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Highlights of Maker Faire 2015

Highlights of Maker Faire 2015

I was lucky enough to get a media pass to the 2015 San Mateo Maker Faire this year! I went on my own, which the kid shave not quite forgiven me for yet, so I will try to find a way to bring them next year. They were somewhat placated by some clay one of the exhibitors gave me along with instructions on how to make a small dragon – that will be getting its own post, probably next week. Today I’m sharing some other highlights of Maker Faire 2015!

Highlights of Maker Faire 2015  – San Mateo

Maker Faire is a worldwide phenomenon – there are full-scale and mini events held around the globe. The first Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, so we are pretty lucky to be able to attend it!

Highlights of Maker Faire 2015: sculpture

You can find something for everyone at Maker Faire! From unusual art to crafts, technology, and even a clothing swap! I have noticed that large art featuring lights and fire is quite popular.

Lights and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

This OpenROV underwater robot was really cool! It definitely reminded me of stingrays.

Underwater robots and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

Maker Faire is a geek’s dream, and there were plenty of references to popular culture. There were several different R2-D2 robots:

R2-D2  and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

A Dr. Who Dalek robot built by a group of local high school students:

Dalek from Dr. Who  and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

I didn’t see this car up close, but it looks inspired by Dr. Seuss, to me. There are also plenty of pretty looking cars, and I saw one that looked like a gigantic rhinoceros.

Seuss-like cars and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

There are plenty of 3D printers being showcased. Attending Maker Faire last year got Emma really interested in 3D printing, and she has been campaigning for us to get one ever since. They are out of our current budget, but I know she would adore the Dremel 3D printer (affiliate link)  that was used to make this Ferris wheel:

Dremel 3D printer created ferris wheel and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

Maker Faire has all sorts of independent artists showing their wares. This colorful mosaic caught my eye:

Beautiful mosaic art and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

These people are 3D printed scans of actual people made by The Great Fredini.

3D prints of real people and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

Large companies like HP are right next to tables of independent inventors. Mira (shown below) is “a curious social robot” created by Alonso Martinez, Aaron Nathan, and Vijay Sundaram. They were showing up their robot’s adorable ability to play peek-a-boo. I hope they eventually make a website, blog, or YouTube channel to showcase their idea.

Mira, a curious social robot and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

Maker Faire has a strong education focus. Several of the booths – especially those from large companies like Microsoft and Intel – have projects set up that are just for kids. Maker Faire is also a wonderful place for kids to meet other kids who are creating incredible projects, and the faire has a special section just for Young Makers. I found this cool build a 3D cell project from Galaxy Goo; they also have a simpler version for younger kids.

3D model of a cell  and other highlights of Maker Faire 2015

Have you ever been to Maker Faire? Is there a Maker Faire near where you live?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

14 thoughts on “Highlights of Maker Faire 2015”

  1. That looks amazing. I think there is one coming to the Boston area … I’ll have to pay attention and try to find it. What fun for you and your kids!

  2. They have one fairly regularly here in Austin, but it’s always super crowded, and it requires driving into downtown Austin, something I avoid like the plague if I can.

    1. This one is also incredibly crowded, and parking is really difficult. Those two factors are a big piece of my deciding to go on my own this year – last year I took only Emma, and it was hard even with only one child in tow.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    That stingray robot is neat! But alas, no Maker Faires within a 5-hour flight of where I live.

  4. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    We went last Sunday. My 8 year old enjoyed it, but it was super crowded, especially in hands-on section. We went away with a couple of ideas of the projects she wanted to explore further, and with an information about a local Maker Space in Cupertino that we might consider to explore.

    1. The crowds are the biggest drawback for me. It seems like it really needs to last a week to accommodate all the people who want to attend.

    2. We haven’t been in two years, mostly because of the crowds three years ago. It just gets bigger and bigger and there’s not enough space. I’m not a crowd person.

      1. I don’t like crowds either. I went on my own this year partly because I had the media pass but also because combining children with crowds can be very challenging!

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