Young Makers Showcase their Inventions on the Global Stage
The winners of the Enjoy Science: Young Makers Contest Year 2, Temi Netphukkana and Wiraphon Bunchan, two second-year students at Surat Thani Technical College, as well as Piwat Suppawittaya and Supasit Pan, two 8th grade students at Bangkok Christian College, reflected on their experience from participating in the Maker Faire Bay Area 2018 in San Francisco, United States.
“Prior to the contest, we discussed many ideas with each other and with our advising instructor. During the contest, we participated in a maker capacity building workshop that gave us opportunities to interact with makers who specialized in a variety of disciplines such as engineering and programming,” said Wiraphon Bunchan, a member of the winning team from Surat Thani Technical College. “We had instructors providing technical advice as well as recommendations on project improvement, and even troubleshooting support during the developmental phase and all the way until the onsite testing phase.
These activities allowed us to learn during site visits where we put the invention to real use under the support of experienced makers. All of these experiences were fun and inspired us to study more science. We also gained pride from making a product that benefits our own community and helping to grow the maker culture within Thai society.”
Inspired to reduce the everyday traffic problems in front of their school, the winning team in the general education branch created an Electronic Traffic Management system. “Our project addressed one of the real-life problems that parents and students have to face every day” said Piwat Suppawittaya. “Our team and advising instructor found that it was a huge challenge to improve the flow and safety of traffic.
We ran into many problems since the inception of the project, and there were many instances of trial and error. But through consultations with professional makers and our participation with activities under the Chevron Enjoy Science Project, our team was able to resolve the issues and complete the invention.
The entry into the Maker Faire Bay Area 2018 invigorated our eagerness to build on our invention. We broadened our horizons and took another step in our evolution as makers by viewing so many inventions and interacting with makers from around the world. We believe that we can take what we learned and apply it in Thailand. We hope to create more innovative products in the future that are useful for our country.” The Maker Faire Bay Area 2018 is considered one of the premier Maker Faires in the world and attracts makers from all corners of the globe who travel to San Francisco to experience cutting-edge innovations and interact with renowned makers.
The winners of the Young Maker Contest did not only attend the event, but also took the stage to present their invention before the audience. The four students embodied the strength of the Thai maker community as they elaborated on how their inventions addressed safety issues within their community. The global professional makers praised the Thai teams for their determination to support their communities through their inventions.