Innovation on display at Children’s Museum – News – – Dover, NH

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DOVER — The brilliance on display at The New Hampshire Children’s Museum on Saturday almost outshone the sunny skies, as the fifth annual Mini-Maker Faire was held inside the museum and on the grounds.

Amazing displays of innovation and technology took place, most of which included hands-on activities for children of all ages.

Jane Bard, museum president, said the fair celebrates the tradition of creativity, learning, invention and innovation. She said there were 65 participants from across the Seacoast, with 23 booths being newly added this year.

“I think we have kids from 2-92 here today,” Bard said. “This is about many different organizations and groups coming together here today and showcasing the best of what they do.”

Booths were set up inside the museum, and outside on the upper and lower properties. One Washington Mill next door was also full of things from basket weaving to robotics.

Kids could build a robot, make a clay sculpture, watch a trebuchet sling large ice chunks into the river, see magic, get their face painted and visit with the roaming Ghost Busters and Pirates.

One of the most popular booths was that of C.B. Gitty Crafter Supplies of Rochester. Staff members were on hand to help kids build and take home a version of a cigar-box guitar.

“My boss, Benjamin Baker, discovered these as a child,” said Glenn Watt. “He quickly learned that one can make music with a stick and a can. He’s very clever and his store is very popular.”

Along with the guitar, which really did play, kids took home a songbook with instructions on how to play a few real songs, like the classic “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

“I know how to play the ukulele,” said Durham resident Mary Ellen Moore, 11. “I can play this.”

Maddie Dwyer, 5, of Dover, watched as Watts helped create her guitar.

“There is so much to see here,” said Jamie Dwyer, Maddy’s mom. “I love that they get to do things. I think kids learn better when they can do it themselves.”

The Ghost Busters had a booth, offering ghost-related crafts.

“Kids can build their own marshmallow ghost,” said Ghost Buster Frank Dubay. “They can make ghost traps and we have ghost to go inside of them.”

For those who wanted the perfect way to say something without speaking a word, Strafford resident Jay Fitzpatrick had a new card game called “Play Your Card.” The cards are handed out to people you want to say something to, like “have a good day,” “thank you,” or “sorry.”

“This is our first event today,” said Fitzpatrick, there with his son Noah, 11. “I wanted to create a positive way to express yourself. We are big proponents of literature in my house. We leave each other little notes around the house. That grew into this idea. What do we say to each other? What do we want to say, but maybe can’t?”

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard staff did what they do best — submarines, kids style, as part of the Sea Perch program.

A new word was learned by kids visiting the Shipyard booth. Flinking is what happens when a sub has neutral buoyancy, allowing it to sit still and silent.

“Flinking means it is not floating, and it is not sinking,” said Tina Ouellette, an engineer at the Shipyard. “We can show how they flink, and what happens if anything changes, they will either sink or float.”

Small submarines and a tank of water allowed the children to try out their flinking. Larger models of Sea Perch vessels in a larger tank allowed kids to navigate their own seas.

The University of New Hampshire Lunar Cats were there showing off the lunar mining robot they built for a NASA competition. Senior Jesse Feng said they have entered the competition for eight years and have done well.

“Each year we learn more from what we build, so each year we build better,” said Feng. “We recruit the underclassmen so our project can continue.”

On – 27 Aug, 2017 By Karen Dandurant