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newcastle2011 Maker Faire Newcastle, 2011
Sean Montgomery’s heartbeat sculpture, BBC News

On March 11, 12, Maker Faire UK pitched its big, geeky tent once again in Newcastle. This BBC News “Tech Know” segment (link below) and article offer a fun little wrap-up of the event. It sounds like it was a roaring success, with some 10,000 attendees. Congrats to the whole Maker Faire UK team!

Inventor Paka showed off his 8m-long fire-breathing dragon made of scrap. Bo the Clown cycled around on his connected bike and there was also the biology-inspired Bulge sculpture made of stretch cotton by Bethan Maddocks for folks to see, squeeze and squish.

Parked in the square was Tom Ward’s Tech Truck, a panel van that had been converted into a mobile hacker space.

Those taking a turn inside could build a nippy little robot controlled via a TV remote.

Mr Ward plans to use the Tech Truck as he travels round the country running tech bootcamps at schools and other events.

“We’ll be teaching kids soldering and practical skills that they probably won’t learn at school,” he said.

The focus on curriculum and exams has left little time to tinker and create, said Mr Ward.

Minty geeks and flirty beermats

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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