Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Plan on Making it to the World Maker Faire New York



More than 2,000 people attended the inaugural Westport Mini Maker Faire (www.westportmakerfaire.org) earlier this year. Now is your chance to see one of the really big Maker Faires, the World Maker Faire New York (www.makerfaire.com) at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, N. Y., on Saturday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 30.

With more than 500 makers showing their stuff, literally acres of displays, interactive exhibits and fun for all ages, this is a must-see event.

Whether you are interested in working with paper, plastic, electronics, robotics, cloth, water, airplanes, engines — or just want to come for the good food — you owe it to yourself to attend the event.

The main areas that will be covered include: arts, crafts, electronics, engineering, food/beverage, for kids (less than 5 years old), health, music, science, sustainability and young makers (less than 18).

The event is in its third year in New York. I have attended the previous two and my children and I have always left with big smiles on our way home and felt a little bit smarter and a whole lot more excited about life.

There will be some representatives from Westport at the World Maker Faire, too. David Pogue, Westport resident, New York Times technology columnist and television host of the NOVA series "Making Stuff," will be there. Many members of the Westport maker community will also attend both Saturday and Sunday, so the chance that you'll bump into someone you know is quite high.

People often ask me, "What will I see or do at a Maker Faire?" It's really hard to describe. There are three things I suggest to people:

First, go to www.youtube.com and search for "Maker Faire." You'll find thousands of videos people have taken at Maker Faires from around the world;

second, go to http://bit.ly/O8Ti8u to see a video of the Westport Mini Maker Faire from earlier this year;

third, take the family and go. It's a day that everyone will enjoy.

Whether you can come for both days or just one, be sure to put this event on your family schedule. I'm sure you'll have a great time and will enjoy the conversation not only on the way home, but for months afterwards.

Mark Mathias, a 30-plus year veteran of information technology and a resident of Westport, Connecticut, was named by Computerworld magazine to their inaugural list of “Premier 100 IT Leaders.” This column was originally published in the Westport News on Wednesday 19 September 2012.

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