October 22, 2019: Maker Fair 2019 drew more than 7,000 people to Colombo’s Trace Expert City and showcased aspiring inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs from across Sri Lanka,. The event, hosted by the U.S. Embassy and the American Center, featured more than 60 exhibitors and presenters, 50 corporate and 11 university partners, and more than 150 youth volunteers. It also featured over 130 robotics teams who competed in Sri Lanka’s largest-ever robot battle.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires (CDA) Martin Kelly described his visit to the Maker Fair as inspiring. Delivering a keynote address at the award ceremony, CDA Kelly noted that “innovation and entrepreneurship are driving forces behind economic prosperity.” He urged participants to continue their efforts to “make ideas happen, make innovation the norm, and make solutions for real world problems.
CDA Kelly reminded Maker Fair attendees that Embassy-sponsored American Spaces in Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy, and Matara offer free STEM programs, entrepreneurship classes, and other resources for youth who want to be part of Sri Lanka’s growing maker-culture. “The United States takes pride in our culture of innovation – a culture rooted in free market principles and the idea that anyone with persistence and imagination can succeed as an entrepreneur.” Through its American Spaces, the U.S. Embassy seeks to encourage and cultivate innovation as a vital tool in the pursuit of sustainable, inclusive economic development.
The American Center in Colombo conducts free programs on 3D printing, coding like that which can be learned from well-known coding apps, and web development in addition to classes on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics). These programs enhance skills and inspire the next generation of makers and innovators in Sri Lanka. All programs are open for all Sri Lankans.
The American Center is located at 44 Galle Road, Colombo 03 and it is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can connect and follow the American Center via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmCenterSL/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/amcentersl/ to learn about upcoming programs and events.