Life-size mousetraps, Swap-o-Rama-Rama and Raspberry Pi robots are just a few of the interesting activities set up at Maker Faire 2013.
Maker Faire was created by Make Magazine to be an event that "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset." This goal is reinforced by the "Faire" in Maker Faire, which is the French verb "to do."
From September 20 to September 22, thousands of people flooded in and out of the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY to experience the excitement of the interactive fair. Among those people were some of Midwood’s own, more specifically members of the science research program. Students are encouraged to volunteer at Maker Faire, for extra credit, but one could easily argue it is a win-win situation.
"Maker Faire is interesting and fun. We [as the science research program] represent the science and engineering that occurs outside of the school and the science research class is all about getting students to do in science in the community," said Mr. Glenn Elert. In addition to the extra credit, Maker Faire offers other perks to its volunteers.
Participation in a four hour shift gets you a t-shirt and a free full day pass. Volunteering for eight hours get you weekend pass in addition to the free t-shirt. Also, presenting your Maker Corps credential gives you access to the Maker Lounge where food is available at cheaper prices and, according to Sonia Russell –volunteer coordinator for Maker Faire-, "bathrooms used by less people."
"To have worked on setting this whole thing up and watching it become a success is truly an amazing feeling," said Christopher Ayala ’14.
The event itself is truly amazing. In walking through the fair, one can acknowledge there really is something for everyone. From the Maker Shed for Do-It-Yourselfers with varying products from Arduino setups to universal remotes and books to the Spinbot booth set up just outside, for the artsy homemakers. If you make a right you can head in to the 3D print village where phone cases are being made before you and just a bit further down the lane a tesla coil is playing your favorite tune.
"One interesting thing I saw was the Slaperoo, an electric percussion instrument that resembles a yardstick, but sounds like a bass. As a bassist, that was pretty cool," said Jeffrey Tsui ’14. And the list of interesting booths goes on.
You can also pick up a lot of useful skills while you’re at Maker Faire. There were tents solely dedicated to soldering and lock picking. These activities, in addition to many other, were included in the cost of entry, which was $20 for adults if purchased in advanced, but $30 if purchased at the gate and $15 for kids.
According to makerfaire.com, "The launch of Maker Faire in the Bay Area in 2006 demonstrated the popularity of making and interest among legions of aspiring makers to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills at the event. A record 165,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York in 2012, with 44% of attendees first timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York. A family event, the vast majority attend with children. In 2013, over 60 community-driven Mini Maker Faires are expected around the world, including Tokyo and Rome."
With the growing popularity of the Maker Faire, our learning community can look forward to generations of makers to follow and increase in general creativity and love of science and engineering.