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Campus Celebrates Innovation, Creativity

In the spirit of innovation, creativity, and community, more than 300 students, faculty, and staff came together for the inaugural Maker Fair & Innovation Block Party this week.  

The event celebrated university students and faculty who bridge solutions with real-world problems and societal dilemmas through research and civic involvement. Students and faculty shared their expertise and creative talent through research posters, crafts, and designs.  

President Pardis Mahdavi opened the event with a welcome and appreciation for all the participants.  

“I want to commend all of today’s participants for the incredible work you are doing and the tremendous courage it takes to present your work publicly. Thank you for doing that and sharing your incredible work with all of us,” she said.  

The all-day celebration around Citrus Lawn also included music, food trucks and about two dozen tables ranging from Integrated Business Program student business products and art to handmade crafts and even real plant and insect inspired gifts. 

Syndri Alvarez

Senior Syndri Alvarez shared a collage  she made using a Cricut machine for her digital art. 

“This was really nice – particularly in seeing  so many ways creativity is being expressed,” said the art student. 

Elsewhere, business student Joey Duarte was impressed the latest Future Technologies (ulvfutech) club project using mind-controlled drone technology. He met and spoke with the engineer Trevor Martinez, a physics major, about possibly helping with finances and seeking sponsorships for future innovations.  

“This is revolutionary. I’m blown away by the opportunity to be more innovative,” said Duarte of the drone that would move based on learned movements such as up when a connected individual smiled.  

Business, biology, art, education, history, health, and other professors later shared teaching innovations. A series of emerging industry topics were shared like historical digital archiving, immersive art experiences through virtual art exhibitions, experimental 3D photography and digital designing, along with artificial intelligence and drone research.  

This event was inspired and expanded from the Mini Makers Fair started in 2016 to highlight student ingenuity. This was shortly after the start of the Maker Movement, which described the growing trend of people choosing to build their own technology products, art, crafts, or other items rather than relying on consumerism. 

The University of La Verne has long been a champion and resource for innovative communities that aim to build, craft, and create solutions, including as host of some of the largest conferences in the region. The Makerspace in the Wilson Library provides tools, such as 3-D printers and laser cutters, to support the ideas of developers inside and outside of the university community.