Kathleen Jamison, 4-H Youth Development specialist, received an invitation from the White House to attend the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18, 2014. At the Faire, the president hosted makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future by using cutting-edge tools and techniques to bring their ideas to life. Kathleen represented 4-H along with Lisa Lauxman, National 4-H Youth director, and Jim Kahler, National 4-H program leader.
While at the Faire, she met Michael Snyder, director of R&F for Made In Space and a former 4-H member. Snyder displayed a 3D printer that will enable astronauts to make parts and tools on-demand, and this summer will be the first manufacturing device to ever be used in space. Snyder told Jamison that he would not be where he is today if it were not for 4-H.
“He was enthusiastic and obviously accomplished,” said Jamison. “And he put the brilliance of his work into practical application for the benefit of science and our country… so typical of a lifelong 4-Her.”
In addition to 4-H, Virginia Tech was also represented at the Faire by Nicholas F. Polys, affiliate professor for the Department of Computer Science who had a booth. Jamison used the event as a way to network with makers, corporate directors and policymakers, including a young man from Alabama who she said would be a great inspirational speaker for teens at 4-H Congress next year.
“In Virginia 4-H, we’re serious about investing in our children. Not only will they make and invent our future, they have the power to reclaim our ‘Made in America’ heritage,” said Jamison.
— Sara Lepley, communications and marketing intern