Our First Maker’s Faire
Since she was 5, my daughter was saying that she will be a mechanical engineer. We both are engineers by education (I am now a Program Manager), but our work involves many hours in front of computers doing work that is still just barely comprehensible to her. This Sunday we had a unique opportunity to show her what real engineers do by taking her to the “Greatest Show and Tell on Earth” - Bay Area Maker’s Faire.
Who Are Makers?Makers are defined as a tech-influenced DIY community. My husband is certainly a Maker who equipped our house with X10 system and is able to whip up amazing Lego creations. I am hoping that Smarty inherited some of his talents – she certainly has intense interest in all things that look like “real work” to her. She strongly prefers projects with a glue gun or clay to 2D art, and now she is beginning to develop curiosity about what programming really is and how computers work. Going to the Maker’s Faire was a dream come true for her.
Maker’s Faire HighlightsWe spent about 4 hours at the Faire and saw probably only about a third of exhibits. I lost count of how many times Smarty said, What is that? How does it work? Can I try? This is so cool! She was very disappointed to learn that Maker’s Faire comes to our area only once a year but somewhat mollified to learn that Bay Area Maker’s Faire is the biggest in the world. Later we discussed our favorite exhibits.
1. A Lego Robot Solving a Rubic Cube
Both my husband and I were blown away by one of the youngest Makers – a 12 year old boy who designed a Lego Mindstorms Robot that manipulates and solves a Rubic Cube puzzle. Amazing and inspirational.
2. 3D Printers
My husband is gently lobbying for a 3D printer for some time. He now received reinforcements from Smarty who was absolutely enchanted by this technology and thrilled to receive a printed plastic paper clamp as a gift. I have to admit that watching 3D printers to create “something from nothing” is quite magical, but I am still not convinced that we need this expensive “toy for adults” at home, at least not until my husband comes up with a project offer that I cannot refuse.
No, this is not an original extinct Titanoboa snake, but it looks very cool in its electro-mechanical version. It can be move and be controlled with a remote controller and it’s really impressive to see.