Free digital making event for families in Preston

Pop into the Harris Museum this Saturday to see a host of exciting things created by Preston digital makers

This Saturday, a digital making showcase called MakeFest Preston, will be held at Harris Museum, demonstrating the range of things people can build and create themselves with low cost technology.

Running from 1pm to 4pm, the family friendly event hopes to inspire attendees to learn more about affordable hobbies, and the many career opportunities available in STEM and digital making.

Preston-based digital makers will be showcasing some of the exciting things they have built during lockdown using cheap technology, with inventions ranging from computers and games to an automatic watering can and a full size working humanoid.

This R2-D2 robot is just one of the inventions on display this Saturday.

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    MakeFest Preston is organised by Preston #RJam, a digital making community group, and employees of exa.foundation, a not-for-profit educational organisation who promote the teaching of computing and technology in schools.

    One of #RJam’s founders, Alan O’Donoghue, 50, who also works for exa.foundation, said: “Did you know you can invent, design and build things that people are creating over in Silicon Valley? If you didn't, then come along! We won't teach you on Saturday, but we will inspire and engage an enthusiasm within you for these kinds of things. Will you walk away feeling more confused? Hopefully not. Will you feel more enthused? Absolutely!

    “It's just a chance for us to say to the public, this is what we do in our spare time, and just like when people have been inspired by gold medal athletes on TV, maybe one child on Saturday will see a presenter and want to do what they’re doing."

    Alan, a former teacher who has lived in Preston for 40 years, added: “I’m proud of Preston and this is where we can show the pride of Preston, under the digital maker umbrella.”

    Alan O'Donohoe (pictured) left the teaching profession so that he could better promote digital and technology education.

    Preston #RJam meet monthly to share their passion for digital making with affordable technologies, and have members ranging from 5 years old up until their eighties.

    This is #RJam’s first physical event since April 2020, and they plan to do three more in 2022, the 10th anniversary of their foundation.

    Tickets are not required for the event but those interested are encouraged to register to receive updates to this and future events.

    6 year old Jay, a member of #RJam, built this robot in his house.