Summer is over, but Max Miller of Roslyn and the Sunrise Day Camp STEAM Shack are still raking in attention.
The 8th annual World Maker Faire New York, a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness known as the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, took over the New York Hall of Science in Queens on Saturday and Sunday, and Miller, along with Louie Kotler, Miles Miller and Sophie Rubin, took home the Best in Class and Editors Choice awards among 450 exhibitors.
Miller, 17, said the booth earned Best in Class because of its engaging activities and friendly feel, and the Editors Choice win is due to the STEAM Shack’s mission to provide children with cancer the ability to learn science, technology, engineering, art and math at hospitals and at Sunrise Association’s summer day camp at Henry Kaufmann Campground in Wheatley Heights.
Through their Sunrise on Wheels program, volunteers bring stimulating activities to 15 children’s hospitals daily, giving patients something to do that’s both informative and entertaining during often long days for appointments and treatments.
While the STEAM Shack operated out of a temporary facility this summer, Miller said the new permanent building will be ready by next summer.
“Childhood cancer is very curable, but nearly all of them fall behind in school because of missing classes for months at a time while they’re in the hospital or in treatment,” Miller said. “To give them anything in STEAM, which has such a demand for jobs, is a great benefit.”
Miller originally met Daniel Troy with iDesign Solutions during a robotics competition with his Friends Academy team, and he quickly convinced Troy to donate 12 Vex IQ Super Kits to the program. Now, the group is one of the shack’s biggest supporters.
“Seeing kids, who may have missed out on robotics at their school, driving VEX IQ robots and having fun in a friendly competition was a proud moment for our company,” iDesign Solutions co-founder Andy Fenos said.
Rubin, 17, of Roslyn High School, volunteered to help Miller demonstrate how the 3-D printers and Vex robotics work, and was fascinated by the latest innovations in bioengineering available at the event.
Kotler, 16, of Roslyn High School, said he went into the event with high hopes for the day but was still overwhelmed by the friendly nature of the neighboring booths, vying for the same attention and awards.
“A lot of people came in and were familiar with the STEAM shack and Sunrise Day Camp, and everyone was eager to learn and listen, even if they were presenting next to us,” Kotler said. “That sense of community was really strong and made it a great experience.”