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Tag Archives: Mark Mathias
COVID canceled the 2020 Maker Faire Connecticut. It may do the same this year.
But Makers are creative, resourceful and nimble.
And not just with their annual showcase of all things scientific, environmental, magical and cool.
As Makers picked up on all the vaccine buzz — and noticed how eager folks are to let others know they’ve gotten the shot — they had their own Archimedes “Eureka!” moment.
Quickly, they created 9 pins in 2 sizes for people to buy, wear, and show their commitment to eliminating the virus.
But wait! There’s more! All proceeds help fund Remarkable STEAM — Maker Faire’s parent organization.
In true Westport Maker fashion, the pins were all designed — and made by hand — here.
Remarkable STEAM offers “06880” readers a 25% discount on all pins. Just click this link.
COVID vaccine pins “make” great gifts for friends, relatives, employees, customers — anyone who is vaccinated, in fact. For quantity pricing and other questions, contact Mark Mathias by phone (203-226-1791) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a pastime as old as, well, the hills.
When snow falls, Westporters head to their favorite sledding spots.
Birchwood Country Club, Greens Farms Elementary School and Staples High are old favorites. When the town bought Winslow Park in 1988, it quickly became another cold weather hot spot.
Not much has changed since our parents and grandparents sledded, tobogganed and slid down these slopes. That’s the way it should be.
The only thing new, in fact, is this view.
Check out Mark Mathias’ drone footage. And — this being 2021, when we worry about these things — be assured, it’s all FAA regulations-compliant.
The latest victim of the coronavirus: Slice of Saugatuck.
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has canceled the annual event, planned for September 12. The food tasting and retail experience draws thousands of people to Saugatuck each fall. There’s music and kids’ activities too.
The announcement is a disappointment to festival-goers, restaurants and shops — and Homes with Hope, which benefits each year from the proceeds.
Hungry for live music? Hungry period?
Head to the Milestone in Georgetown this Saturday (July 25, 7:30 p.m.). There’s an “old school music variety show,” featuring Aztec Two-Step and the Old School Revue with the Saugatuck Horns, plus surprise guest artists.
The large patio offers plenty of space for social distancing. But — as it always does — great music draws everyone together.
There’s not even a cover charge!
Westport was well represented in this year’s Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards.
Sarah Deren of Experience Camps took home first place in the “Entrepreneur of the Year: Scaling Company” category, while Mark Mathias won in the “Community Favorite — Entrepreneur — Social Good” division for his work with Remarkable STEAM.
Mathias also earned honorable mention in the “Judged — Entrepreneur — Social Good” category.
Remarkable STEAM received honorable mention in the “Community Favorites – Event” category, for producing Maker Faire Westport.
Traffic has picked up lately — though it’s still lighter than pre-COVID levels.
Nevertheless, this sight on Morningside Drive South is one you don’t see too often here. The riders are Greens Farms residents.
A group of friends gathered at the Longshore golf course 10th tee last week, to unveil a bench and plaque honoring Greg Tapfar. He died in December, of complications from ALS.
And finally … the Summer Olympics were set to begin in Tokyo this Friday. The pandemic has pushed the quadrennial event back to 2021. So it will be another year before we hear:
Last month, Westport entered the record books.
Dozens of Maker Faire-goers joined in a globally crowd-sourced art and tech project. They created the world’s largest 3D printed duck.
Now they’re figuring out what to do with it.
The world record bird will appear at the Great Duck Race this Saturday (June 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Parker Harding Plaza). He/she/it will cheer on much smaller plastic ducks, as they bob along the Saugatuck River.
But then what?
Maker Faire maestro Mark Mathias has put out an APB/SOS. The duck needs a home.
It must be indoors — in a place at least 6 feet tall. (Or 8 feet, if you want to keep the top hat.) Add another 5 inches, if you hang onto the wooden platform too.
Mathias’ best hope is that it go to someone who can display it for others. Wherever that is, it must stay there. Unlike actual ducks, this was not designed to move much.
It could promote something: creativity, art, even a business, Mathias suggests.
He hopes to deliver it to its new home immediately after the Duck Race. The person who loaned the trailer needs it back STAT.
If you’d like the world record duck, contact Mathias ASAP: email@example.com; 203-226-1791.
Anthony Buono — Westport’s assistant superintendent of schools — will serve as acting superintendent, Board of Education chair Mark Mathias said tonight.
Colleen Palmer will be on medical leave until August 1, the Westport News reports. That’s when her retirement — announced last month — officially begins.
Buono came to Westport last July from Branford, where he was associate superintendent of schools.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Colleen Palmer has announced her retirement, effective August 1.
She has been an educator for 35 years, and a superintendent for 15. She was hired by Westport in 2016.
Board of Education chair Mark Mathias thanked Dr. Palmer for “her many contributions to the Westport Public Schools.”
He added, “She has worked tirelessly on behalf of our students through a challenging time for our community. Her priority throughout has been the growth and success of each child. Her commitment to continual improvement will guide our work for years to come.
“We know that Dr. Palmer will continue her dedicated work on behalf of the Westport school community during her remaining time as superintendent and we wish her all the best for the future. We appreciate Dr. Palmer giving appropriate notice so that the board can assure that the work of the district proceeds without interruption.”
At Monday’s Board of Ed meeting, members will begin the search for a new superintendent.
Each spring, a giant inflatable duck floats in the Saugatuck River. It’s a fun, funny promotion for the Sunrise Rotary Club’s Great Duck Race.
This spring, he gets a companion.
On April 27, the 8th annual Maker Faire features a Great Duck Project. Attendees will try to set a world record for the largest 3D printed duck.
It’s “the first of its kind global crowd-sourcing science and art initiative,” says Mark Mathias. He’s the founder of the Westport’s Maker Faire, and a Sunrise Rotary member.
“Global” is no exaggeration. People from around the world are invited to 3D print and submit pieces. They’ll be combined into a 6-foot tall, 476-piece duck.
Mathias takes “around the world” literally. He reached out to the McMurdo station in Antarctica, to see if they’ll participate.
He even went galactic, asking if the International Space Station could print a part, then return it to earth on a supply mission. (Party-pooping NASA said no.)
But keeping the Great Duck Project terrestrial should be interesting enough.
Don’t have your own 3D printer? No sweat. There are plenty around, in libraries, schools and offices.
Once the world-record duck is printed, it won’t disappear. You can see it at the Memorial Day parade — and, of course, the Great Duck Race.
(The Great Duck Project is a collaboration of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club and Greens Farms Academy, which serves as the “technical lead.” For more information or to participate, click here. or contact Mark Mathias: firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-226-1791.)
Presidents have their State of the Union address.*
Governors have their State of the State.
This Sunday (February 10), Jim Marpe tells us all the State of the Town.
The first selectman will be joined by Board of Education chair Mark Mathias. After they deliver their thoughts on the town and schools, RTM deputy moderator Jeffrey Wieser will lead a question-and-answer session.
Judging by one criterion, the state of the town is very good: There are refreshments afterward, in the lobby.
Mark Mathias — founder and chair of Maker Faire Westport; founder and president of Remarkable STEAM, Inc. — writes:
Seven years ago, Maker Faire Westport launched in Westport. We had no idea what we were starting. It sounded like fun, and was meant to be a party for geeks.
Organizations such as the Westport Library and a handful of volunteers put on the event. The Sunrise Rotary Club gave us the seed money, along with other sponsors.
That first year, we hoped for 800 attendees. 2,200 showed up.
After 7 years, Maker Faire Westport is the largest single day event in Connecticut. This past spring, it attracted 13,500 attendees. 15,000 to 20,000 are planned for the 8th annual event on April 27, 2019. Of more than 770 Maker Faires globally, Westport is in the top 5% of attendance.
From its geek roots of 3D printers and robotics, Maker Faire Westport has become the “go to” event for creative, innovative people, and a showcase for what Connecticut has to offer.
Companies such as Sikorsky (helicopters), Electric Boat (submarines) and ASML (semiconductor chips) demonstrate the types of high tech manufacturing going on in Connecticut.
Colleges and universities like Sacred Heart, Fairfield, University of Bridgeport, Housatonic Community College and Norwalk Community College show off their educational programs and graduates.
And organizations such as the Westport Young Woman’s League and League of Women Voters showcase their good works in the community.
The value of what Maker Faire Westport is doing was cemented in my mind when I was invited by the Italian government to attend Maker Faire Rome in October.
Produced by the Italian Trade Agency and Rome Chamber of Commerce, it promotes and highlights Italian innovation and businesses around the world.
Delegations of reporters and businesspeople were flown in from around the world. They joined 115,000 attendees, 700 selected projects and visitors from 61 countries.
Italy is not alone in its vision. China has 3 large Maker Faires, which also promote economic activity.
What is offered at Maker Faires is far more than just geeky fun. It’s a showcase of human capital, businesses, vibrancy, and a place where people will want to work, live and invest. Maker Faires are inspiration, substantiated by proof.
In other words, Maker Faire is a way to help grow an economy: businesses, schools, libraries and communities.
For the 8th annual Maker Faire Westport, we will continue to embrace creative people and showcase the best that Connecticut offers. We will work to let the world know and see that value. We will continue to inspire local people to learn about opportunities for personal growth, skills and career opportunities.
We welcome all who want to be a part of Connecticut’s economic and social future.
If you have an initiative already in place, we can work with you to leverage it on a larger scale. If you want to gain visibility and access to people who should know about you, we can work with you. If you have a vested interest in the success of Connecticut, work with us to help realize your success. If you have a quirky or unique hobby, talent or project, we want you too.
Planning is underway for next year’s Maker Faire Westport. Please contact me to discuss how you can benefit from this initiative: email@example.com; 203-226-1791.