Inspirefest 2017’s free Family Fringe to be a maker’s paradise this summer

12 Jun 2017

Scene from the Family Fringe event at Inspirefest 2016. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

If you’ve got kids who love tinkering around with absolutely anything, then it might be worth a visit to Inspirefest 2017’s Family Fringe event this July.

This summer could be the year that you inspire your child to be a future maker of weird and wonderful things, with help from Inspirefest 2017’s Family Fringe event.

Hosted at Accenture’s The Dock building on 8 July, the free event is set to have some of Ireland’s most exciting workshops for kids, allowing them to create whatever they like, from board games to their own soft robots.

Coders, makers and soft robot creators

Many of last year’s Family Fringe workshop participants are set to return due to popular demand, including coding masters Girls Hack Ireland, CoderDojoGirls DCU and Coding Grace, which will be showing kids of all ages and talents how to build amazing software, and even hack our clothes.

Also set to return is the Trinity Walton Club, a not-for-profit STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educational enrichment programme for secondary-school students.

For those who like to craft their own creations, there are plenty of things for makers this year, with all the equipment needed to build anything from toys to an invention that could change the world.

Both Dublin Maker and Tog will be on hand again, volunteering their time and dedication for passionate makers.

The soft robotics workshop has been well documented on, with former Inspirefest speaker Dr Dónal Holland attending to show kids – and adults, too – what can be made using the Soft Robotics Toolkit.

There’s also a chance for kids who love board games to put their good ideas to work and create their very own games, with GameCraft UnPlugged providing all the necessary tools.

Or how about helping budding architects find their style with help from Arckit, a hands-on tool for exploring architecture and developing STEM skills?

Young children can practise manual dexterity and spontaneous creativity, while advanced students can use Arckit to integrate their models with industry-standard software such as Autodesk Revit and SketchUp.

‘It’s amazing what is created on the day’

A must-see on the day will be Inspirefest speaker Dr Niamh Shaw, who will be performing her hit show, Our Place in Space, which merges astrophysics with particle physics in a highly interactive event for all the family.

Speaking of what’s in store, Family Fringe workshop organiser and co-founder of Coding Grace, Vicky Twomey-Lee, said: “I’m delighted for the opportunity to be involved with Inspirefest Fringe festival again.

“It’s amazing what is created on the day, where kids and adults get to be makers and not just users. Being part of that is just the most wonderful feeling in the world.”

Those interested in taking part can reserve their place here, but be advised that there is expected to be a high attendance, and people are being asked to take either a morning or afternoon slot.

The morning slot will run from 11am to 1pm and the afternoon slot will run from 1pm to 3pm, which should give enough time for those attending to catch all of the shows and workshops in each one.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book now to join us from 6 to 8 July in Dublin.