Nothing uncool about Geek Street Fair

Participants could participate in the construction of what would become a 10-foot-wide ball of hexagonal shapes with MoMath. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Participants could participate in the construction of what would become a 10-foot-wide ball of hexagonal shapes with MoMath. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, October 13, Google hosted its third “Geek Street Fair” at Union Square Park. The midday event, attended by students from nearby schools, included interactive booths where kids could see robots, get behind the wheel of a student-built racecar and play games with a science or tech twist.

Participating companies and organizations with booths included Flatiron’s Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), Google (which has an office in Chelsea), Facebook, Pinterest, The Cooper Union, First Robotics and Black Girls Code. At the Cooper Union booth, the racecar on display, which students raised $50,000 from sponsors to build, was a popular stop.

The vehicle, which has an engine taken from a motorcycle, will later be driven in a 120-car race at a Michigan speedway. Students also got to don virtual reality goggles designed by Samsung, fish for candy using a mechanical device brought by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and build what would eventually be a 10-foot-wide ball of smaller balls compiled of hexagon-shaped panels with MoMath.

The idea behind the event is to inspire kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and computer science.

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