Laura Tobin, Dublin Maker
Dublin Maker co-organiser Laura Tobin (right) has fun with rainbow glasses at the Inspirefest Fringe festival. Photo by Robbie Reynolds/Conor McCabe Photography

Dublin Maker movement inspires kids of all ages

24 Jun 2015

Children and grown-ups were invited to Merrion Square for the closing day of the Inspirefest Fringe festival to interact with science and technology and, best of all, to have fun with it.

On a sunny day in Dublin last Saturday (20 June), numerous clubs and volunteer-led organisations banded together to deliver a day of workshops intended to inspire more public engagement with science and technology.

CoderDojo sessions taught kids how to build a website, while Coding Grace looked after the adults looking to learn a bit of Python. Hardware hacks organised by Girls Hack Ireland incorporated light and textiles, with a little help from Intel, Insight and TOG, Dublin’s hacker space.

Mixing it up was the newly founded Trinity Walton Club, who brought coding, hardware, physics and everything in between to the shelter of the marquees, while Mint Tek Circuits’ Hardie Kids showed kids aged seven-and-up how to build circuit boards.

This make-and-do mélange fits right into the ethos of Dublin Maker, a movement celebrating its annual show-and-tell event next month during the city’s Festival of Curiosity.

The Dublin Maker movement is growing

“Dublin Maker is this event where we get people who make things in their bedrooms, in their sheds, in their garages – [people] who just kind of make kooky stuff, and Dublin Maker is a chance for them to show it off,” said co-founder David McKeown.

“The maker movement is really growing and there’s lots of support, lots of groups: us, TOG, Walton Club – they’re all here at Inspirefest today!”

The Inspirefest Fringe closing day offered a taster of what’s to come from the Dublin Maker movement ahead of the showcase in the Science Gallery on 25 July, as well as introducing young and old to coding for the first time.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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