It’s a Wrap! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire 2019

It’s a Wrap! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire 2019

Hello everyone,

After a rainy Friday night and early Saturday morning, the clouds parted and warm, sunny weather prevailed when the doors opened at 10:00 a.m.  What a perfect day for the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  A great day was had by all.  Over 1,100 attendees, makers, and volunteers came together at this year’s event.  The building and grounds were packed with techies and non-techies alike into the world of being creators.

This year’s Maker Faire was a gleeful public displays of innovation and do-it-yourself inventiveness, a celebration of “making” in our culture.  Maker Faire creates opportunities for conversations with makers. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and entrepreneurs all come together to show their projects and to talk about what they have learned. It is a community-based event that inspires everyone to become a maker and connect with people and projects in their local community.

Village Catering Company provided wonderful meals for attendees and makers alike.  Hartzler Dairy brought their famous ice cream which was a hit, and Wayne College student organizations provided concessions.

Kids had a blast with the Ventrac Kid Zone.  Lots of little tikes (and some adults) walked around with beautiful face painting, balloon animal hats, caricatures, and wore themselves out with the Fun Fitness Obstacle Course. 

A special thanks to our 70+ volunteers who helped at this year’s event.  There is no way we could have done this without you!  A big “thank you” to Chris Dreher for organizing our volunteers.  Also thanks to our “maker presenters” who gave interesting talks at the Presentation Tent. 

Schantz Makerspace played an important part of the event with their contribution to the ever-popular Kid Zone, Belt Sander Drag Race, the beloved band organ, and inviting their makerspace members to participate as makers.  Many thanks for their continued support.

Most especially, thanks to all of our makers who took the time to prepare a booth and interact with hundreds of people all day long.  Without the efforts and generosity of our makers, the Maker Faire would not be possible!  We are proud to host a diverse community of creative, inventive, yet beyond all, friendly people.

Note, if you took photos of the event, please consider sharing them for our community blog!  Please email your photos to tjh1@uakron.edu

Thanks again for a truly incredible event! 

Tom

Meet a Maker! And a Call for Help!

Hello everyone,

The Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness and a celebration of the Maker Movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making and share what they are learning.  Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The Daily Record said it best: “Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’; over 1,300 people flocked to the second annual faire at the University of Akron Wayne College last May.  It was a fresh experience with favorite makers from last year coming back along with new makers and new things to see and do.

We need volunteers to help at the Learn To Solder booth at the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  Sponsored by RBB Systems, this is a popular booth for kids and adults alike.  Attendees solder components onto a robot “badges” with glowing eyes that they can take home with them.

Currently, we do not have enough volunteers to run this booth and can certainly use your help!  Clicking this link: Volunteer Sign-up will enable you to sign up. Please mark your first and last name and email address in the yellow highlighted areas only.  We need a lot of help to make this work.  Thanks for considering to help!

Once you have completed the sign-up sheet, click on the link at the bottom of the sign-up sheet for contact information and T-shirt size (when you click this link you may see a small box appear with another link that you will have to click to get to the form—just the way Google links work).

We are proud to showcase Ohio makers participating in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  One of these people is Rob Gregory.  He owns and maintains an old fashioned band organ on a trailer.  Also known as fairground organs, these are designed for use in a commercial public fairground setting to provide loud music to accompany fairground rides and attractions, mostly used on merry-go-rounds. Unlike organs intended for indoor use, band organs produce a large volume of sound to be heard over and above the noise of crowds of people and fairground machinery.

The precursor to the band organ is a calliope, a musical instrument that produces sound by sending a gas, originally steam or more recently compressed air, through large whistles—originally locomotive whistles.  A calliope is typically very loud. Even some small calliopes are audible for miles. There is no way to vary tone or loudness. Musically, the only expression possible is the pitch, rhythm, and duration of the notes.  Rob’s band organ is always at hit at the Wayne County Mini Maker faire and we are happy that he is returning again this year!

Another group participating in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is the Wayne County Public Library.  Their mission: to provide an environment that enriches lives and fosters a strong community by offering lifelong learning opportunities.  WCPL will bring a knitting machine is made by their IT Department using the original open source design Circular Knitic.  3D printing, laser cutting, yarn, and Arduino combine to make a machine that creates a knitted tube perfect for scarves.  Attendees can enter to win a scarf created using the knitting machine!

In addition to the knitting machine, Sphero BOLT robots will be on-hand to take for a spin in their custom maze.

Rounding out our participating makers is Ben Westover.  He loves all things technology, especially retro stuff.  Ben is really smart, especially in math (he’s in 9th grade Math as a 7th grader).  Ben plays trumpet and baritone in band and likes science, math, and history.

At this year’s Maker Faire, Ben I will have Raspberry Pi’s running emulators of retro computers and video game consoles and will have some of the real hardware too.  He’ll have video games, consoles, and computers from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  Ben will bring multiple consoles and computers and about two or three games or programs each.

If you would like to know more about Rob’s band organ, the Wayne Public Library’s knitting machine, or Ben’s retro games and computers, please reply to this email!

Mark your calendar for May 18, 2019 for the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  It’s our third year and we have an exciting variety of makers.  It’s an indoor/outdoor event with a festival theme.  There is something for everyone!  Click here for a list of makers from past years and some coming to this year’s faire, too.  It’s a truly unforgettable experience.

Until next week, Tom