When President Obama hosted the first White House Maker Faire in 2014 and declared it a success, what had been a mini event became of national importance. Set this year for June 18-19, the second annual National Maker Faire takes place at the University of District Columbia as part of the president’s proclaimed National Week of Making, a seven-day celebration June 17-23 that officially launches an entire season — we’re calling it the Summer of Making.
Hosted in partnership with the Nation of Makers nonprofit, National Maker Faire aims to be what President Obama has hailed as a way to better “celebrate the tinkerers and dreamers whose talent and drive have brought new ideas to life.” The goal, the president stated, is to cultivate “the next generation of problem solvers.”
That generation is certainly ready for National Maker Faire! From the seven-year-old maker who will show off his homemade arcade console created from a Raspberry Pi and a MaKeyMaKey to the 4-H members who are supporting the USDA, National Maker Faire has all the creative energy of our recent Maker Faire Bay Area, but with extra input from nearby governmental agencies.
In addition to the USDA, the Navy will be on hand as will the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Can you measure in nanos? Exactly.
Author Dave Zobel will explain the real science behind the TV show The Big Bang Theory while faculty from the Navajo Technical University demonstrate how to devise solar medicine coolers and Sphero has participants programming to paint—with robots! You’ll even learn how the DAI Maker Lab is applying maker tools to improving flood response in Honduras, enhancing economic competitiveness in Jordan, supporting civil society in Cambodia, and tackling other developing country challenges.
Otherwise, the weekend of National Maker Faire features just the ordinary stuff of any old Saturday or Sunday. You could learn to build a 3D-printed robot spider; problem-solve for space while safely on Earth; set up your own wireless drone data collection system; learn how to bring the weather inside; make sense of the Chaos Machine; 3D print to preserve rare artifacts; and harness biomaterials (you could call them “mushrooms”) to grow furniture as and other items as you need them. Of course the Lockpick Village will be on hand.
Want to be a part of the scene? The Call for Makers is still open for a few more days. Be a part of an amazing event! Apply today.
National Maker Faire runs Saturday-Sunday, June 18-19, on the campus of the University of District Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW. Faire hours are 11am to 6pm. Get your complimentary tickets today and plan to join us as we begin an entire summer devoted to the creative pleasures of making.