The historic Newark Museum provided a perfect backdrop to New Jersey’s first Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 5, 2014. With over 40 maker exhibits, 80 galleries full of art and natural science collections, and a full day of workshops, the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire was a hit with attendees of all ages.
Many homegrown makers came out to share their creativity at the Faire. Crafting from natural materials was popular, with everything from Japanese woodworking to hand-carved Scandinavian spoons on display. Attendees were invited to try their hand at sculpting stone, stamping wood, creating ceramics, and blowing glass. There were also opportunities to make your own art prints, to learn to crochet, to make a kite, or to bead jewelry. Many projects were family friendly, giving kids the chance to explore their inner engineer while building with Legos, marshmallows, K’nex, and more.
High-tech projects were out in force, too. Robots were well represented, with Central Jersey Robotics, the Bergen County Makerspace, the Institute for Exploratory Research, and even Hillsborough High School’s RoboRaiders 75 FIRST Robotics team all on site with their creations. And of course there were lots of 3D and 4D printers on display making a wide assortment of projects — from funky bracelets to articulated hands and beyond. Exciting projects from local makerspaces were also on display, like The Orbital Rendersphere from the Hoboken Makerbar and FUBAR Labs’ under-$500 Power Racer.
The crowd was a mix of seasoned artisans, established engineers and scientists, passionate college students, and families eager to explore. “We were blown away by today’s Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire! So many fantastic activities for the kids,” said attendee Helen Demir.
After a solid start, there’s no doubt that the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire will continue to grow, adding a new dimension to the Newark Museum’s more than 100-year history of innovation.