Saturday, October 5, 2013

My First Maker Faire

What is MakerFaire?  Basically it's a grassroots movement where DIY aficionados get together to display their projects and inventions.  It consists of both low tech and high tech projects.  I discovered the MakerFaire and MakerCamp concepts recently. After having learned programming with Scratch and Makey Makey, I started seeing other uses for this programming language.  One was Raspberry Pi, which is a mini computer used to teach computer science to kids.

I saw that there was going to be a mini MakerFaire on August 24th, about an hour and a half away in Dover, NH, so I decided to go.   I was interested to learn more about Raspberry Pi and robotics projects, but there were a lot of other interesting exhibits, like felting, jewelry making, and old fashioned ice cream maker and digital music. One of the exhibits at the Dover Mini Faire was a demonstration of the Raspberry Pi.  A professor of programming at SNHU, Don Norris, was demonstrating how Pi could be used to program a robot.  I was excited to learn about his book Raspberry Pi for the Evil Genius.  It has a lot of good information and programs to get you started.

But I also enjoyed seeing a new invention by a young man which can be used to type with one hand.  It's called Jester Type and here is a video of it in action.

I was also interested to see demos of 3D printers.  This one was built from a kit by an Exeter, NH high school student:

All in all it was a great Faire.  They plan to do it again next year, so I'm hoping it's even bigger and better!  Check out the MakerFaire site to find one near you!

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