MMF Review Session

Thank you for participating in the conference call!

General business

    1. Thank you to all … and congratulations! We not only threw a fantastic and transformative party for 500+ people, but also achieved the grant goals for NASA and Gifford, and expanded our network of STEM advocates in CNY.
    2. Lost pair of boots and lost pair of mittens. Has anyone seen them?
    3. Only ~25 of our 115+ volunteers signed media releases, but NASA requires them of everyone at the event. PLEASE reply “yes” to my “MEDIA RELEASE” email.

What is still needed

    1. “Quotes. MANY quotes!” Please email them to me ASAP for the NASA and Gifford reports, as well as to add to photos we post.
    2. Someone to shrink the photos to small files that will be safe to post on the internet
    3. Cell phone candid shots for “the Kodak moments” you witnessed (yes, please send them from your cell phone to my email address)
    4. All of the photos taken by designated photographers (NASA report due this week!)


    1. Beth Richards notes, “Parents kept saying ‘thank you’” to Adventure hosts.
    2. Every Adventure Host with whom MEW spoke is in for “the next Mini Maker Faire.”
    3. Ling Allen (registration), Cathy Racine (Blue Hat), Cathy Scott and Theardis Martino (Rotary basketball) talked about the excellent volunteers with whom they worked.
    4. Serhend and the IEEE crew were delighted with the response to their station.
    5. Neal Abrams (ACS) has already met with me about expanded involvement in MMF, Ying TRSEF and other STEM outreach. These are dreams coming true!
    6. Anton Ninno from Southside Academy wants the MMF at his school next time!
    7. Curt Lindy has made a commitment to secure fossils for us for ALL of the Ying TRSEF community events! THANK YOU!
    8. Our “security officers” wore green shirts with bright armbands. They caught the flooding bathroom quickly and dealt with it; also trained to monitor every corner of every MMF area so there was only CHILD-SAFE space.
    9. LeMoyne and Onondaga were represented by actual volunteers, not just materials, even though Jan 18th was still winter break!
    10. Damian noted that their station was “beyond busy” with lines at both sets of activities. Parents loved touching the Mars and meteor fragments as much as the kids.
    11. DIY DNA – long lines with patient people, even the K-2 kids were just as enthralled as the teens! Several mothers said it was wonderful!
    12. Did anyone hear, “Why can’t science always be like this?” We could really use that quote if someone did catch it.


    1. Marjory Baruch at SU ECS suggested a great array of potential Adventure Hosts:
      • Walt’s Hobby Shop
      • JoAnn Fabrics
      • Some hardware stores
      • Commercial Art Supply
      • SU/Upstate depts of nutrition
      • SU engineering learning communities
      • SU College of Architecture
      • the auto mechanics program at OCC
      • AIA
      • OCCRA
      •  Scott Nicholson  (SU I-school prof)
      • Game Designer’s guild (not just video games)
      • Model airplane clubs
      • Local ceramics guild
      • Knitting/crocheting groups
    2. Neil Abrams at ESF Chem suggests accessing the CNY American Chemical Society’s activity kits. (Good news: These are also available to teachers for classroom use and to STEM activists for non-MF events.)
    3. Beth Richards (high school STEP) suggests pre-check of every kit for complete instructions (NASA curriculum resources, Ying TRSEF FSA guidebooks, whatever)
    4. At every bus stop lock in a “key leader” who not only serves as bus host but also encourages their network to preregister and follows up. La Liga’s bus registered contingent came because of La Liga’s director J.
    5. NASA Solar Ambassador Damian Allis noted that while apples are really good nutrition, sticky apple fingers are NOT good for materials. Note: Next year have hand wipes at every station!
    6. More leadership re flow in traffic patterns of attendees. At opening, escort to specific Adventures for good starting distribution, then just have people “begin at the beginning” and ask them to work through, just passing those stations with lines and going through the cycle until they get to everything they want.
    7. Provide updated master list, large wall layout maps, arrows on floor, large numbers at each Adventure.
    8. Offer 10×10 and 10×20 stations.
    9. Emphasize science fair opportunities! Have science fair projects set up all throughout the space, if possible with successful kids presenting. Provide a sample list of projects from former fairs by levels.
    10. Have the inflatable screen related to science, not just dancing.  NASA sites would be GOOD! Assign as an intern project. (MEW apologizes that she didn’t get these to Timothy in advance; she dropped the ball, not he.)
    11. Make sure the necessary set-up schedule is written into the contract in full detail – location, time period, facilities and support, etc. Cannot take a chance of losing set-up again.
    12. Add a clause that requires the site organization to communicate any changes in terms noted above at least 24 or 48 hours prior to the event.
    13. Get onsite tech support, vacation or no vacation. This includes network and facilities. (Alternatively, contact numbers and instructions regarding minimum requirements, platforms supported, and passwords for network access. Must have a dry run PRIOR to day of event, and other set-up related testing.
    14. Suzanne notes that MMFs would be a powerful tool to engage the staff of research facilities in CNY, asking them to bring posters/demos of what they are actually doing! Would inspire kids AND potentially connect them with mentors for science fair projects.
    15. Using MMF as Ying TRSEF / CNYSEF volunteers recruiting tool: Suzanne and Bobbie talked re judging, etc.
    16. Suzanne sent out RG to all SCSD, and Fowler already expects two teams to register by end of week. Hallelujah!
    17. Next time Angela wants to handpick her security crew – they need to be very responsible and committed to staying on task.

Since so many volunteers asked to be part of future events, let’s look at some options:

    1. January – exploring a more formal MLK connection for the future? Only useful for RG and VISION, too late really for science fair expansion. If we have human and cash power, go for it.
    2. February – bringing MMF Adventures to Jefferson Community College’s Super Science Saturday? (Anyone want to go up Feb 8th to check out this year’s?)
    3. March – MMF wrapped around the NYS Rube Goldberg Machine Challenge at Onondaga on March 2nd. This one is already locked in, folks! Onondaga’s team with online engineering and with social media is already signed up. Others?
    4. June – Genius Olympiad at SUNY Oswego has invited me to conduct a MMF as part of their week-long hosting of students from around the world. Want in?
    5. July or early August – Would anyone be interested in a summer MMF to take advantage of the outdoor Maker options? OEC? MOST? Saltspace? Concerns re getting families there, but also interest because gives kids good things to do. Concerns re volunteers with needing to compete with vacations.
    6. Fall – ideas? MOST’s Sept lull? Piggyback on fall festivals in CNY? Bobbie and Ernie interested in MOST connection. Suzanne noted the CNYSEF could be encouraged to use it for fair outreach.
    7. Curt – Whatever plans we make must be realistic and funded!
    8. Suzanne – likes summer outside – wonderful with arts and environment and Onondaga Parks e.g. Longbranch. Hard to get parents in the summer. Likes fall to promote sc frs for spring. IN FOR AN ONGOING COMMITTEE!!!

Next steps?

    1. MEW and Ying TRSEF can continue to be lead for grantwriting, etc. and processing donations through its 501(c)3. However, there must be an ongoing working committee for any future MMF events. Please email if you are IN for down the road.
    2. Note: Nojaim’s is IN once a site/date are in place, bringing with them a phenomenal inner-city network of activities and involved families. They are not up for those larger event management tasks.
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