Saturday, August 4, 2012

Technology and the Maker Faire

Last April we went to a mini Maker Faire in Westport, not far from our house.  Maker Faires are places where you go and look at all sorts of things people have made including arts, crafts, engineering, science projects, DIY projects and it is also showcase for the latest technology.  They were first held by the people that publish Make magazine, a magazine that is choc full of DIY projects you can make out of household and inexpensive materials.  Generally they are complex projects and a bit out of our league.  Leafing through the magazine gives me a feeling of "well it would be nice if I had the skills" or "I bet that is much harder than it looks."  Tristan looks at it and says, "Let's make that!" to a picture of a wooden pistol carved out of wood.  The next minute he's interested in making a robot out of an old computer mouse.  Eek!

Another reason we are attracted to the Maker Faire is that Tristan loves Mythbusters, a science show on Discovery Channel.  One of his heroes Adam Savage is often featured in the magazine and of course Adam can make *anything*.  I often see half written emails to Adam suggesting things he could test out on his show.

We loved the mini maker Faire this year and I dreamed of having a booth at next years faire and displaying the things we had made.  Well that dream might become a reality.

I have been in talks with the folks from Robotics and Beyond in New Milford.  Their director is going to be teaching a homeschooling class at my home throughout the whole of the school year with the idea of having a booth at the Mini-maker Faire in April and displaying all the cool things that the children have made.


I imagine my son will want to do something like this! The children are going to be learning about computers. Pulling them apart. Learning about all the components and rebuilding them. They will learn about operating languages, computer languages and why are there so many of them. Which ones should they learn? They will learn Arduino circuitry so they can program their devices. They will come up with an idea of something they can make and make it with professional help!

Tristan already has an idea.  He wants to write a Minecraft Mod.  He doesn't know it yet but that will not be this year but maybe in (many) years to come.  I am very excited about this program.  I am hoping this is the start of something bigger!


  1. I am so excited to see the wonderful things these children accomplish this year......

  2. That looks pretty cool! I especially love the over arm smasher one. So simple, yet so effective! Bring on the robots of DEATH!