Maker Faire 2010: Making Stuff With the Whole Family

Geek Culture

A Vambit creature by Ponoko (Image: Jenny Williams)

We just got back Monday night from this year’s Maker Faire. This was my second year helping to run the GeekDad booth there. Last year was quite a lot of fun as we gave out little things to people and spread the word about what GeekDad is all about. But so many people asked where they could buy our T-shirts that we felt that there was a big missed opportunity. Not so this year! Between our fearless leader Ken Denmead’s new book, Geek Dad, and GeekDad and GeekKid T-shirts in various sizes, we had plenty to offer. The books all sold out, and we sold quite a number of both kinds of shirts.

My husband and kids were there with me as well, and they had plenty of time to take in all of the other exhibitor booths, activities and demonstrations. They learned to solder at the Maker Shed, they built cute little Vambit plastic creatures at the Ponoko booth, they climbed into a rocket, they played for hours at the Exploratorium booth and they played with the other GeekKids. My husband enjoyed checking out the gardening and culinary mushroom booths, but especially enjoyed playing with all the kids. I managed to get some time away from the booth to see most of the hall where we were located, plus the Maker Shed, Bazaar Bizarre and several other spots. I just wish I’d made it over to the steampunk shopping area.

We were in a great location this year, across the aisle from the Make: presentation area, and around the corner from LEGO Education. Our booth’s LEGO builds and demolition derby contests were very popular, so our booth was always crowded. Our own Jonathan Liu demonstrated his wicked Etch-a-Sketch drawing skills, amazing everyone who saw them. Anton Olsen‘s Hexbug Habitat swarming with Hexbug Nanos was a constant draw as well. The only drawback of the weekend was standing for two days on a concrete floor. Lesson for next year – bring squishy mats!

Maker Faire is held over a two day weekend, but you could easily fill a week with the number of things that there are to see and do. I highly recommend it for grown-ups, kids and families.

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