Maker Festival Overview

Our local library had their first ever Maker's Festival and I got to participate both days with several different projects. We have a group of Makers at HP who get together every other Friday to talk geek, mainly Arduino, and I thought this would be an awesome chance to share our passion and experience with a younger generation.

The first day I had two main projects involving computers interacting with the physical world. Using Arduino and Raspberry Pi small-board computers, I had kids programming stoplight behavior in LEDs using either Python, C, or Scratch depending on their age and experience. I've written about the projects specific details in another post.

The second day I brought my Arduino-powered model train layout called Dawson Station. It is controlled using a Wii Nunchuk, and having light sensors and speed control, is very user-friendly, although not completely kid-proof. I also had a light detection project set up on one of the library's Sparkfun Inventor Kits which we will be using for the Teen Make It! program.

Photo by Lainieqs (via Instagram)

I also had several small projects going for small kids, the funnest of which was probably the Arduino powered bubble blower. I used a PIR sensor the first day and a Staple's "That was easy" button the second. Also on hand was my ever popular Bleep Lab's Thingamagoop as well as the four remaining Game of Life boards from our family reunion.

Photo by Lainieqs (via Instagram)

I was very impressed by the variety of exibits the library had recruited. In addition to having 3D printers on hand both days, there were paper crafts, painting, Snap Circuits, and Kinnects.

Photo by Lainieqs (via Instagram)

I was also very impressed with the library's volunteers.  They were on hand from set up to tear down ready to help with any thing we needed. I felt like a rock star!

There was a good write-up in the local paper with some quotes from me. I think the Maker movement is still in its Wild West phase. There is a lot of discovery and learning left to do, but I think community-backed organizations like public libraries are where it will really blossom. Makers, like libraries after all, are all about learning and sharing!

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