Norther Colorado Mini Maker Faire

Yesterday, I attended the first Northern Colorado Mini Maker Faire.  For those that have not heard of Maker Faires, watch the following YouTube video or accept this explanation:

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on: Earth a family friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.

The Maker Movement has been rapidly gaining momentum and it is very exciting to see it in my new home of Northern Colorado.  What I like about the Maker Movement and Maker Faires is that it is the ultimate celebration of DIY.  This group is a socially and technologically diverse group who are excited by and for anybody who makes things.  It includes people who sew with old-tyme spindles to people who build robots with open-hardware Linux computers.  If you have a creative spark, or want to get one, you should visit a Maker Faire.

Making S'mores at NoCo Maker Faire.  Stuffnmallows put the chocolate IN the mallow!
Making S’mores at NoCo Maker Faire. Stuffnmallows put the chocolate IN the mallow!

For those wanting even more insight into this subculture, read Makers by Cory Doctorow (BTW, it’s a free download).

There was a lot of fun to be had with cardboard boxes.  Admit it, we all love playing with cardboard boxes.
There was a lot of fun to be had with cardboard boxes. Admit it, we all love playing with cardboard boxes.

These were my favorite booths at the NoCo Maker Faire (in no particular order):

There were many R2D2 and other R2 units there.  If only there were some Jawas from which I could purchase one...
There were many R2D2 and other R2 units there. If only there were some Jawas from which I could purchase one…
  1. The Concoctory. A creative shop turned hackerspace in Denver.  They had some cool lock-picking kits and microelectronics.  Talking to the people at the booth, they seemed very friendly and I was happy to explain why I like the BeagleBone Black over the Raspberry Pi 🙂
  2. Solid State Depot. The Boulder hackerspace.  It really seems there is a lot of cool stuff happening in Boulder.
  3. TinkerMill. Longmont hackerspace.  Ok, now we are getting closer.  This one is the closest to me and it’s open to the public without being a member.  I need to check this out sometime.
  4. Loveland CreatorSpace. This hackerspace is still in formation, but it looks very cool.
  5. Geekify. This is the place to go to get a geek a gift!  I spent five minutes oodling over the Myst book cover.  He had a portal gun (just for show?), but as he spotted a true Portal fan in me, he gave me a 3D printed Companion Cube! Sweet!

    Every time I see this I can't help but to hum Still Alive.
    Every time I see this I can’t help but to hum Still Alive.
  6. TEDx FrontRange. Its third year will be on May 22, 2014 in Loveland.  The theme: Doers, influencers, and you.
  7. MyAtoms.com. A very cool lego-mindstorms-like toy.  After a successful Kickstarter they are almost ready to deliver.  My favorite was the earthquake atom that shakes your lego building apart.
  8. E3. This is a very innovative idea from a local school district.  Essentially, if kids (in school or home school) want instruction in an area that the school doesn’t offer, they can seek a volunteer mentor.  I’m thinking about volunteering for programming.
  9. MosaicaOnline. An interesting online K-12 school in Colorado.  I’m a big fan of alternative education.
  10. Talos Robots. These guys are making a robot controller powered by a BeagleBone Black!  They’ve made it easy to add servo ports and sensors and have integrated a 3-axis accelerometer. Very cool.

    BBB powered Talos Robots.
    BBB powered Talos Robots.
  11. Sparkfun. I did not realize these guys were in Boulder!  It’s an Adafruit of the Rockies!  I might have to change my default electronic shop.  They don’t yet have the BeagleBone Black, but I talked to one of the employees there and they are on the way.  These guys had the biggest section at the Faire where they were teaching soldering.

See you there, at the Faire, next year! 😉

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