Maker Faire: Make Play Day

Geek Culture

Wow. I’m one tired Geekdad. This weekend’s Maker Faire did not disappoint, and it’s going to take everything I’ve got just to eek out one post about the festivities before I join my boys in sound slumber.

I’m not going to try and cover the amazing breadth of this event, I have no doubt it will be extensively chronicled by many others in the coming days, but I do want to share some thoughts and a couple of photos from the quintessential Geekdad corner of Maker Faire – the Make Play Day. Organized by Michael Shiloh, the play day was basically a huge room full of discarded electronics and other goodies for kids to dissect, assemble, create, and play with. The range of projects and work that happened in this room over the weekend was just phenomenal. From artistic expressions that made me stop and stare in amazement, to working cars, robots, and all manner of electronic gadgets, these kids did amazing things and had a blast doing it. It was truly impressive and inspirational to see what our children can do with a room full of junk and some caring and knowledgeable adults to lend a hand.

Here’s a few that caught my eye. (I apologize for not having any details about the young makers who created the stuff here — if you or your kids or something they made is in here, let me know and I’ll gladly add your credit info.)





And here’s a couple of my engaged and proud 11-year-old son Kindy with one of his Make Play Day projects, and his maker buddy Andre. They were both more or less glued to this room all weekend.



For more (and better) photos, check out the flickr tag makeplayday. Judging from the number of camera-wielding geeks I saw this weekend, I expect flickr’s Maker Faire tag set to really explode over the next few days. As I write this, there’s over 16,000 pics in there already!

Thank you Michael for doing this for our kids. I really appreciate the effort that went into this and the way it gets them thinking so creatively and independently. Thanks also to Make Magazine for putting on this incredible event that celebrates all these important makers and provides so much food for thought and great hands-on activities for our children. And also a big personal thanks to Kent Barnes who spent a lot of time at the Make Play Day helping Kindy build that battery operated 3-wheel car from random parts. He raved all the way home about how cool it was to build a working car out of scraps and already has several modifications in mind.  I can’t imagine a better way to spend a weekend. Now sleep…

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