Last weekend was the first-ever MIT Mini Maker Faire, and it proved that the event was way overdue. The all-day affair filled three circus tents and an inflatable mylar structure. The 110 exhibits, from both MIT and local makers, included robots, jewelry, origami, wearable electronics, sculpture, musical instruments, and 3D printers. There were also robot battles, go-kart races, on-the-hour MIT maker space tours, and panel discussions. Various MIT luminaries stopped in. MIT provost Martin Schmidt spoke at the event.
Professor Marty Culpepper, who’s known as the “maker czar” of the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, toured the entire event, slowly, with his two children, taking it all in.
“What amazes me is the diversity of stuff I’m seeing,” he said. “Everything from swords and pillows, to a Van der Graaf generator that plays music.”
A team of 12 organizers, aided by 80 volunteers, pulled the event off.
“More than half of the exhibitors are MIT students, or alums,” said head organizer Jessica Artiles. “They are not here because of a lack of homework, they are here because they want to share and engage with people.”
Jessica said she didn’t mind the lack of sleep that went into organizing the Faire.
“What you see here,” she said, “is that little extra bit of passion that makes us all stay up all night.”
As he walked around the Faire, Prof. Culpepper pointed out that the event perfectly matched the MIT mission.
“At MIT we celebrate the artist, the scholar, and the smith,” he said. “You’ve got all of that here.”