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Meet the Maker: NASA

By September 10, 2017September 17th, 2017No Comments

Since the inception of our festival five years ago, NASA has been a wonderful contributor to KIDfest (formerly Silver Spring Maker Faire). The festival highlights not only NASA’s technological accomplishments, but their unique role as “professional makers” in our government.

Each year, NASA brings out new and different hands-on activities for the public.  This year’s offerings are:

  • Space Age Gizmos for Promising Engineers including a laser communications transmitter/receiver, a portable Raspberry Pi system tracking satellites for real time communications, and a Software Defined Radio (SDR) receiver that can tune in anything from planes, trains, automobiles, commercial AM/FM radio, PA systems and, of course, any CubeSat satellite orbiting overhead at the time!
  • The Space Operations Learning Center (SOLC) is unique in its approach to teach kids and adults the basic concepts of space operations using the latest web and software technologies.
  • Understanding Optics uses polarizers, diffraction grating glasses, and lenses with lasers to show how positive and negative lenses behave, as well as a set of parabolic lenses which explains how reflection appears like “magic”.
  • And back by popular demand, the NASA Space Digital Photo Booth! 1-2-3, smile! The digital photo booth camera captures your face and superimposes it into an astronaut helmet atop of a cool science image. You get to walk away with a neat photo keepsake from KIDfest.