5 Things I’m Looking Forward to Seeing at Troy Mini Maker Faire

Steampunk fashion

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? On Saturday, 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!

Attend the Troy Mini Maker Faire this Saturday, August 27, from 11 am to 6 pm. Get your free tickets  now (or just come by) and meet all our Makers. We’ll see you there!

Meet the Makers: Rich Hutnik of Classic Games Redefined

Next up in our series introducing you to the Makers who will be presenting their projects at the Troy Mini Maker Faire on August 27 is Classic Games Redefined. Explore a world of games you didn’t know you owned! The Classic Games Redefined exhibit shows you how to use standard cards, dice, chess and checkers sets, to play games you never heard of.

Published game designer Rich Hutnik is the creator of over 100 games. Rich works on classic game designs with a twist, which will be shown at the exhibit.

If you would like to have your own Maker exhibit at this year’s Troy Mini Maker Faire, the Call for Makers is open until August 1. Just fill out the online application form and let us know what you’re like to do. It’s free!

Mini Maker Faires Around the Region

If you’ve never been to a Maker Faire or Mini Maker Faire, you really have to experience it to understand what all the excitement is about! Luckily, there are several in our region coming up this year, in addition to the Troy Mini Maker Faire on August 27.

Next weekend, April 16th, the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire will take place in Utica, less than two hours from the Capital District. The Rochester Mini Maker Faire on November 19th is another event worth driving to.

And here’s a list of some other upcoming Mini Maker Faires in our region:

April 30 – Westport Mini Maker Faire, Westport CT
May 7th – Buffalo Mini Maker Faire
June 4th – Eastern Long Island Maker Faire
June 18-19 National Mini Maker Faire, Washington, DC
Sept 24 Champlain Mini Maker Faire
Oct 1-2 – World Maker Faire New York, Queens, NY
October 22 – Fredonia Mini Maker Faire

There are even more Mini Maker Faires happening at schools, libraries, and other venues around the Northeast. You  can find the constantly updated listing on the Maker Faire site. Go check them out and discover why Maker Faires are the place to be!

What is a Maker?

Here’s a great video that the worldwide Maker Faire team put together that explains Maker Faire, the Maker Movement and what it means to be a Maker. It features Maker Media CEO and founder Dale Dougherty, Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame, and President Barack Obama at the White House Mini Maker Faire a few years back. Enjoy!