Education
Open MAKE @ Exploratorium: Motion and Mechanisms

This Saturday, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, we’ll have our fourth Open MAKE session beginning at 11 am in the McBean Theater followed by ongoing activities in the Tinkering Studio from 12:30 to 3pm. Our theme is Motion and Mechanisms, which allows us to explore the world of toys and toymakers. We’ll also get a glimpse of the projects that Young Makers have been working on for Maker Faire, including a fire-breathing dragon. Several of the Young Makers will have their work on display in the afternoon session.

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The Orb by James Sears

At 11 am, we’ll feature four makers who will talk about their work and answer questions.

  • Brad Prather is an 87-year-old maker and folk artist from Petaluma. Brad hacks toys, adapting their power source from electric to solar. Come see his amazing solar-powered whirlygigs and gizmos.
  • Michael Brown is an SF-based sculptor and designer who creates large-scale public artworks including Bluerain, which appeared at Maker Faire last year and was then installed at the Library at the London School or Economics. He will be talking about a project he’s organizing in association with the Exploratorium for Maker Faire where 30 artists will be taking apart kids’ toys and the re-assembling them in new ways.
  • Adam Tobin, Director of Exhibit Development at the Exploratorium, is also an entrepreneur and an award-winning toy inventor whose creations included Frigits, Tub Tunes Water Flutes and Drums, and SuperFort. The Studio Gallery will feature his marble clock along with a wall of interactive mechanisms Adam created for the space.
  • James Sears is a NY-based artist and the developer of The Orb, a spherical surface display that can project any image or video. The Orb was at Maker Faire several years ago and is coming back this year. It will also be on display at the Exploratorium on Saturday. Quite simply, you have to see it to appreciate it.
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Michael Brown in front of his “Bluerain”.


A display of Brad Prather’s Solar-Powered Toys

The activities in the Tinkering Studio area are really special, the thoughtful product of Mike Petrich and Karen Wilkinson and their team at the Exploratorium. It’s a great opportunity to engage young makers in fun hands-on activities. After all, this is all about making new makers.

Please join me and the Maker Faire team at the Exploratorium this Saturday. BTW, today is the fifth anniversary of the first Maker Faire, which was April 22-23 in 2006. The Fifth Annual Maker Faire will be May 22-23, 2010 at the San Mateo Expo Center. Get your tickets in advance and avoid waiting in line!

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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