Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Maker Faire Orlando 2015

Our family attended both days of the Maker Faire Orlando this year. The first time we went to a Maker Faire it was many years ago and held in a rented space in a strip mall in Durham, NC. That was where we were first introduced to a 3-D printer and we were amazed by the little 2-inch creations. 3D printing technology and Maker Faire have come a long way since then - both bigger and better.
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3D printed sculpture and vase
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tabletop 3D printer with product and man-sized floor model in the background
There were several opportunities for hands-on "making" during this years Maker Faire at the Orlando Science Center. The kid's each had an opportunity to screen-print a shirt. (Watch video of Elisabeth making her shirt.) My husband was happy that we all were introduced to soldering while making our own little blinky-eyed maker pins. While, there were many tech-makers represented, there were almost as many crafty makers and vendors there as well. Elisabeth was able to sample the pottery making with Super Awesome Cool Pottery and did a simple looming craft that really piqued her interest.
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Soldering workshop at Maker Faire Orlando 2015
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Jonah screen-printing a shirt
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Shirts screen-printed at Maker Faire Orlando 2015
There were lots of interesting things to see as well. My son has been obsessed with dinosaurs since this summer's release of Jurassic World. So we absolutely had to go check out the visiting baby ankylosaurus. (Video link here) It's amazing how well the actor made him seem like a puppy; it reminded us of the Ankylosaur in the Disney's Dinosaur movie.
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Jonah "feeding" the ankylosaur
R2D2 Robot by R2-D2 Builders Club
One highlight of the Maker Faire was getting to see one of large combat robots from the most recent season of BattleBots - Witch Doctor.  Saturday's Maker Faire attractions included a contests between smaller combat bots. We only stayed for one match but it was exciting.  Watch it here!
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Witch Doctor from Battlebots @ Maker Faire Orlando 2015
We also attended the Tesla Coil show. I didn't really know what to expect and it turned out to be the highlight of our second day at the Maker Faire. There were Tesla coils of various sizes demonstrated for the audience. Watch our video of the small coil making electricity to Star Wars music and then watch the Big Tesla Coil create larger lightning bolts in the auditorium.

Another well attended attraction was the Human Powered Snow Cone maker. There were more kids than adults in the line but anyone can make a snow cone on the giant hamster wheel. (Watch Elisabeth and Jonah make theirs.)
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The kids enjoying the snow cones they made at Maker Faire Orlando 2015

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