This past weekend, a few of us minnows went to our first Maker Faire. The tag line of the faire is “The Greatest Show & Tell on Earth,” which seemed perfect. The event was held at the San Mateo fairgrounds and seemed to have every sort of activity we could possibly have imagined. There were fantastic speakers like Adam Savage from Mythbusters and the Mentos and Diet Coke guys, a life-size Rube Goldberg mouse trap device, model battle ships, and so many workshops that it seems you could have spent an entire week learning, if not more.
The longest line we saw was for the workshop “Learn to Solder.” As a participant, we received a robot pin and some soldering supplies. Soldering the robot (thus completing its circuit) made its little robot eyes light up. Other workshops we thought were cool involved making kimchi, sauerkraut, noodles (we like food), learning to sew, planting, and making speakers.
The most impressive technology we saw at the faire was the 3-D printer and the Arduino Board (which you can learn all about at Workshop Weekend on June 22nd & 23rd!). Some of the things people created with these tools were simply amazing! For example, there was a 3-D human heart with LED lights that simulated how the blood pumps through the heart’s chambers. And a middle school group made a human-sized game based off the popular iPhone and iPad app, Flow.
The most important thing we got out of this event was the inspiration to create something new, just for the fun of it. The event really rekindled our love of learning. We like making the things we make every day (like websites), but we are also excited to make new things and continue to explore. Next stop, Workshop Weekend!