Marine Makerfaire Comes to Southeastern CT Sept 29

Ignite announces one-day exploration of marine technology for students in 7th to 10th grades at Project Oceanology 

Groton, CT – Ignite, a program of Thames River Innovation Place, is pleased to announce the area’s first Marine Makerfaire, an exploration of marine technology for students in grades 7 through 10. The full-day program will take place on Saturday, September 29th from 9 am - 4 pm at Project Oceanology in Groton. The registration fee of $35 includes an outing on a research vessel, Arduino kit and lunch. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register, visit
This one-day program explores marine technology - how to make it and how to use it. Students in 7th to 10th grades interested in marines sciences, computer programming, robotics or biology are invited to participate in this hands-on workshop. Students will gather for an overview of marine technology and how it combines computer programming, robotics and the marine sciences. Students will then each have a session on the water on one of Project Oceanology's vessels learning about the technology used on board. There will also be a session learning Arduino programming and about how sensors are used in marine research. The day will close with group discussion on how these technologies can be used to solve current challenges. Groups are facilitated by experts in each field.
The Marine Makerfaire program launches with this full-day marine technology seminar to introduce students to the main concepts. Through this seminar, students will be exposed to various marine technologies in classroom, field and on-the-water settings. In alternating sessions, students will drive underwater vehicles, inspect various drifter and sensor designs, tour the UCONN underwater vehicle lab and use direct and remote sensing technology on a 65-foot research vessel. They will also be introduced to basic Arduino programming, led by professional programmers. These students will then be prospects for ongoing electronics and marine science meet ups throughout the school year and for the main Marine Makerfaire program, a weekend overnight Marine Makerfaire in Spring 2019. Students will meet with other interested students and start to plan their spring projects for the makeathon.
“Marine Technology is integrated into the fabric of Marine Science. Every aspect of studying the ocean involves technology in one way or another and those tools are indispensable to understanding the ocean and the organisms that live there,” said Michael O’Connor, the Chair of the Board of Project Oceanology and a science teacher at Waterford High School. “Students interested in marine research need an understanding of the technology they will use in the field, while students interested in technology will be exposed to the application of that technology. We are excited to bring a program that brings the two together to southeastern Connecticut.”
Locally, there are a large number of marine technology companies, military users and academia, making southeastern Connecticut the ideal location to host a hands-on and experiential marine technology intensive and introduce students to opportunities in the field.
This program is a collaboration of Ignite (a program of Thames River Innovation Place), Project OceanologySpark Makerspace and BioCT Innovation Commons.This program is made possible with the support of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and  the Pfizer Community Foundation. Ignite, a program of Thames River Innovation Place is made possible with support from CTNext.

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About the Marine Makerfaire
The Marine Makerfaire’s goal is to engage students interested in marine biology and/or computer programming, bringing them together to create solutions to environmental and aquaculture challenges. The first part of the program will be a one-day seminar that will introduce participants to the issues that will be a focus, marine technology, basic Arduino (and/or Pi) programming, and marine biology concepts, and emerging conditions such as sea level rise and climate change.
Ignite is designed to spur new ideas, businesses, and innovative growth in the Thames River region by producing events, sponsoring education, and connecting entrepreneurs into the business development support system. The Ignite program is established under the Thames River Innovation Place and is made possible by support from CTNext . STEM programming for students is part of Ignite’s mission to create future innovation and build future workforce.