Sometimes there are events that you attend which leave you inspired. The Maker Faire had just that kind of impact on us.
Maker Faire started in the Bay Area 8 years ago. It is a fair that focuses on “making” – making innovative gadgets, making arts & crafts, making yummy goodies, making homegrown vegetables and farming. The name itself is about making – “maker” and “faire”. (Faire is the old English spelling of fair, and faire is also the French word for to do or to make.) Maker Faire is a gathering of techies, hobbyists, business people in the “make” industry, educators and families wishing to introduce the world of making to their children. The fair is meant to inspire curiosity, innovation, creativity and encourage making – whatever it may be. The Maker Faire has/will be held in the Bay Area, New York and Rome. There are Mini Maker Faire events across the US and several internationally, including Canadian destinations like Vancouver, Waterloo and Calgary.
At this year’s 8th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire, there were displays, speakers and/or hands-on maker camps on 3D printing, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, robotics, green technology, electronics, and some arts & crafts, food making and home farming.
My favourite Maker Faire moments:
- The Maker Shed – This section is more of a store, but it also housed electronic gadgets from Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects, mini robots to a marshmallow gun made out of PVC pipes.
- Hearing a tune played on a banana piano – yes, the keys of the “piano” are bananas
- Checking out the advancement of 3D printers
- Being amazed at the coffee-foam printing machine – watch out coffee foam art baristas 😉
- Seeing a tesla coil in action
- Remembering the days of fun playing Oregon Trail on the early Apple Computers – many old Apple Computers were setup alongside a selection of 5.25 inch floppy disks with old school games
- Seeing the mounds of LEGO made me wanting to build my own creation to add to the awesome LEGO worlds on display
The Bay Area Maker Faire was well organized, and had something for everyone of all ages – age 4 to the wise. Plenty of free and paid parking. Clear signage. Excellent staff/volunteer coverage to answer questions. Many food trucks were available on each end of the fair to provide refreshments and food for purchase. For parents with young children, upon entry, the Maker Faire provides kid tracking services. Your child’s name is registered to a bracelet number that he/she wears. In the event where you have been separated from your child in the crowd, the Maker Faire staff will be able to contact you from the information registered with your child’s bracelet number. Seating to rest the feet or enjoy lunch is, however, limited. But everyone made due by resting on the grassy areas or unoccupied pavement. Expect to spend a full day exploring in the outdoor and indoor displays.
Wishing you inspiring, creative and curious times! To making things!