Elisa IMG_5408Another year, another amazing set of talent at the Fifth Anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

In the early morning, the weather seemed so frightful, but then out came the sun by the time we welcomed our first guest to Maker Faire! Our Builder Sponsor, Passanante’s Home Food Services welcomed everyone at the door with a taste of their healthy grilled recipes:Stich IMG_0047We tried to catch those drone racers from Mad Lab Industries on camera, but they were booking it at above-highway-speeds.  You’ll just have to come back next year to see (or drive) for yourselves!

At the lower speeds, hope you got a chance to pop into the Geodesic Greenhouse, returning for the second year as part of Schurz High School’s Food Science Program. Attendees learned how to jar a plant, lined with newspaper, ready for the big move into any urban garden.  🙂Megy_GreenhouseIf you came with your kids, you couldn’t miss out on Galileo Camp‘s Bristle Bot Challenge in the library, or the incredibly interactive mixed-reality game cube built by Bit Space in the cafeteria. Both groups joined Chicago Electronic Distributor and OSH Park as this year’s Contributor Sponsors, helping to allow Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire remain a free event to the public! Hopefully, you got a chance to meet Drew from OSH Park, who gave us the Perfect Purple PCB and also shared many of the pictures you see:CibBcpUUkAArj7-

Schurz  HS students brought back some old favorites, like NHS Blast the Nerds! and FUN-ky Nails. Old competitions came back anew, from this year’s FIRST Robotics Challenge and the SeaPerch Underwater ROV.  Did you make a pipe cleaner figurine? Did you engage in the Bridge Build/Destroy challenge? Did you make your own ice cream (and eat it, too)?Drew GIF 16 - 7Other exhibiting students included the DuSable HS Woodshop (shown below), who carried a taste of their shop from the south side of Chicago! Clemente HS presented exhibits from the Chicago Students Invention Convention (held earlier this year), with organizer Anneliese Geggenheimer speaking in our first ever speaker series!20160216_145016Lane Tech HS brought a strong showing of student work, from their extremely popular Sticker Maker, to the completely student run AspireIT program for girls in computation! And this Young Maker gave our veteran Build-a-Blinkie soldering pros a run for their money with his self-constructed, self-coded Charlie Cube:Drew GIF 16 - 5

As usual, our Makers represented a spectrum from high- to low-tech, from the artistic to the innovative, to the just plain weird. Did you get a chance to battle with robots, build a Noise-o-Tron solder-less noisemaker, or drive in a VR simulation? Did you fold some cool origami, learn to do needle-felting, or sew a friendly bumble bee? Did you build with insanely pimped out electronic LEGOS or make ones of your boys lego ideas better than they did? Did you drive the K-9 from old school Dr. Who, or construct your own Little Bits Cottage? Did you record your Maker Faire story with Schurz Digital Media (Storycorps style), watch an old-school Nickelodeon, or create your own movie magic with the help of a green screen?

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There’s not enough space in a single blog post to talk about everything that happened–there was just TOO MUCH to see, play, and build! We hope these pictures capture the spirit of CNS Maker Faire.

Thanks to Drew Fustini, Elisa Shoenberger, Megy Karydes, Lauren Vogelstein, Dan Rezac, Gabby Anton, and the wonderful students from Schurz Digital Media for sharing these photos. Thanks to everyone who came out! We hope you were inspired to keep making through the year. Perhaps one day, you too will be presenting to the public.  See you all next year, for the sixth annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

If you took some kicking pictures of the fourth annual CNS Maker Faire, please share with us @CNSmakerfaire and on Facebook!

Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping us keep the magic alive. And a huge thank you to our amazing volunteers! Our afternoon team is shown here with super funky T-shirts sponsored by Muddy Waters Learning Press:

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Want to make a tiny room using upcycled items in your house and garden? Join Liita Forsyth from The Little Bits Workshop to learn how to make your very own tiny room!

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Photo credit: The Little Bits Workshop

The Little Bits Workshop is a DIY makerspace in River Forest where kids of all ages can learn how to sew, knit, make  jewelry, build with tools and much more. According to Liita Forsyth, the mission of The Little Bits Workshop “is not to mass produce anything, but to teach the masses to discover the thrill of creative productivity.” Forsyth explains that in this high tech world, not enough emphasis has been placed on problem-solving and motor skills. She recalls countless 40-something moms saying, “My mom sewed all the time but she never taught me. Now my daughter wants to learn, but I don’t know how.” Little Bits strives to revive these skills for all ages. Forsyth explains: “There’s such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when people of any age learn how to make something useful and to do it well.” The space offers a variety of classes from after school workshops, birthday parties and camps on and off premises.

Prepare for The Little Bits Workshop at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! It will take 1-2 hours to build at the Faire. Liita will be selling kits to help participants build their own miniature rooms from upcycled materials, and you can come prepared with materials of your own. “The Little Bits Cottage is a launching point for imagination,” she says. “Half the fun of making a Little Bits Cottage is discovering objects in your recycle bin, junk drawer or jewelry box that could actually become a burner on a pellet stove or a dining room chair. It’s designed to be a skill-builder for imagineers of all ages through the steps of measuring, designing, considering proportion, using sharp tools and learning how to sew.”

The Little Bits Workshop will be running two workshop sessions: 10:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 3:30.

We can’t wait to have them at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

 

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CELEBRATE OUR 5th ANNIVERSARY FAIRE IN STYLE!

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Welcome to the Fifth Anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, presented by Schurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and Christina Pei! For those of you who are new to Maker Faire, it is the largest celebration of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) in the world.  Maker Faire is a venue for inventors, technophiles, artists, crafters, mad scientists, hackers, musicians, and anyone who makes cool things and want to show others how it’s done.  Our Faire is the most diverse in the world, and we invite you to participate in teaching and learning for all ages and interests!  If you have an awesome project to showcase, share it here:

APPLY NOW!

Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 7, 2016.  We will be accepting applications until April 1.  There is no cost to makers to present and it’s FREE for your friends to attend!  Makers will also be featured on our website and advertisements.

Questions? Contact us at CNSmakerfaire@gmail.com

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A very belated recap of the fourth annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, a wonderful day for Chicago’s largest celebration of learning, STEAM, and whimsy!

Outside, all sorts of wonderful makers showed off their skills. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

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The Official Schurz High School NHS Ice Creamery

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Make a circuit with dough! Make music with circuits and magnets! Join YOUmedia at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire and learn how!

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YOUmedia, a program run through the Chicago Public Library since 2009, has now expanded to 11 libraries throughout the city. YOUmedia provides spaces for teens and tweens to drop by and learn in an out-of-school context, connecting them with technology and resources to further their personal and even professional interests. Recently YOUmedia and Chicago Public Library Teen Services started First Saturdays Careers in Focus to allow teenagers, ages 14-18, to learn about careers in a variety of fields from engineering to music. This summer, they are planning to kick off a new teen summer challenge that will involve discovery and creation. Stay tuned for more information!

For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, YOUmedia has two amazing activities planned. Julie Koslowsky, YOUmedia Outreach Coordinator, wants people to try something new and get excited about circuits and technology. These projects show that electronics does not have to be an expensive or even high tech activity. (1) “Littlebits,” a project for all ages, are simple circuits that connect via magnets, a power source, and other parts. You can make music, attach a fan, and more! (2) “Squishy Circuits” are conductive play-dough! With a few simple ingredients­—water, flour, salt and lemon juice—in the right order, the dough can become conductive or insulated. Plug in a power source and put strategic LED lights to create fantastic pieces!

We can’t wait to see YOUmedia at CNS Maker Faire!

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WE’RE BACK! (Admit it, you missed us)

Schurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and local maker Christina Pei return with the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, celebrating teaching and learning for all ages of makers, new and old!  For those of you who are new to Maker Faire, it is the largest celebration of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) in the world.  Maker Faire is a venue for inventors, technophiles, artists, crafters, mad scientists, hackers, musicians, and anyone who makes cool things and want to show others how it’s done.  If this describes you:

APPLY NOW!

Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 2, 2015.  We will be accepting applications until April 6.  There is no cost to makers to present and it’s FREE for your friends to attend!  Makers will also be featured on our website and advertisements.

Questions? Contact us at ChicagoNorthsideMF@gmail.com

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20140503_115024May 3rd, 2014 marked the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, and the largest Chicago Maker Faire yet! 80 exhibiting makers, many of them young makers, and 2,000 attendees made this an amazing event. Thanks to everyone who made this happen!

20140503_140409For those of you who joined the fun, here’s a recap of some of our favorites.  And for those of you couldn’t make it this year, here’s a taste of what you missed. Our veteran makers returned with some of the exhibits you’ve come to expect from Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire – lockpicking with TOOOL, soldering with Build-A-Blinkie, tinkering with hackerspaces, DIY projects from Chicago Children’s Museum, Build Your Own Chicago, FIRST Robotics presented by local high schools (Schurz, Lane Tech, Whitney Young), Blast the Nerds from the Schurz National Honors Society, and many more!20140503_134647

When you first entered Maker Faire, did you notice the aerial drones from Mad Lab Industries flying overhead? 14 - 7 20140503_120922-MOTION

Did you hitch a ride in a muffin baked by Oak Park Muffineering? 20140503_115440 20140503_115551-MOTION

Did you learn to use a drill from the Chicago Tinkering School and Chicago Children’s Museum?20140503_115749

Did you blast a nerd or explode some Coke with Mentos?20140503_115814

20140503_150926We grew so much this year that we needed to expand. For the first time, the stunning domed library was open for Maker Faire, housing a planetarium brought by the Adler Planetarium, all three major Chicagoland hackerspaces (Pumping Station: One, Southside Hackerspace, and Workshop 88), the Chicago Public Library, ChiBots, and Schurz’s own Anime Club.20140503_145836

The hallways were packed with student art, 3D printed designs, a Rube Goldberg device in action, a DIY photobooth, and a taste of the neat offerings of Chicago Electronic Distributors.
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Of course, the cafeteria was a center of activity. We hope you also checked out the Electric Garden and Colossal Squid just across the hall, all the robots from the FIRST Robotics teams who presented in the Gym, and Schurz Digital Media making images and beats in the surrounding hall.2014Garden

Did you make a bouncy ball and learn more about supporting Comer’s Children Hospital from the Schurz IB students?20140503_144229Or were you too distracted by the adorable bunnies?20140503_142814Or maybe it was this guy?20140503_134952

Did you learn how to make a cool coin purse from a recycled chip bag?20140503_134709

Did you play a round of Giant Jenga?20140503_140644

Did you check out the Shapeoko 2 from Inventables?2014Inventables

Did you see the bionic hand made by UIC New Media Arts?2014Bionic

Did you make a giant mold, learn to solder, use a cyclic harmonograph, make pictures with fire, craft your own spa products, build your own Chicago, inflate a moon ball, fold some origami, etch an eraser stamp, needle felt a design, construct a hexbug, or build a kit from Brown Dog Gadgets?  Whew! We were overwhelmed, too!20140503_135155

Don’t worry, we’re coming back in May, 2015 – more makers, more attendees, more stuff to DIY. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to always be in the know. That’s all folks! Keep on making, and come back for more!

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Be open to mess! Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside sat down with Kim Moldofsky, The Maker Mom, to talk about her work and philosophy. She started blogging in 2006 in part to encourage herself to learn how to make an Arduino and other electronics. That blog soon turned into The Maker Mom blog that is “dedicated to helping parents raise STEM-loving, Maker-friendly kids.” She also runs STEM Kids Chicago blog and Bedtime Math, which encourages parents to celebrate math with their children, and hosts #STEMchat on Twitter each month. Her Maker Mom blog is a wonderful combination of videos, experiments, news, and other resources for parents who are committed to STEM education and making.  She sees a natural fit between STEM and the maker movement.

Kim Moldofsky stressed that parents can encourage STEM with their kids without breaking the bank. It’s not about buying lots of expensive stuff (though you definitely can do that). There is a lot that parents can do at home with ordinary household things. It’s really just observing, asking questions, and thinking about solutions.  Kids can learn a lot by exploring everyday things like filling up containers of water and seeing what happens when you change elements. It’s important to help kids have the mentality of exploration and observation. And yeah, sometimes you just have to be open to messes.  Parents don’t have to have all the answers. Just create a space for kids to explore.  She sums it up best, “Parents do not need to feel that they have to gift wrap everything. Kids gain from being able to explore on their own.”

At Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, The Maker Mom is going to show people how to make Moon balls and other objects. Moon balls are made from interlocking panty hose and a balloon. It makes the balloon into a heftier object and more suitable for playing outside. But that’s just the start of all the awesome stuff you can do with panty hose! So come on out and make some Moon balls and learn more about Maker Mom’s work!

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tumblr_mj3p4zI5I01rcgo2vo1_500Ever considered making art with fire? Then you have to check out Steve Baltrukonis’s Drawn with Fire at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire. Steve Baltrukonis creates art through pyrography, a form of decorating wood through fire. He got his start in pyrography in 2012 when he started experimenting with a wooden medicine cabinet and a soldering iron. Within a short period of time, he was hooked. In an interview, he explains, “As an art form I like how versatile it is. My work runs the gamut from very traditional stuff with a Wild West vibe to super weird psychedelic black light pieces and sci-fi illustrations.”

Steve finds a lot of his inspiration from books, especially science fiction. When he’s not taking commissions and working on other projects, he’s working on his big project to read the top 100 science fiction books and creating a piece to correspond with all of them. He also creates street art in Chicago. Several years ago, he started photographing the amazing street art in Chicago and blogs about it at StreetArtofChicago.com. He loves street art because “it’s ethereal…it’s incredibly dangerous. It’s the great leveler. Someone with no talent can grab a paint marker and scrawl a tag on a wall or someone can bolt a gorgeous piece of art that took hours to make to a stop sign.” After a while, he decided that he should create his own street art.

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At Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside , Steve plans on demonstrating pyrography to demystify the process. He’ll be working on several pieces and fielding questions about the art form. He’ll conduct some presentations to discuss different tools and effects that can be achieved through burning on wood and leather.  So stop by Drawn with Fire and learn about using fire for art’s sake!

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Reserve your spot to the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! Tickets are FREE to the public, but by reserving early you guarantee your spot. Now you can e-sign the media release on Eventbrite and skip the line! As always, your generous donations allow those who cannot otherwise afford Maker Faire to attend for free. Recommended donations are $10/adult, and $5/child under 12.

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS!

Are you or someone you know a maker of awesome things? Apply to be a maker here! There is no fee to set up an educational display to show your stuff! The deadline to apply is April 7th.

SHOW YOUR STUFF

Did you miss Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside in 2013? Catch a sneak peek from our blogger Elisa Shoenberger:

Robots, sharks, and circus, oh my! Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside was a blast! The halls and front lawns of Carl Schurz High School were full of laughter and hard work as children and adults, alike, tried to learn wondrous things from our Makers. There was so much to see and so much to do. Human sized bubbles and spider robots greeted visitors outside. IMG_0627

Inside, there was a wonderful hallway of crowd-sourced painting and life sized cardboard people from the project “Make Your Mark.”  Everyone was encouraged to decorate the walls or play available musical instruments. Downstairs was a DIY photo booth by Maker Troy McLucas who originally created the machine for his own wedding. Makers and visitors alike could dress up in tiaras, glasses and funky lips to commemorate this wonderful day.IMG_0562

When you go to the second floor, you couldn’t help noticing the life size Great White Shark from Dee Hotchner’s Discover the Depths, the people behind Artology-the Colossal Squid.  The true to life organs of the Shark were on display, all made from recyclable materials.IMG_0570

 Inside the cafeteria, there was a flurry of activity as people learned lock picking, chainmail jewelry making, and so much more. Bookbinding Words showed people how to make flexagons with wonderful stories and drawings. The Blue Buddha Boutique had a table for people to make chainmail earrings and key chains. Build a Blinkie was immensely popular; the soldering tables were always humming with happy busy activity. Community Glue Workshop mended a variety of items, including the hem of pants and a ceramic doll. Museum of Science and Industry’s Wagner Family Fab Lab let people design stickers or scan themselves in three dimensions.IMG_0659

Visitors also had the opportunity to play. The Reptile Convention brought out various snakes and lizards for people to learn about and even touch! Larger than life Jenga pieces invited people to challenge one another or build up to the ceiling! Goats in the City stopped by with several goats and their kids. It was so delightful watching them munch on the front lawns. In the gymnasium, DIY Circus performed several thrilling acrobatic shows and taught kids how to stage fight and make puppets.

It was an excellent day of mischief, wonder, and learning. Can’t wait for the next Chicago Northside MiniMaker Faire!

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