Heritage Middle School engineering students showcase their skills at first-ever Maker’s Expo

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The items on display at Heritage Middle School’s first-ever Maker’s Expo offer a glimpse of what the school’s engineering students can produce.

A Rubik’s Cube. Slinky. A dragonfly toy with moveable wings. There are also a variety of clocks, LED light lamps and multiple kinetic art sculptures including Archimedes spiral bowls and illusion cubes. 

The projects — all designed and constructed by students using the equipment in the school’s engineering lab —  are a culmination of what students have learned since the start of the year. 

“It’s a way for them to get involved with the entrepreneur part so they understand what it takes to make a product, market it and also become the masters of their own destiny,” engineering teacher Jason Siwek said. “If you can make your own product, manufacture it and do it well, you can manufacture your own future.”

The expo runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 at the school’s media center where visitors can fill out feedback forms to help the student engineers refine their products. Students will also be on hand at the event during their engineering class to talk to teachers and students about their projects in person.

One eighth-grader said she is excited to share her project at the expo — a jewelry tree she constructed with a classmate to hang earrings, bracelets and other jewelry she plans to make in class. 

She has created jewelry at home for friends and family members but doing it for the expo means something different altogether.

“It makes it high stakes,” she said. 

Eighth-grader Elijah Baly-Dieng will have several items on display at the expo, including a clock he designed using a laser cutter and a dragonfly toy made from the 3D printer. But he hopes another project he created with a classmate catches visitors’ attention.

They designed a pair of T-shirts, one with the message “Dab Me Up” — slang for a friendly way to greet someone, usually by a pound hug, fist bump or chest bump. The other shirt has the word, “ight,” — slang for “sure” — printed on it.

“I hope someone wants to buy them,” he said.

Another eighth-grader has taken on one of the most complex projects among those that will be on display — a Rubik’s Cube made from the 3D printer.

She loved the idea of taking on a challenging project for the expo. 

“It’s a really cool idea to show off your skills,” said the student, who also created an LED lamp. “The fact that other people are going to  see it, other people in the building, other students, other teachers. It’s going to be really cool. People are going to see all the hard work that you’ve done this whole semester.”