Innovation Day

After a year of being open, Wilton’s Innovation Station still delights and surprises.
It especially surprises those who still don’t know it exists, say Susan Lauricella and Mary Anne Franco, who lead initiatives within the station.
“Still today, so many people see the Innovation Station and say, ‘What is this?’” Lauricella said, laughing.
“They have no idea what’s available.”
The pair are hoping this Saturday will play a large part in drawing new attention to the Innovation Station, which they say is a true community asset.
On Saturday, May 30, from 11 to 3, a host of makers, creators, chefs, and designers will descend on Wilton Library for its first-ever Innovation Day.
The day is meant to raise awareness for the library’s Innovation Station, which features a 3D printing station, high-end software packages and even an electronic sewing machine.
“People can see what we have that they can use,” and “makers” will be on hand to show them what kinds of things they can produce, Lauricella said last week.
“We hope people get inspired to start making things,” she continued. “Maybe they’ll join the amateur radio club, or they’ll go home and start baking cakes. We hope they’ll be inspired and say, ‘I can do that!’
“There is such a do-it-yourself movement out there. We don’t have to be buying everything, we should be a little more creative.”

Vendors


Some of the booths to be put up in the library on Innovation Day will feature programs internal to the library, like the robotics team, but a number of outside vendors are also planning to attend, including the Fairfield County Makers Guild, Greater Norwalk Amateur Radio Club and Jet Engine Turbines (tomkotech.com).
Other activities include arts and crafts for kids, like henna tattoos and portrait painting, technology exhibits on a 3D Doodler table, open source robotics and robots at the Denver Airport, and information about the library’s telescope lending program.
The event will take place during lunch, so The Pizza Truck and Phil & Tom’s Ice Cream Truck will also be on hand.

Already in use


While some in the community haven’t yet had the chance to explore the Innovation Station, Lauricella and Franco said teenagers in the community have quickly learned to take advantage of the area.
“They want to learn how to design and create things, and they’d like even more access [to the station]. I don’t mean that it’s a limitation on our part. The limitation is on their own time,” Lauricella said.
She said it’s surprising that, even with the help of so much technology, how much time and effort go into a lot of kids’ projects.
“They love to make it print and see, Does it work? Does it need tweaking or redesign?” Franco said. “A lot of them want to keep going and take it to the next level.”
So far, Franco and Lauricella say, the VHS convertor and 3D printer are the most-used items in the Innovation Station. They hope Innovation Day will help expose other interesting tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, a computer-operated sewing machine, and a wide range of soldering tools.
The library’s Innovation Day will take place on Saturday, May 30, from 11 to 3. Information: 203-762-3950 or wiltonlibrary.org.