TAMPA, Fla. — The Florida State Fair is entering its final weekend but the connections that have been made between vendors and the public could last a lifetime, like the AMRoC Fab Lab, in Tampa, which is encouraging our next generation of inventors.
Terri Willingham is used to showing off 3D printing inside the 7,500-square-foot lab at University Mall, but she said having a couple of booths at the fair is just as good.
“Oh it’s the best thing ever, we’re super excited about being here at the fair,” said Willingham. "A fab lab is a kind of makers space that has an academic, educational, workforce component and the whole idea behind AMRoC is to help people have a safe creative space to learn how to do things.”
Willingham said it’s so convenient and worthwhile to be represented in a fair that’s in their own backyard.
"Yeah, that’s gold, because people aren’t necessarily going to find us, there’s a lot of people in the university area, nobody thinks to go to the mall to find a fab lab,” said Willingham.
Robotics, from the ground to the air, to what’s going on underwater, lab partners can’t wait to reel in new curious minds.
“So even if they come away and they don’t know the word aquaponics they know that fish and food grow together, work together, and that’s the natural way of things and then they want to learn more about that,” said Dhalia Bubaca, with Wellfed Community.
Clinton Millsap runs Tampa Drones from the lab. He said something as simple as a drone obstacle course could be monumental when it comes to building his client base.
“This is nice to have an event such as this with so much traffic,” said Millsap. “We do some drone building courses, we do some tutorial things, we try to teach flight.”
The AMRoC Fab Lab is always soaring to new heights with ideas and they are excited to have such a platform to show them off.
“I love it, you just get to see the whole world in two weeks,” said Willingham.