North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire returns for 2016

by Todd Jones (tejones1971@gmail.com) 77 views 

The second annual North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire is set for Saturday, May 7, 2016, from 10 a.m until 4 p.m. at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.

The Maker Faire event will showcase some of the area’s top makers in a fair-like atmosphere. The website home for the Maker Faire says it like this:

“Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.”

In addition, the Maker Faire will host a number of contests to showcase these skills. The Innovation Hub confirmed that more than 80 different makers have signed up for the event. They expect the crowd to be between 1,500-2,000 people. Last year, the crowd was just over 1,200 people with just about 65 makers in attendance.

This year’s Mini Maker Faire will also have the different Make Worlds such as Robot World, Flying World, Space World, Build World, Craft World, and Education World.

HISTORY OF THE MAKER FAIRE

The Maker Faire began in 2006 in the Bay Area near San Mateo, California. The Maker Faire has several flagship events, including ones in New York City and the San Mateo along legions of various Mini Maker Faires such as the one in North Little Rock. Most recently, a National Maker Faire has begun in Washington D.C.

The Maker Faire in New York is known as World Maker Faire. According to the event organizers:

“Maker Faire is primarily designed to be forward-looking, showcasing makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it’s not just for the novel in technical fields. Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.”

Maker Faires are a product of Maker Media, which produces the Make: magazine and Maker Shed Stores. Mini Maker Faires are independently produced although part of the Maker Media license. Maker Media is at the forefront of the Maker Movement, which includes creative makers in various industries such as tech, crafts, metal, woodworking, and anything that allows a person to tinker and make things.

The Maker Movement has the potential to help drive innovation and have an impact on our country. Tim Bajarin writes in a Time Magazine article:

“As someone who has seen firsthand what can happen if the right tools, inspiration, and opportunity are available to people, I see the Maker Movement and these types of Maker Faires as being important for fostering innovation.”

2016 TOURNAMENTS O’ CHAMPIONS

The Innovation Hub has set up several competitions for makers to show off not only their projects, but their skills in using the things they have made.

Mini 3D Printed Diorama – Contestants will showcase their 3D printing skills by printing a Diorama

Power Tool Drag Racing – This was one of the most popular competitions last year. Contestants create a Power Tool Drag racer and race on a 13-inch wide track.

Outlaw Pine Derby Racing – Outlaw Pine Derby Racing is a chance to take your pine derby car to another level and showcase your fine tuning skills.

Catapult/trebuchet for Accuracy – How far, or how accurate, can you catapult an object? Contestants get the chance to test those skills in this contest.

Robot Street Fight (New) – The newest contest at the Mini Maker Faire is the Robot Street Fight with RC cars using Arduino micro-controllers. This Mini Maker Faire is looking to host the first ever Arduino-focused Robot Street Fight.

Learn more about the rules of the contests here.

The North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated under a license from Maker Media. Maker Media is a global platform that connects Makers utilizing products and services along with various partners.

Buy tickets at this link.

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