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Alison Gowans
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April 3, 2024 – Technology and creativity will meet at the Cedar Rapids Public Library with the Maker and Technology Fest, coming to the Downtown Library on Saturday, April 13, from 10 am-2 pm.

Visit the library for fun demonstrations, hands-on activities, and inspiring presentations that showcase the ways area organizations and makers are using both maker and emerging technologies – including technology available to use in the library's Maker Spaces, such as the 3D printer and Glowforge.

Here are some highlights of the day: 

11 am, Whipple Auditorium:Innovation at the Heart of Healing: The Hospital Makerspace Journey” with Rose Hedges, DNP, RN and Nick Dodds, BME of Generate @ UnityPointLearn about the development of a makerspace within a hospital setting, led by the dynamic duo of a nurse and an engineer who run the space. They will dive into the valuable lessons learned and showcase the innovative projects that clinicians are creating, offering a unique blend of healthcare and creativity. 

1 pm, Whipple Auditorium: “What is AI, and How Does it Impact Us?with Joseph Engler, Pr. Technical Fellow and Chief AI Scientist at Collins Aerospace – Learn about AI from Engler, the creator of Collins Aerospace Enterprise AI, named Allison. Engler is responsible for the direction of the Allison AI Lab, including research and development, product generation, and AI services.  

Throughout the day:

Technology and Architecture with OPN – Use an Oculus 3D virtual reality headset or a gaming controller to walk through a digital building before it is built, and learn how designers and architects use virtual reality and visualization software to conceptualize new ideas, experience volume and scale, and integrate materiality into spaces. See physical architectural models to learn how architects use 3D printing technology and digital fabrication when designing new buildings.

Robotics Team Demonstrations – Robotics teams from Xavier, Metro, and Linn Mar high schools will run mock matches of their robots. Students and coaches will be on hand to answer questions.

Light Up Cards with Collins Aerospace – Families are invited to this hands-on interactive activity to take home.

Iowa City Public Library Digital Maker Space – The Cedar Rapids Public Library Glowforge and tools from the Iowa City Public Library will be paired for this activity – use Adobe Illustrator to create and print a unique design!

Marion Public Library Maker Space – Learn about technology available at the Marion Public Library and see their knitting machine.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Experience Sponsor: Sunrise Builders

Learn Sponsor: Alliant Energy