My first Maker Faire was in 2010, the very first Faire ever held in New York. I loved it so much that the next time I went, in 2012, I ran a booth that was packed from opening to close with people interested trying out DIY projects from my low-tech robotics books for kids. Since then, I’ve been part of Maker Faires in the Bay Area, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
This year, I helped organize the Troy Mini Maker Faire, happening along with The Enchanted City steampunk festival this Saturday, August 27, from 11 am to 6 pm. We’re going to have dozens and dozens of amazing exhibitors, but there are a few I’m especially excited to see:
1. Did you know that Maker Faire includes fashion? At 1 pm, the Troy Mini Maker Faire presents a panel on Tech Wearables featuring Instructables maker and e-textile rock star Becky Stern, together with designer Jingwen Zhu. (Also keep a look out for Andrea Habura‘s steampunk-era sewing machines.) If future-facing fashion sounds intriguing, you’ll also want to check out Friday night’s “Of Then and Beyond” runway show, followed by an adult-only reception in the “Garment District” at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity.
2. What is Power Tool Drag Racing, you say? Exactly what you think — electric devices, most designed for ripping things apart, tearing down a wooden track trailing their power cords behind them. It’s fast, funny, and sure to be a blast — come watch and take part!
3. This year’s Chamberlain Inventors’ Challenge is shaping up to rival last year’s event, when a giant steampunk hamster wheel was selected to transport The Enchanted City’s Queen Mab to her throne. Come see what crazy conveyances contestants have dreamt up this year!
4. Ecovative is a local company that produces mushroom-based packing products that are 100% biodegradeable. I missed making a GIY (Grow It Yourself) mushroom version of the Maker Faire mascot at World Maker Faire New York in 2016, so I’m glad I get another chance closer to home!
5. I still remember the astounding Toothpick World display at World Maker Faire New York a few years ago. It was even featured in the New York Times! The Syracuse-based Maker Stan Munro will be showing us how it’s done on Saturday.
Of course, I’m also looking forward to seeing all the Makers who will be taking part, from robot builders to high-tech scientists and lots, lots more. I’ll be giving a talk at noon showing parents, kids, and educators how to “break into making” the easy way. You can see the whole schedule here — come check it out!