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Makers@PPL 2017

Saturday, April 22 - 10:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library
Audience: Adults, Teens, Kids & Families

Makers logo, each letter designed out of different toos

Makers@PPL is a special event to celebrate maker culture, and bring together the talents and creativity in the community to share ideas and projects with others. Mark the day on your calendar — Saturday, April 22, 10am to 3pm — and come ready to learn new skills, experiment with tools and materials, and observe stuff used in ways you never thought possible!

This event highlights the importance of the STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), and will showcase workshops and presentations that not only teach, but are fun and engaging. Regardless of your background or expertise, this event will show you that everyone is a maker; after all, humans have been inventing and experimenting for hundreds of years.

Join us this year for the following exciting presentations:

  • Lipmann Holograms with Baxter Academy  12:30-3:00pm
    Baxter Academy students showcase their work in creating color photos through a black and white process.
  • Toys and Gadgets with Electro Toy Co.
    Learn how to make toys and gadgets with electronics in them, such as Arduinos and raspberry pis, and play with a few examples.
  • Consumer Grade STEM Education with Maine State Library
    Come see the Maine State Library demo a pocket sized SLA 3D printer and visit Dash and Dot, their resident robots. (They are cute, blue, and will teach you how to code!)
  • Arduino Microcontroller Mobile Weather Station with Paul Mollomo
    Learn how the Arduino Interactive Development Environment (IDE) interfaces with the microcontroller device and sensors to create a mobile weather station.
  • Learn to Solder with Open Bench Project
    Learn how to solder by making a small light up pin.
  • Lightsaber Building with Casco Bay Saber Works
    Learn about building custom lightsabers and see some on display.
  • Maine Green Power
    Maine Green Power is “greening” Makers@PPL by providing renewable energy to match the needs of the event. Stop by their information table to learn more about renewable energy and do some coloring.
  • Locally Made Spirits with New England Distilling
    Check out a display of locally made spirits, highlighting the distilling process by which they’re produced.
  • Parfait Measuring Madness! with Two Fat Cats Bakery 1pm-3pm
    Learn about weights and measurements while you build your own delicious pastry parfait!  You’ll use weights, cups and measuring spoons to measure and weigh your own delicious parfait.  Come hungry!
  • Preserving the Harvest with UMaine Cooperative Extension
    Ever wonder how to preserve all those great garden vegetables? This demonstration from University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Master Food Preservers will teach you the basics of canning and freezing, including how to use a water bath canner to preserve pickles and jam. Tasty samples will be available too!
  • Sowing Native Seeds with Wild Seed Project 10am-1pm
    Get your hands dirty while learning how to sow native wildflower seeds that you can take home and plant in your yard! Explore how native plants play a vital role in keeping our ecosystems healthy and whole.
  • Earth Skills in the Forest City with Rewild Maine
    Rewild Maine will examine several different abundant, locally available, native, and invasive plants that may be harvested sustainably and employed as weaving material for basketry, including: oriental bittersweet, willows, red osier dogwood, autumn olive, birch bark, cattail, milkweed, nettles and pine needles. Learn how to identify and collect material from these wild plants in a way that will encourage more prolific future growth and discuss the history of how humans used to “tend” wild gardens all over the world! Come learn how to make a basket, try out string-making, process acorns into flour, or use a bow-drill kit to start a fire. (No actual fires will be started.)
  • RAD LIBS! with Pickwick Press
    Join Pickwick Press for Radical Community Mad Libs: an interactive letterpress printing activity wherein all participants can print words that will be added to a giant Mad Lib wall!
  • Business Card Cubes with Zev Eisenberg
    Create interlocking cubes with ordinary business cards—no tape or glue required! Link them together to build amazing paper sculptures. A great use for that box of old business cards you have lying around
  • Pop Up Books with Peg Richard 12:30pm-3pm
    Learn about the techniques and materials for making basic and expanded pop-up books and design a small pop-up card to take home.  Suitable for ages 7 through 97 (children younger than 7 should bring an adult to assist).
  • Bike Part Art: 3Dimensional making and Metal Arts for children with Ann Thompson
    Join local artist Ann Thompson for some hands-on sculpture making with found materials and old bike parts.
  • Japanese Spring Crafts with Friends of Aomori
    Make Japanese crafts at these family workshops related to our relationship and ongoing activities with Maine’s Sister State of Aomori, Japan.
  • Mail Art and Letter Writing with Postmark 1206 10am-12:30pm
    Put a bit of happiness on paper. People love getting mail and it’s a great way to start a conversation. Make some mail art with decorated envelopes and stationery, hand lettering, vintage and current stamps, and fill-in-the-blanks love letters. Learn about the basics of letter writing and the popularity of typewriters – and test some out! When we’re done, you’ll have something to mail.
  • Basket Weaving with Eric Stark
    Try your hand at basket making by learning how to make a small Japanese Knot Basket.
  • Maine Tool Library
    Check out another type of library in Portland where you can borrow garden tools, sewing machines, sanders, and more!
  • Maine Charitable Mechanic Association
    Stop by MCMA’s table to learn about who they are, what activities they do, what their historic building is like and how they support the “maker community”
  • Healthy Hand Washing with the UNE Infectious Diseases Association
    Learn about healthy hand washing and practice healthy hand washing techniques, and then evaluate your results under a black light! Put together a hand washing/hygiene kit to take on the go, and grab some bacteria coloring pages & crayons for the kids.
  • Brain Fun! with the ACCP Student Chapter at UNE 10am-12:30pm
    Come try your hand at some brain coloring activities and play with brain 3d models.  Try out some brain games to test memory and attention span, with prizes for the winners!
  • Effects of Smoking Cessation with UNE SNPhA
    Come see a demonstration of what the inside of a smoker’s lungs would look like after smoking a pack of cigarettes. This visualization is created by screwing a hole in the cap of a 2 liter bottle filled with cotton balls, inserting a cigarette into the hole, and simulating smoking by squeezing the bottle to mimic the contraction and expansion of lungs while inhaling. This causes the cotton balls to become yellow/brown from the tar and other chemicals that stay in the lungs after smoking cigarettes. Make a timeline and try to match the amount of time after quitting with the health benefits observed in the quitter.
  • Blood Pressure with NCPA – UNE Pharmacy
    Learn all about blood pressure with fun fact questions and prizes. Create your own stress ball and learn how stress relief can lead to a reduced blood pressure.
  • Diabetes 101 with Rho Chi – UNE 10am-12:30pm
    Learn about diabetes and non-pharmaceutical ways to decrease blood sugar through diet and exercise. Learn how to carb count with fun handouts and a variety of foods you can arrange them in the order of least to most carbs. Build or color a healthy portion plate to remind yourself of good eating habits.
  • Mental Makers with University of New England
    Do some calming coloring, make stress balls, take a depression screening through a vetted questionnaire, and learn about mental health resources in the Portland area.


  • Making Pins with Megan Turner
    Get creative and make a piece of wearable art to take home. With comic pages, blackout poetry, patterned fabric, and drawing materials, the possibilities are limitless!


  • Little Lanterns with the Youth Enterprise Zone
    Use wire and creativity to make traditional olive oil lanterns to illuminate the night.
  • Making Slime with Slime Science
    Come see the science and fun of making slime.
  • Make-A-Shake-A with 317 Main Community Music Center
    Use empty water bottles from the recycling bin to create a simple musical instruments to play at home! Bottles are filled with rice and glitter and gems, sealed with duct tape, and decorated with ribbons and stickers.
  • Needle Felting – Spring Chicks
    Use colorful felted balls and toothpicks to create tiny chicks coming out of a shell and create a mini nest with tissue paper and paper rolls.
  • Planting Seeds with PPL Staff
    Join some of our children’s librarians in planting seeds to take home from PPL’s very own seed library!
  • Elementary Makerspace Tech Tips with Dyer Elementary Student iSquad 12:30-3:00pm
    Join grade 4 and 5 Dyer Elementary School Students while they demonstrate learning and teach about Scratch and LittleBits electronics. Audience members will learn how these tools can be used to demonstrate learning in the school environment.