Invention, creation and innovation: HCC thrives at Houston Maker Faire

Nov 27, 2017


Curiosity, imagination and a desire to make the world a better place through innovation were three of the common denominators shared by thousands of high school and college students who attended the Houston Maker Faire. The event took place Oct. 21 – 22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It brought together what many consider, the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Houston Maker Faire is a massive gathering of students and educators, who show, share and compete with projects designed to solve problems. Houston Community College had its own Innovation Pavilion at the event.  More than 100 HCC faculty and staff checked in as exhibitors. Students focused their efforts on topics that ranged from environmental issues to consumer needs.

Ravi Brahmbhatt, Director of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship at HCC, took several students to showcase their work. He was inspired to see the growing enthusiasm of young problem-solvers.

“We had one of the largest turnouts this year,” Brahmbhatt said. “I am so proud of our HCC students for sharing their cool projects and classroom technology. We are also very thankful to our deans and chairs for coming and networking with the community.”

One of the participants was Ursela Knox, an HCC Business Management student. Her invention was a transportation system that moves people from rural areas to sectors with better employment and educational opportunities.

“I am pleased at the public’s approval,” Knox said. “I am glad they thought my project was something needed. I got all thumbs up.”  

Bhaskar Sarkar, an international student who recently arrived at HCC from Bangladesh, was impressed by his peers’ vision of the future. “The Houston Maker Faire and the IDEAS pitch competition have been incredible platforms for talented young minds,” Sarkar explained. “I am in awe at how passionate my classmates are about changing the world for the better.”  

Some of the winning projects presented by students included a system that uses drones and GPS tracking to identify swarms of mosquitoes to reduce diseases. Another winning invention was a fiberglass pipe for the oil and gas industry designed to reduce the possibility of spills.

“By giving them tech and up-skill training, we help students gain tools to inspire action,” Brahmbhatt added. “We encourage students to come up with innovations. We believe they will trigger others to do the same.”

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