You can also find the list of Makers and Workshops on the Makers page.
Saturday June 2, 2012
Sunday June 3, 2012
By Nina Arens
Designing a booth for Maker Faire may seem like an intimidating project. Festivals like these attract a broad demographic, a lot of questions, and all sorts of people with different interests and objectives. Combine it with the fact that visitors hardly ever linger at an exhibit longer than 8 minutes, and it may feel downright impossible.
But don’t fret! You are a Maker! You CAN make a fun, interactive exhibit!
Whether you’re a multimedia artist, a laboratory scientist, a basement tinkerer, or a vendor, every made object can have an interactive element. It may not seem apparent right away, but no matter how complex, all ideas are a built on simple foundations.
Design Take-Home Projects from Complex Ideas
Imagining just how a visitor could take home a piece of your display can be difficult. Especially if your project is a long process. Or requires special tools. Or an attention span. Here are some ideas to help you do it with a little creativity.
Protein Chains with beads and pipe-cleaners
Protein Chains with beads and pipecleaners
I wanted to convey how a cell makes its proteins to 4th grade girls at Bailey-Gatzert Elementary. Obviously, I couldn’t bring them to my lab, or have them visualize something. And certainly they wouldn’t sit still for a lecture. Instead, I adapted a beading activity to simulate the biological process in similar ways. At my booth, girls worked to thread and fold “pipe-cleaner proteins” using the letters in their names as a recipe. Continue reading
On March 3rd we hosted a workshop to help local makers design their booths and get ideas for interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. We will repeat the class in late April or early May. Here are some highlights from the workshop:
Part 1: Meet the team and General Booth Design
Key points: A few signs will help attendees understand your project, but don’t let the signs form a barrier between you and the public. Open shelving gives you more vertical space to display parts, projects, tools and components. Practice setting up your exhibit at home and test your hands-on activities with friends and kids.
Part 2: Examples of interactive exhibits
Key points: Let people see and touch. Show some interesting raw materials, show what things look like in-process, half-way done, and parts that broke during your design trials. Let the public experience the process of making with all of their senses! Great hands-on activities are ones that simplify the process to their essential components or symbolize complex things with simple analogs, for example make strings of beads as an analog for protein chains.
Part 3: Hacker Space booths and group exhibits
Exhibit what a group of geeks can accomplish with a little sharing of ideas, tools, and space.
Thank you to Steven Bradford, videographer, from the Seattle Film Institute.
-Christin Boyd, Producer, Seattle Mini Maker Faire
Hi, I’m Christin Boyd. I started on the path towards producing Seattle Mini Maker Faire in the summer of 2011, when some friends were talking about putting together a bunch of weekend workshops on electronics, canning, and various artistic projects. I offered to be their project manager. Within a few months, I had contacted O’Reilly Media and started the process of licensing the Mini Maker Faire brand, lobbying Ignition Northwest to sponsor the event, and collaborating with the Pacific Science Center’s new Science Expo event. Continue reading
Seattle Mini Maker Faire will showcase the amazing work of all kinds and ages of makers—anyone who is embracing the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience. We encourage you to join the fun and enter a project to exhibit.
- Seattle Mini Maker Faire: June 2 and 3, 2012 .
- Maker Application Due Date: April 7, 2012 . Please enter early so we can reserve space for your exhibit.
- Maker Info and Application Form
The first step to participating in Seattle Mini Maker Faire is to submit an entry that tells us about yourself and your project. Entries can be submitted from individuals as well as from groups, such as hobbyist clubs and schools. Please provide a short description of what you make and what you would like to bring to Seattle Mini Maker Faire, including links to photographs and/or videos of your project. We particularly encourage exhibits that are interactive and that highlight the process of making things.
Here are just some of the topics that we’re looking for: Continue reading
We try to describe Maker Faire on the About page, but it’s hard to describe something this dynamic. So here’s a video of the Kansas City Mini Maker Faire to help you feel the excitement!
This is the official website for Seattle Mini Maker Faire! Mark your calendars for June 2nd and 3rd, 2012!
Next we need to post the form for Makers to apply for a spot at the Seattle Center to display your creations, share your skills, meet fellow makers, teach workshops, and sell kits!
In a few months we will post the link to purchase tickets to attend Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Tickets will be available online from Event Brite and also at the door of the event.
Let this be a gentle reminder to step away from the internet and go make something. Put on your safety glasses, warm up your glue guns or soldering irons, and tinker with stuff! Even if the only thing you make is a mess. The things you learn making a mess today are the skills you leverage to make something amazing tomorrow. It’s the process that counts.
-Christin Boyd, Event Producer, Seattle Mini Maker Faire