Category Archives: Makers

Call for Makers Opens March 15

Last year we welcomed 5,000 enthusiastic attendees and 120 makers presenting projects of all sorts and sizes. Whatever it is you love to make, we want you to show it off at the 2016 Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

As you prepare to apply for the Call for Makers, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Be descriptive as possible about your project
  • Think about what your exhibit space will require to run
  • Provide good photos or video content, if available
  • Ask questions if you’re not sure about something (contact us at

We’re seeking makers of all ages including individuals, hobbyist groups, schools, non-profit organizations, and commercial businesses. Exhibits that are interactive or highlight the process of making things are especially desired.

For examples of projects, visit our Makers page or browse our 2015 archive.

We hope to see you at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire on September 17-18 at EMP Museum!

Application Deadline: June 20, 2016

Call for Maker Applications

Apply Now For Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2015

The application details and links are on the EMP Museum website. Click here to apply to exhibit, present, or perform at Seattle Mini Maker Faire.

The application deadline is January 10th, but don’t wait until the last minute!  The application asks for a lot of information and we’d like to talk with you about your application to help us decide which projects to accept to the Greatest Show and Tell in Washington!

Apply now to exhibit all weekend to demo your projects through booths, installations, workshops, presentations, and/or performances and includes non-commercial and commercial makers. Makers will be selected based on how unique and impressive their projects are. We are particularly looking for exhibits that are interactive and highlight the process of making things.

This is a fairly detailed application and will take between 15-20 minutes to complete. You will be asked to submit a project name, description, contact information, photos, and some additional specifics on your exhibit requirements. Please complete the application with as much information as possible and have fun with it.

Come Visit Hacker Scouts at Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

Busy Participants at the Hacker Scouts Booth

Busy Participants at the Hacker Scouts Booth

Catherine Seitz Nichols

June 4, 2013

Why Hacker Scouts?

I’ve been asked why I decided to get involved with Hacker Scouts instead of a traditional scouting organization.  Originally, I was inspired to start a group in Seattle called the Geek Scouts, but after participating in last year’s Seattle Mini Maker Faire, I soon found out that there was far more interest than I expected.

We decided to join forces with the newly formed Hacker Scouts, based in Oakland, California because they developed a well thought-out program that perfectly aligned with our ideals and values that appeals to a wide age-range of kids with different learning styles and abilities.

When considering what kind of group I want my family to be involved in, it was very important to me that it be an organization that is open to all children and family members.  Hacker Scouts is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or religion in their educational programs and activities.

While I am happy to see that the Boy Scouts are now allowing gay kids to participate, excluding gay parents sends the message that there is something wrong with them, and that they are not equal.  Personally, I feel that participating in the group would be condoning discrimination.

I also wanted to participate in a co-ed group where girls had the same opportunities as boys.  My father was an Eagle Scout, and he and my older brothers were active in the Boy Scouts.  After a few weeks as a Brownie in the Girl Scouts, I soon discovered to my dismay that they did not have the same types of exciting projects that the boys did, such as the Pinewood Derby.  I wasn’t interested in cooking or crafts, so I quit (for the record, I think the Girl Scouts organization has come a long way since then, and has a lot more to offer girls today).

I want to be a part of a group that values diversity, not just tolerates it.  Diversity is strength in nature and in communities.  Collaboration and cooperation are key to success in science, technology and art.  I’ve seen what these values can do in the Hacker and Maker communities in Seattle, and I believe drawing on inspiration and talent from all quarters can only make for a stronger organization and richer experience.

When our kids grow up, no matter what career path they chose, they will be encountering and working with people of different sexes, beliefs and backgrounds.  Beginning this process at an early age makes this a natural part of life.

Hacker Scouts is inspired by the Open Source movement and ideology.  Sharing knowledge leads to faster progress, and deeper learning.  Having access to a group of mentors who are knowledgeable in many different areas is a powerful asset, and we would like to bring that opportunity to as many kids who are interested as we can.  We are actively looking for ways to involve families from economically and socially diverse communities, and would welcome any support in that goal.

Another point that impressed me about the Hacker Scouts program is that is a STEAM-based program, where art has a place right alongside science and technology.  Artistic endeavors inspire creative thinking, and technical know-how helps bring creative ideas to fruition.  Our society has divided these two areas of knowledge erroneously.

There is science behind all art, and having a background and familiarity with artistic concepts and ideas can greatly enhance science and technology.  Critical thinking and creativity make for a more balanced, productive and joyful life.

And last on this list, but first in importance is the goal of having fun.  Making and learning together with my family is my favorite activity.  The journey to get an alternative scouting group going in Seattle was inspired by how much fun I’ve had making projects with my son, and how excited he was when his dad taught him to solder at Metrix with an electronics kit from Spark Fun.

Seeing parents and kids working together at our Open Labs has been hugely rewarding.  While the program may not be right for every kid, any kid who is motivated and interested can find support for their ideas and help along the path to their goals.

We are currently holding bi-monthly Open Labs at Metrix Create:Space in Capitol Hill before we begin the formal Hacker Scouts program, and having a few off-site activities this summer.

The program is geared to kids ages 8 and up, but we have activities available for younger kids, and the Hacker Scouts are in the process of putting together a program for kids 5-7 called Sparks, which is expected to be released this fall.  Because there has been so much interest, we are also planning on expanding to the Eastside and North of Seattle soon.

We had a great time meeting local families at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire last year, and are looking forward to meeting more this year.  Families that are interested in learning more about Hacker Scouts can stop by our booth to meet some of kids and parents involved, and make a fun hands-on project.


Hacker Scouts Home Base:

Seattle Hacker Scouts Blog:

Seattle Hacker Scouts Facebook Page:

Seattle Hacker Scouts email:

Metrix Create:Space

Turn Old Into New and Improved at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

Earthship Seattle

Earthship Seattle

wTrak Wooden Railway

wTrak Wooden Railway

Ever think about productive ways we can use (or save!) the earth’s resources? Wood, water, soil, or even what you may consider to be “junk?” Believe it or not, this “junk” can be used to make some pretty sustainable (and fun!) items, such as alternative housing or even model transportation! If you ever need new ideas about what to do with your old stuff, the Seattle Mini Maker Faire will provide you with endless inventive ideas!

For instance, come check out Earthship Seattle,, a nonprofit volunteer group that designs earthships, or environmentally friendly houses made from recycled materials and  natural resources. “These earthships are really phenomenal because they use no fossil fuels, and they have essentially everything you need right in your house- they heat themselves, they use recycled clean water from the earth, and can be used for food production, so you can get basic life necessities of shelter, heat, food and water right from your home at a decently affordable price, made in a sustainable way” explains Florian Becquerau, member of Earthship Seattle. “We really want to promote these Earthships because they are an affordable means of off-the grid housing that can help low-income families and have proven to help third-world citizens, they help the environment, they are fairly quick to make if one utilizes lots of people, and they are made to last up to 100 years. We think that this is a practical housing alternative and we would love to share our knowledge and expertise with any fairgoers.” Whether you’re living on a budget or don’t know how to put your old stuff to good use, Earthship Seattle will provide you with a wealth of information to make sustainable use of what you have, and it can hopefully last you a lifetime!

On another note, if you or child you know loves to play with toys, or loves to experiment with model transportation, then come check out the wTrak Modular Wooden railway, which uses a wooden train surrounded by fabric trees and LED lighting for subways, tunnels, and surrounding buildings! Featured in several shows in the Pacific Northwest, this wooden railway is a beautiful model that is intricately built, and definitely worth a look if you love transportation, building things, or are just looking for a clever way to use wood!

The Seattle Mini Maker Faire offers several unique projects that will allow you turn anything you have into a sustainable and practical innovation or a beautiful aesthetic masterpiece! Come by June 8th and 9th from 10am-6pm and see what these nifty projects can inspire you to turn your stuff into!