Hot Springs Sentinel Record – Museum festival promotes technology, creativity

Throughout the day Saturday, children and adults alike flocked to Mid-America Science Museum to fiddle with a host of contraptions.

The fifth annual Tinkerfest drew visitors from both inside Arkansas and out of state to tinker with the contraptions on display. The event featured 50 “tinkering stations” from area organizations set up throughout the museum.

Doug Herbert, the museum’s education director, said that the festival was initially inspired by the Makers Movement, which encourages individuals to use technology to create items for their own use. He said that, more and more, people are beginning to use technology to build their own products as opposed to buying one from a store.

“The idea behind it is that people are now starting to actually do things that, before, accounted on a manufacturer to do,” he said. “It goes from everything from extremely traditional type things like textiles and clothing, et cetera, all the way up to building your own computer or your own drones.”

Jim Miller, the museum’s marketing director, said that Tinkerfest is not the only one in the state of Arkansas, and the stations change each year. He said that the concept of Tinkerfest is “continuing to grow” throughout the state and at home each year.

The Sentinel-Record/Mara Kuhn BUBBLES: Evan Hunt, 3, of Little Rock, makes a bubble as Grayson Purdy, 4, of Benton, looks on during Tinkerfest at Mid-…

Miller said he was pleased with the festival’s attendance at noon. He said that by its end, the festival had yielded a total of 1,000 visitors, tinkerers and volunteers.

Tinkerfest’s stations encompassed a wide variety of concepts within the field of “tinkering.” Everything from interlocking wooden blocks to circuit boards were set up throughout the museum for public use.

“Our engineering, technology, mathematics, all of those things kind of come into play when you think about tinkering, whether it’s taking a…

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