “It's a good opportunity to see what these schools are doing, including a look at what's going on at the college level,” he said. “Everyone will be represented, from elementary to professional level.”

The day's offerings include more than 60 exhibitors who will showcase drone racing, interactive gadget stations, 3-D printing, prosthetics, information on mixed-reality technology and robotics displays.

Ball and the other volunteers are excited to offer such an event in Central Ohio since the region has not hosted a Maker Faire for several years. Cleveland, Dayton and Cincinnati have hosted events recently, he said.

Gathering people of all ages to explore technology and share ideas related to digital design is important because it plays an integral role in society, Ball said. “It's a reflection of what's going on in our economy,” he said. “It's empowering people to participate in our creative, digitally produced economy.”