Meet the Makers: Schoharie Mohawk Initiative for Science and Technology

Among the educational Makers bringing fun hands-on STEAM activities to the Troy Mini Maker Faire on August 27 is the Schoharie Mohawk Initiative for Science and Technology. The group is made up of engineers and educators, dedicated to delivering and supporting STEM initiatives to local communities. The group’s founder and president, Walt Silva, is an electrical engineer who works on submarine development at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, and the father of two daughters. He answered some questions for us:

What is the Schoharie Mohawk Initiative for Science and Technology? How long have you been around? What do you do?

We started in 2013. Our original purpose was to introduce robotics to fourth grade students in the Duanesburg Central School District. We quickly found that students and parents of the Schoharie Mohawk region were interested in STEM. As result we started offering programs year round to students in grades 4-12 and became a 501(c) non-profit organization in 2014. We partner with the Duanesburg YMCA using their facilities for our programs.

What kind of programs do you offer?

We offer robotics competitions through the First Lego League, a SeaPerch program where students build underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) from a kit, classes using littleBits and more.

Who can participate in your programs?

Although our programs are geared for students located in the rural regions of the Capital Region, they are open to any student who wants to participate.

What activities will you be bringing to the Troy Mini Maker Faire?

Squishy Circuits are a fun and easy way of learning about electronics by building circuits using a Play-Doh like material. The conductive dough allows participants to build circuits by simply sticking electrical component connections into the dough.

Rumblebot racers pits participants against each other. Participants build simple racers out of commonly available material; however, the catch is that racers have no motors. They move down the track simply by vibration. Who will finish first?

Have you been to a Maker Faire before? What are you looking forward to at the Troy Mini Maker Faire?

No. We look forward to meeting other folks who are interested in STEM and perhaps partnering with them in the future to expand STEM opportunities to students in the Capital District.

Get your free tickets for the Troy Mini Maker Faire now and join us on August 27 to meet this and all our other Makers! If you would like to have your own Maker exhibit at this year’s Troy Mini Maker Faire, our Call for Makers has ended, but we will consider new exhibits as space allows. There’s no charge to be an exhibitor, and we are open to any kind of art/tech/science project you have in mind. Just fill out the online application form and let us know what you’d like to share with the Maker Community. We look forward to seeing you on August 27!