Why Kids Should Attend a Maker Faire

Image via Maker Faire
Image via Maker Faire

Also known as the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth, Maker Faire is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new! According to their website, Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. The Faire attracts tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, artists, and students, and gives makers a venue to show their creations and share their learnings.Maker Faire was founded to give people participating in the upswell of grassroots interest in the Maker Movement a destination to show off and experience their creations. The movement, now known as the Maker Movement, is a celebration of innovation in the fields of science, art, performance, technology, and craft.
Started in 2006 in San Francisco, Maker Faire has quickly become a national phenomenon, with a projected 150 Faires in 2015. Last year, about half of Maker Faire attendees were children! But what is it that attracts kids and families to Faires?
It’s a gathering of creators.
Maker Faire aims to give people a chance to view themselves not as consumers, but as makers, and to shape the world we live in. It brings together innovators in a variety of fields, from science to art, and gives the public a chance to experience their unique creations. World Maker Faire 2015 included a wearables fashion show, all kinds of robots, and a variety of 3D printed items. Attending an event with creators from so many different disciplines is bound to be an exciting, inspiring experience for kids of all ages!
It’s kid-focused.
The founder of the Maker Movement, Dale Dougherty, created Maker Faire specifically with kids in mind: “Through education and community outreach, we can offer the opportunity to make things to more people, but particularly children. They might find these opportunities at school but also at community centers, summer camps and science centers, or even at home. My goal is that all people, young and old, come to see themselves as makers, creators and doers because I know that the people who have the skills and knowledge to make things have the power to make the world a better place.”
Maker Faire gives kids a chance to be makers of art, technology, or whatever sparks their interest. No wonder kids flock to Faires! They also sponsor the Young Makers program, which gives kids ages 8 to 18 a space to be makers in their own communities.
You get a glimpse of the future.
Maker Faire is designed to be forward-looking, with a special emphasis on makers who are exploring new ideas and innovative technology. From DIY drones to interactive music, kids will have one-of-a-kind experiences at Maker Faire, and the whole family will walk away with a new picture of what our world could look like in the future.
It’s fun for the whole family.
With its emphasis on kids, Maker Faire provides plenty of hands-on activities to stimulate young and old minds alike. At the 10th Annual Maker Faire, there were ten workshops designed specifically for kids, including a chance for kids to create their own electronic circuit, as well as a station for kids to try their hand at woodworking. Overall, Maker Faire is a great outing for the whole family, with enough exhibits and workshops that there is sure to be something for everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s a handy map for you to find a Maker Faire near you!
The Youth Digital team will be attending the upcoming Maker Faire in Charlottesville, Virginia; so if you’re in the area, stop by and say hi! You can stay up to date on other Maker Faires and events that our team will be attending here.

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