Tag Archives: Maker Hall

Girls World Expo, Sunday, November 6th At The NYS Fairgrounds

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This just in from the TACNY email list.


* Do you love science and technology?

* Want to encourage girls ages 11-18 to explore STEM careers?

* Volunteer at the Girls World Expo, Sunday, Nov. 6 at the NYS Fairgrounds!

We’ll have at least 20 Maker Hall “Adventures.” Use our ready-to-go hands-on fun kits, or design your own station with a developer grant. First shift sets up from 8a to noon (free breakfast); second shift hosts Adventures 11a-5p (free lunch).

Please encourage your friends and coworkers to register for an amazing day of challenging minds and encouraging dreams! Email Mary Eileen Wood with your questions, and don’t miss this great day!


Click for a larger view.


Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information, visit tacny.org.

TACNY Maker Hall At Dr. King Community Day, 30 January 2016 – CNYO Members Welcome To Join In!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

CNYO will once again be running an astronomy and space science booth at this year’s TACNY Maker Hall on January 30th. I welcome anyone who wants to sign up through the yingtrsef.org links below and hang out to talk astronomy, demonstrate telescopes, keep track of my Mars and Ceres (and other) rocks, etc. If you’ve interest in attending, please drop me a line at and then fill out the registration info (below). We’ll plan the number and busy-ness of the booth pending interest.

* Maker Adventures Info: www.yingtrsef.org/makeroverview/
* Volunteer Registration: www.yingtrsef.org/maker-hall-volunteer-registration/

Details below from the official TACNY email announcement.

2016 TACNY Maker Hall @ Dr. King Community Day

The 2016 TACNY Maker Hall joins the Dr. King Community Day on January 30th! We are looking for individuals and organizations to volunteer their talents to run Adventure Stations. For two years, this well-known Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) outreach program has gathered over 300 Makers of all ages. The more volunteers, the more varied and engaging the event becomes!

What? TACNY Maker Hall at the Dr. King Community Day

When? Saturday, January 30, 2016
* 09:00a-12:30p Set up by Adventure Hosts, then lunch and time to explore the Maker Hall
* 12:30p-02:30p Families play in the Maker Hall
* 02:30p-04:00p Clean up

Everyone is invited to the Dr. King Unsung Heroes ceremony and the meal to follow!

Where? Syracuse City School District (location TBD)

Who? All ages, pre-K through senior citizens

Why? Because STEM is FUN!

2016jan12_mlk_fairAdventure Hosts can use existing “station kits” or you can come up with your own Adventure ideas that can me later used for year-round exploration by CNY schools, libraries and youth organizations. Maker experiences create inexpensive and fun windows into a variety of STEM fields. Children, teens and adults discover the importance of STEM as they play!

If you or your organization is interested in supporting this highly deserving STEM outreach program, please reply or email with your list of volunteers and your Adventure Station idea no later than January 8th, 2016. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. Can’t make it? Donations are welcome (TACNY is a 501(c)(3) organization) so we can expand access to Maker experiences and the fascinating world of STEM!

CNYO Observing Log: A Quick Overview Of The Last Month

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

CNYO members (several of them, anyway) have grown tired of sorting and cleaning their eyepieces this extra-frosty winter (not me – I think it’s fun!) and are getting ready for a long Spring and Summer of (hopefully) using them at observing sessions. With several scout, school, and public sessions scheduled or in the works, CNYO already has several successful events under their collective belts. A quick sampling of updates from these events is listed below.

1. North Syracuse Community Room For International Dark Sky Week – Tuesday, April 14

It happens to all of us at some point – we become so wrapped up in the minutia of a hobby or profession that we completely forget that the vast majority of the rest of the planet has little idea what we’re rambling on about. Light pollution – the encroachment of civilization on amateur astronomy due largely to a lack of forethought in the way people and businesses attempt to turn “the night” into “the late afternoon” – has been shown to have negative impacts on health (melatonin!), safety (street light glare!), security (blind spots big enough to eat hay!), energy conservation (714 lbs of coal are required to light one 100 W bulb for a year!), and the environment (plant cycles can be affected by stray light and the nesting and migration habits of several species have been shown to be affected by a lack of proper day/night cycles).

Within minutes of my starting the lecture on light pollution, I discovered that this was a completely brand new topic to half of the audience. The tone of the lecture changed rapidly from complaining to educating (you do learn to think on your feet a bit when giving public lectures), and I am optimistic that the audience left with a new understanding of the problem and many of the solutions now available (from simple solutions at Home Depot and Lowe’s all the way to legislation recently passed in Albany).

2. Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods – Friday, April 17

Bob’s monthly sessions at Baltimore Woods are, bar none, the most reliably-scheduled public observing events in CNY. Despite a bit of light pollution to the East-ish from Marcellus and Syracuse and a tree line that eats the very edge of the horizon for early-setting objects (and we’ve still managed to catch some photons from special objects at tree level in the past few years), the rest of the sky is wide open for constellations, planets, and the Messier Catalog.


A colder Baltimore Woods session (February, 2015).

Bob reports that this session hosted about 20 enthusiastic observers – a sure sign that CNY was starting to thaw in April (as only the bravest/craziest made it out to the earlier sessions this year).

3. NEAF 2015 – Saturday & Sunday, April 18 & 19

Ryan Goodson and I missed the April 17th BW session, instead heading Southeast with vehicles full of both New Moon Telescopes Dobsonian parts and a very large fraction of the Stuventory. The NMT NEAF 2015 booth was (quite fortuitously) wider than expected, providing ample room for (1) Ryan to showcase a newly completed Dob, collapsible truss assemblies, and a new design prototypes and (2) me to run the biggest little used equipment sale I’ve seen in my 5 years of attending NEAF. I am pleased to report that the vast majority of the Stuventory is now in the hands of dedicated amateur astronomers from all around the Northeast and as far away as the Dubai Astronomy Group!


4. Maker Hall At Parent University – Saturday, April 25

Larry Slosberg, Ryan Goodson, and I lucked out with clear skies and a large crowd of kids and adults alike at the Dr. King Elementary School. What could have been a demonstration table indoors turned into a full-on solar session outdoors in the playground, complete with some of the best and busiest views of the Sun I’ve ever seen through my Coronado PST.


A snapshot of the observing crowd.


A prominent prominence at 2:30 p.m.

As has been the case with all of the kids’ sessions to date, half the kids keep you on your toes and the other half approach observing with their pint-sized science caps on (these ones are easy to pick out as they spend a good long time at the eyepiece).

5. CNYO At Beaver Lake Nature Center – Thursday, April 30

Our weather-alternate session at Beaver Lake started a bit on the soupy cloud cover side, but ended up clearing nicely just after sunset to give Bob Piekiel, Chris Schuck, Larry Slosberg, and myself reasonable skies for the Moon, Jupiter, Venus, and a few bright Messiers. With a short lecture on the observing highlights for the year (see below) already loaded on the laptop, several of us waited out the Sun indoors while others allowed their eyes to adjust gradually as the skies darkened and the early bugs slowly cooled out around the main rotunda.


Attending observers at Beaver Lake.

We’re tentatively scheduled to host a Summer observing session late August and will post as the schedule finalizes.

6. Syracuse Rotary Lecture – Friday, May 1

2015may10_rotarymbs_rgbAn invitation to speak for 30 minutes (which turned into nearly an hour with questions) to the Syracuse Rotary Club provided the perfect excuse to prep a lecture on all of the major astronomical events happening in 2015 (planets, eclipses, International SUNDay, NASA missions, and comets). How often do you end up hearing about something interesting the day after? The +30 attending Rotarians were very welcoming and engaging during the lecture, with several questions taking us far, far away from the Powerpoint presentation into all areas of astronomy. If you ever get the opportunity to lecture to a Rotary Club, take it!

Maker Hall At The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration – 17 January 2015

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

The posted email below from Mary Eileen Wood of Ying-TRSEF and OCC (and CNY’s most active STEM educator!) is an announcement both for interested CNYO members and anyone else who might have a club, organization, or garage full of kid-friendly equipment who might want to set up a booth to participate in the Maker Hall festivities. This will be my 3rd such event (Ryan Goodson and I having run CNYO booths at the two events (announced HERE and HERE) in 2014) and I can tell you that these Maker Faires are THE place to be for anyone interested in (and interested in promoting) STEM education.


If anyone has interest in hanging out at the CNYO (and NASA Solar System Ambassador) booth, please let me know at admin@cnyo.org. If you’ve an organization that wants to participate, please contact Mary Eileen Wood using the contact info at the bottom of the email:

For the first time, the MLK Committee is incorporating a Maker Hall into the Dr. King Celebration, giving the STEM community the Fowler High School gymnasium. TACNY members can once again delight a diverse array of families from our community with science and technology!

Wonder what a Maker Hall is? It’s basically a Mini Maker Faire – lots of stations with fascinating hands-on activities for all ages that engage families in exploring great Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fun.

The adventures already include the IEEE station with flashing circuits, the NASA Solar Ambassador’s space rocks, OCC’s “virtual engineering” center, the U.S. Army team’s hands-on gear set up, DIY spaghetti engineering, Rotary’s basketball math … and whatever YOU would like to bring!

* Register ASAP to volunteer for the Maker Hall – we are preparing for 500 attendees!

* Our Hall’s volunteer shift is 10a-3p, so you will be provided with a free lunch!

* This link gives you the flyer (PDF) for recruiting more volunteers.

* This link is the invitation (PDF) to attend the Dr. King Community Celebration. Send it to everyone you can, so we have LOTS of people at this great STEM party!

* Questions? Call Mary Eileen Wood at 315-468-1025 or email trsef@verizon.net.

* Plan to dress comfortably and have a GREAT time!