The Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire team visited the incredible Henry Ford Museum this weekend, site of the 5th annual Maker Faire Detroit. We played with, among other things, old school tractor engines, Power Wheels, hacked bikes, soldering, lockpicking, 3D printing, oh my! Over 400 makers turned out for this featured Faire. Here’s a little taste of what we saw:
If you missed Maker Faire Detroit, have no fear! It will return in July 2015.
Saturday, August 2nd
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ford City Mall
7601 South Cicero Ave
Chicago, IL 60652
Register HERE for free tickets!
May 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!
For 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!
When you first entered Maker Faire, did you notice the aerial drones from Mad Lab Industries flying overhead?
Did you hitch a ride in a muffin baked by Oak Park Muffineering?
We 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.
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.
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.
Did you check out the Shapeoko 2 from Inventables?
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!
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!
You have to check out the wondrous machine called the Cyclic Harmonograph. Built by Peter Dalton, this hand-powered wooden machine uses a pulley system to create incredible circular interloping designs on paper. The Cyclic Harmonograph is a bit like a spirograph but it’s much larger and it uses pulleys instead of gears. The designs can be changed by five principle variables, such as changing the ratios between drawing arm and the paper, the rate of the movement of the drawing arm, and more. You can also change the paper and the pens to get different effects. But it’s not all about the pretty pictures. The machine is a wonder of mechanics. You can learn a lot about how rotary motion converts into lateral motion and much more.
The first Cyclic Harmonograph came about several years ago when Peter decided to try to put it together as a proof of concept. And it worked! Last year, his neighbor Katherine Edwards remembered the device as a kid and asked him to make one for a Tedx conference at University of Michigan. They collaborated and he built a larger Cyclic Harmonograph. It was a hit! Peter also showcases the machine on special days at the school where he works as a substitute teacher.
When I asked Peter what he wanted people to get out of his Cyclic Harmonograph, he told me that he wants you to know that you can take an idea, put it down on paper as a rough sketch, and figure a way to actually make it. It’s important to continue that process of discovery. Peter also advises that kids watch their family and friends to learn new things, like woodworking and sewing. So come on by to see the marriage of art and mechanics in the Cyclic Harmonograph and get your own design made before your very eyes!
Daley College’s Manufacturing Technology department is coming to Mini Maker Faire Northside Chicago! If you ever considered a career in robotics, computer integrated manufacturing, or factory automation or just think creating objects is neat, you should definitely check them out!
When we asked Ray Prendergast, Dean of College to Careers at Chicago City Colleges and former Director of Manufacturing Technology programs, about his hopes for Mini Maker Faire, he said that he wants people to be excited and manufacturing objects. Daley College is looking for people who are interested in creating and problem solving in the field of manufacturing. There are exciting possibilities in a career in manufacturing technology! Dean Prendergast stressed that all students learn both computer skills, like how to use a computerized lathe and a 3D printer, and traditional manufacturing skills, like welding and milling. In addition, students will learn quality assurance and business skills like lean manufacturing. Students also learn about green technology since that is essential in today’s business world. In a 2013 Chicago Tribune profile, Dean Prendergast said, “Companies want people with a technical background, but also with a good sense of business and organizational skills.”
For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Daley College will bring a computerized lathe and more. A lathe is a machine that works materials by rotating them; it can cut, sand, drill, etc. Participants will have the opportunity to design a part and watch the lathe make it before their eyes! Attendees can also learn more about the educational offerings of Daley College.
Chibots is coming to Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside! Based in Schaumburg, IL, Chibots has been committed to making robotics accessible to everyone for about fourteen years. Back in 2000, many people thought that robotics was too complex to anyone to get involved in, but that’s not true! even 8 year olds can, just look at these toys for 9 year old boys. Thankfully, some forward-thinking individuals thought otherwise and founded Chibots to make robotics accessible to everyone. And there is nothing like working on your robot and then getting see the immediate results when it starts working (or not working). The excitement is tangible.
Chibots continues fulfilling its mission today through a variety of venues: monthly meetings, an online forum/group, and various events in the Chicago region. Chibots showcases its robots at libraries and Science Nights at middle and high schools. In addition to these events, they hold their own competitions. Previously, they’ve held events like Mini-Sumo, a form of sumo style fighting, and Line Maze, where robots try to complete mazes. Recently, they’ve been hosting a larger competition called SRS RoboMagellan. SRS RoboMagellan is a competition where robots have to navigate to three traffic cones, avoiding obstacles. People can use GPS, sensors and much more to try to accomplish the task. The contestants are graded on speed and accuracy. Chibots’ next SRS RoboMagellan is coming up soon so you should definitely check it out. Or better yet, you should build a robot to compete!
For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Chibots will be showing off a selection their robots in action. They’ll also bring some video of old competitions, like Mini-Sumo! ChiBots wants you to get excited about learning more about robotics and wants to help kids to get more involved in STEM related activities. ChiBots want you to know: “We are here. We are willing. We are able. All we need is your interest in robotics!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Welcome back, Chicagoland Makers!
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:
Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 3, 2014. We will be accepting applications until April 7. 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
Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire is just around the corner! Here are some reminders to plan your day accordingly:
We’re incredibly excited to meet all the new and returning Makers this Saturday, as well as all the awesome attendees, who are also makers-in-training.