It's taken a few days to digest all of the inventive and interactive maker activities and experiences that we enjoyed at the World Maker Faire in NYC. To sum it up in one sentence, the maker movement is global!
When we arrive in New York, we attended the Producer's Workshop and Education Forum presented by Make Magazine. The producer's workshop was a gathering of folks like us who organize Maker Faire's all over the world. There was representation from Canada, the U.K., and as far away as Qatar! We are going to definitely be integrating some of the ideas from this session in our upcoming Faire on June 4th, 2016!
The Education Forum was amazing as well! The afternoon was structured so that different experts were put on panels to discuss topics each hour. We heard about a school district in Virginia that is incorporating the maker philosophy in ALL of their classrooms every day! Dr. Bart Rocco, from the Elizabeth Forward School District in Pennsylvania, has started a maker space in their middle school called the "Dream Factory". He is also working on getting more maker equipment available for his entire staff! The archive of the Education Forum can be found here.
The next two days were dedicated to exploring the World Maker Faire! The experience was amazing as we attempted to visit the 900+ makers that were spread around the grounds. Stations ranged from 3D scanners that use your smartphone to a students who had developed a dog collar that had a blinking LED light built in so that you could easily locate your dog at night.
One of the main features of the Faire that we all enjoyed were the hands-on activities. All attendees were able to learn to solder, create their own soda with Pepsi, invent with Strawbees, interact with a LED painting wall, and so much more!
If you find yourself close to a Maker Faire (*cough* Southwest Michigan Mini Maker Faire *cough*) you should make every effort to attend! From 3D printers to fabric weaving, these events cover a wide spectrum and there is truly something for everyone!