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Technology and Arts celebrated at 2nd annual PAX Museum expo

Lexington Park, MD – The PAX River Naval Air Museum and Visitor Center hosted its second annual Technology and Arts Expo, inviting Southern Maryland residents to enjoy various activities and see special exhibits put on by the art and tech communities.

The event, which occurred from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, featured representatives from Sailing Center Chesapeake, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), NAVAIR, ABSI, and Boeing.

When patrons entered the museum, they paid the entry fee for the event and then had free rein over the museum. Many immediately congregated at the ABSI drone exhibit where you could wear virtual reality goggles and see through the eyes of a drone, looking at yourself from a third-person perspective. They’d then get in line to fly a miniature drone through an obstacle course encased in a net, a favorite from the previous year according to Dan Bramos, who coordinated the expo.

“We started out a few years ago as a part of the Maryland STEM festival in November but decided to bring it out as its own entity and include the arts with it,” stated the organizer who also serves as the vice president for Activities (a volunteer position on the museum’s board of directors). Bramos expected to see somewhere between “300-500 people” and was not discouraged by the weather the week brought. “We’ve actually seen increased numbers on bad weather days from people who want to get out of the house.” Luckily for Bramos the weather Saturday was ideal, and the snow was melting.

Once the excitement over flying a drone left the kids they’d begin to work around the floor to the other exhibits. The NAVAIR table attracted many event-goers, featuring a “Squishy Circuits” activity where the kids would learn about the conductivity of Playdough and how to complete a circuit, lighting small bulbs sticking out of the contraption. They could then get a free glowstick along with an explanation of how the glowsticks work and the chemical reaction occurring inside, illuminating their faces as they looked on in excitement.

Another table was NAWCAD who taught children coding by allowing them to play the game pong–essentially table tennis in video game form-–on a free code teaching software called Scratch. The software works by providing the pieces of code to the user but forcing them to figure out how they fit together much like a puzzle. NAWCAD additionally had a fabrication trailer behind the museum where interested patrons could learn about 3D printing and see the process in real-time.

Back inside of the museum, patrons could build paper airplanes with Boeing, pay a little extra to use the museum’s flight simulators, or explore the St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s tiny house on display. One of the college’s leads on the project, Professor of Art Carrie Patterson, was even present to answer any questions about the tiny home.

For more information on the museum please visit the PAX River Naval Air Museum website.

Contact Jerold at staffwriter@thebaynet.com.

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