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MAKER FAIRE- San Francisco by Katia Martinez

posted Jun 1, 2017, 10:22 AM by Brian Hamm

Honestly….I don’t know where to start! Experiencing the Maker Faire was an absolute delight! I learned about the importance of being MAKERS rather than CONSUMERS. At this faire, I met creators and doers, who inspired me to make our world a better place. The 
Maker Faire is not only for techies, but also for non-techies; it is a get together of all ages. Everyone was welcome: scientists, crafters, educators, tinkerers, engineers, musicians, artists, authors and much more. All of these makers come to the faire to show what they have created and share what they have learned. It didn’t really matter what they were able to do! What really impacted on us, was their passion and spirit in which they approached their projects. 

Here’s a list of some of my favorite Projects and Makers I visited:

1. The Try Studio: It’s all about peer to peer creative education. Try something. Teach someone. Repeat. They connect with one another, get their hands dirty and make things together. 

2. The Tape City: tape origami artwork created by people who like to have fun! I learned about TAPIGAMI, the art of applying imagination to tape. 

3. Magical Nathaniel: Magical Nathaniel is a professional magician and UC Berkeley math graduate who designs and builds his own magic illusions.

4. The Traveling Spectacular: this show offered live entertainment complete with grand illusions. 

5. Le Attrata: Le Attrata is a showpiece of metal and fire. The moths have been created to consume that which they are attracted to: light and heat.

6. The Pedal Powered Stage: Kids and adults were invited to use their muscle to power up a concert and bring live music to the faire. 

7. Piper, Inc. : Piper Computer Kit is a fully functioning computer that kids 8-14 build. 

8. Imperfect Produce: 
I recently read an article from TIME for Kids to my students called “Ugly But Tasty”. They learned that tons of fruits and vegetables go into the trash each year. There are people who are working to stop that from happening. They believe that if no one is perfect, why should we expect fruits and vegetables to be perfect? And what a surprise…. I met these Makers at the Faire!!! Imperfect Produce is on a mission to reduce food waste. 


9. The Robot Band: this band consists of five humanoid robots, from 40 to 80 cm high. They play electronic drums, metallophones, and bells. One of them is a singer with voice synthesis. 

10. The Big Ant : A creation and ‘traveling machine’ of “Les Machines”. The Big Ant is often described as a combination of an invention and a mechanical world. 

And last but not least, I must say that my favorite part of the Maker Faire was meeting Samara Mehta, a second-grade student who created “CODER BUNNYZ”, a board game to teach kids coding. This is how she started: “First, let me tell you how the seeds of CoderBunnyz were sown. One day, I finished playing board games with my parents, and when they got bored (actually, they just kept losing and didn’t want to play anymore), I went to the computer to do a little coding. I thought to myself, “today has been an amazingly cool day. I’ve done two of my most favorite things – coding and board games – and if I mix these two, I’m sure I could create something really cool.” After all, there are so many people who learn real estate ideas from Monopoly, and spelling from Scrabble. So I thought – why not teach other people how to code? I added my favorite animal – a bunny – to the name, and that’s where I got Coderbunnyz!” Her idea, not only inspired me, but her advice definitely sparked many girls and boys to explore, observe and ask questions. 

 I am a second-grade teacher and there are many things that I plan to do differently in my classroom next year. I plan on expanding my enthusiasm through the after school program The Eagle Academy, for students in fourth and fifth grades. I would also like to have an “Innovator Corner” in my classroom with things for children to tinker and create with. I believe we are all special in our own way, we all have skills within us, and we need to find out where that talent lies. Let’s give children more freedom to explore and investigate!

I am incredibly grateful to ASFM for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Maker Faire Bay Area, an experience that that will not only stay in my heart forever but one that will provide powerful ideas to bring innovation into my classroom for kids who are willing to make our community a better place.