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Beloiters present at New York Maker Faire

October 20, 2017
By Meg Kulikowski'21

Beloit students show kids at the 2017 World Maker Faire how to make their stress-reducing slime.

Beloit students show kids at the 2017 World Maker Faire how to make their stress-reducing slime.

 

Six Beloit students were a slime-filled hit at this year’s World Maker Faire. The students hosted their own Beloit booth and presented stress-reducing slime to the diverse crowd of authors, speakers, and creators from tech giants to small businesses.

“YJ Na’20 kind of came up with the idea from her experience,” says Chris Mazza’20, who proposed the idea of a Maker Faire trip. “We innovated our own personal recipe of what we found to be the best kind of mixture--you know, texture, consistency, and how it held up over time. I remember the moment when we first kind of got our hands on this slime. The room--the air--was just energetic.”

YJ and Chris were joined by Emma Dawson’18, Hoodish Domun’18, Chris Fraga’19, and Yusuke Hatano’20 when they presented the homemade slime in the New York Hall of Science Sept. 23-24.

“The slime attracts lots of small kids, and at the same time, lots of parents,” says Yusuke. “They told us that they wanted to make it at home.”

The group’s trip was funded by the Beloit Funding Board, which is composed of elected students and facilitated by Student Engagement and Leadership.

The team was also aided by the Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit, where Chris had taken an entrepreneurship class with the center’s director Brian Morello’85, in the fall of 2016. Through Brian’s class, Chris became familiar with Beloit College’s own Maker Lab, located in CELEB’s building, which aims to create and promote design, manufacturing, and building projects on campus. The space is decked out with 3D printers, scanners, sewing machines, irons, and other tools. Chris currently serves as supervisor and treasurer of the lab.

“We [at CELEB] were there as advisors to help him create his plan and application,” says Brian. “He came forward with an idea and we helped him make sense of it. CELEB gives student groups the space, mentorship, and occasionally financial assistance to make their projects come to life. I think in the end, it was a really good experience in project management,” he says.

“We were big hits,” Chris agrees, referencing the success of the group’s booth at the fair. “We were getting a lot of foot traffic because we were right near the entrance to the Faire. We were getting people of all ages to come to our booth, asking about the college, and making our slime. To see the expressions of people visiting our booth, and just to know how much of that experience we would be bringing back to campus, really made it worth it for me, and I think for my team as well.”