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Explore the Creative and the Created at Maker Faire

October 14, 2016

By Meg Campbell

As the lazy days of summer fade away and the beauty of fall settles upon us, so too do busier and busier schedules. It’s far too easy to get lost in the hectic schedules of chaotic work demands, the start of the school year and the quickly approaching holiday season and find yourself feeling uninspired and searching for creativity.

On Oct. 15 and 16, Pittsburghers have a shot at the ultimate cure to the ennui that so sneakily creeps up on us: Maker Faire Pittsburgh.

And just what is a Maker Faire?

“Maker Faire is The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth. Makers come to show their creations while attendees glimpse the future and find the inspiration to become Makers themselves,” says Kayce Dewey, Maker Faire Pittsburgh director. “It’s taking the world by storm and exciting to see Pittsburgh be a part of this movement.”

The national Maker Faire organization calls it “…a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors.”

From their beginnings ten years ago in the Bay Area, Maker Faires have sprung up all over the world. Pittsburgh saw its first mini-Maker Faire in 2011, hosted by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to coincide with the grand opening of their permanent maker space, MAKESHOP.

Now in its fifth year, the team took a year off in 2014 to plan and strategize growth — Maker Faire Pittsburgh is anything but mini. This year’s event will feature 250 exhibits, performances and presentations in more than 50 categories, and is produced in collaboration with HackPGH.

So what kind of things can you expect to find, explore and create at Maker Faire Pittsburgh? The categories include everything from 3D printers to robotics to music to puppets and much, much more. Here are 10 that sound especially awesome:

Akron Makerspace: Grab a piece of material and engrave your name or other text.

Robomotive Laboratories: Put on robot arms and feel what it is like to be a 12-inch tall robot.

Grindhouse Wetware: Find out all about science’s newest frontier: biohacking.

Design Print and Mold Custom Chocolate Bars: The name says it all – except eating your creation!

Making Monsters: Get up close and personal with the making of movie monster masks.

Large-Scale Lego Bricks: The only thing more fun than building with Legos? Supersizing your project!

Origami Petting Zoo: The Origami Club of Carnegie Mellon is bringing larger than life models of your favorite origami animals.

Rubber Band Gatling Gun: Curious what 144 rubber bands fired in 8 seconds looks like? Now you can find out.

MAKESHOP: Visit the place where it all started and explore and experiment with basic electronics and eTextiles.

Worried about finding time to eat in the middle of all of the creativity? Maker Faire Pittsburgh has got you covered! Eight food trucks will be providing fuel for all day fun!

Maker Faire Pittsburgh will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat. Oct. 15 and Sun. Oct. 16 on Pittsburgh North Side at Nova Place and Buhl Community Park. Tickets start at $5.00 and are available for purchase online.