It's all about creating with technology at the third annual MakerX festival that will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 29 in the Lausche Building of the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.

MakerX, the Columbus Maker Expo, is a volunteer and nonprofit effort, bringing people together to share their work in technology and engage the public, according to its website, makerx.org.

"MakerX provides a fun, high-energy environment to bring together people of all ages, interests and skill levels to spend a day interacting around creating with technology," said Bill Ball, one of the event's planners and a scholar-in-residence at Capital University.

"It's a chance to see close up the awesome things people in our region are doing with new technologies -- from schools and universities to inventors, hobbyists, start-ups and established corporations," he said.

Ball said the event is unique to Columbus.

"The closest thing in other cities are Maker Faires," he said. "However, MakerX is more tech-oriented and broader in its coverage."

Ball said a key "new thing" for this festival is free admission.

Mike Kunselman, a Gahanna Lincoln High School engineering teacher and Fab Lab adviser, said he's mostly involved in the planning phases of the event and will help run it.

"I was there at the first day of inception with Bill Ball a few years ago," he said. "I have helped to drive this event toward an education focus with an emphasis on attendee participation. We didn't want this to be a vendor-driven event."

Kunselman said Gahanna's high school typically has had a booth, showcasing what students have created in class.

"This year we have chosen not to have a class booth but instead have encouraged a few of the students to have their very own booths at MakerX," he said. "We have discussed satellite MakerX events to be hosted at the Lincoln Fab Lab in the future. There will be quite a few attendees at the event that are students from GLHS."

MakerX will feature more than 70 exhibitors from the region, sharing their passion for creating with technology, Ball said.

The event will include robotics and drones of all types, video-game and virtual-reality projects, digital art and music, 3D printing, digitally designed crafts, high-tech transportation, science-fiction-themed cosplay, inventions and entrepreneurship.

Such educational institutions as Columbus State Community College, Denison University and the Point at Otterbein University will be represented.

Ball said the event is for all ages.

Evelyn Van Til, a planner of the event and state program coordinator for Apprenti, said, "MakerX is a unique tech event that inspires innovation across verticals and industries, so you see people creating solutions in VR and health care, gaming and the arts, robotics and coding, digital design and transit.

"It's a truly remarkable event connecting up STEM (education), start-ups, leaders in tech and the larger community."

One exhibitor, Pyramid Community Development Corp., is holding a repurposing and recycling drive for used but functional IT equipment to support its technology courses in the Linden neighborhood of Columbus. Computers under five years of age, printers, scanners and flat-screen monitors are among the items that will be accepted.

Parking at the Ohio Expo Center costs $5 per vehicle, and food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information about the event, including a list of exhibitors and a map of the venue, go to makerx.org.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla