The excitement is building as the Singapore maker community mobilizes for the 7th annual Maker Faire Singapore, organized by Science Centre Singapore and A*STAR (the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology, and Research). This year’s Faire takes place at Our Tampines Hub from Friday August 17 through Sunday August 19 and features about 1,000 makers and 350 maker booths. The weekend has been named the Maker Extravaganza and includes a Maker Conference on the 17th, as well as an Education Day dedicated to students on the same day.
We spoke with organizing team members Dr. Kiruthika Ramanathan and Su Ru Lim to gain insight on how the Faire has grown over the years and what to expect this weekend:
It’s exciting to see how individual makers have grown over the last 7 years. A maker who joined us as an individual three years ago is coming again with eight of her friends, and this kind of scaling up is amazing to see. We have also seen makers grow from “garage” projects to Kickstarters. One of our makers this year, Mr. Kee Wee, successfully funded a campaign for a tabletop laser cutter. He is working with the local community to build a life-sized strandbeest that you can ride on.
We especially enjoy the work by young makers — for instance, a 13-year-old who has leveraged the Singapore data APIs to build an Alexa chatbot. We love the fact that the kids showcasing their projects are getting younger and younger. This year, we also beat the record for the youngest maker, who is only 4 years old!
Aside from the fact that we have to keep looking for larger and larger venues to support the scale of Maker Faire Singapore, we do see a growth in the community as well. There is more mainstream interest than there was, say, two years ago. Some of the community centres are rallying around the idea of maker education to increase competence of the community on 21st-century skills. We have also been seeing this happen in schools.
This year, we have fewer booths than last year because of space constraints. However, we have rejected a large number of submissions (approximately 30%), so hopefully the quality of submissions for the Faire is exceptional. There is also greater participation from the region — again, we will see students from Korea and Hong Kong showcasing their projects here.
The theme for this year’s Maker Conference is “Learning Through Failures.” The theme for the Maker Faire depends on the submissions we receive from the makers. This year, the theme for the Faire is “Making is for the young, the old, and everyone in the middle.” From the youngest maker to the group of active seniors who are building softbots, there is greater inclusivity and a more diverse mix of makers this year.
Singapore Maker Sampler
To reflect what the team shared, there’s a wealth of variety in the makers and exhibits in store this weekend. Be sure to check out the Maker Faire Singapore website for a full list of makers and exhibitors, hands-on workshops, and layout maps. Below is just a sampler.
Our Cardboard World
Young makers Anan (7), Jackrish (6), and Kareena (4) are building awesome things out of recycle-bin cardboard, and they’re bringing their designs — which include everything from a kitchen set to costumes and games—to the Faire to share.
Smart Mirror Project
Singapore native Saral Tayal (19) of Tinker Spark started his journey in the Maker Movement at the age of 12 and is enrolled to study robotics and engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Among his achievements is being the Grand Prize winner in Amazon’s worldwide voice-activated challenge for his DIY Smart Mirror Project.
Local florists Alice Kwah and Ai Tit Lee of Wood Flower Cottage co-created Animal Blooms, arrangements of animals made of flowers, and will be sharing details of how you can make your very own.
Hobby crocheter and mother of two Megha Mehta of The Balance Mantra has created a collection of crocheted accessories for the home, including throws, pillows, poufs, baskets, and rugs to make any space more personal and cozy. She’ll be sharing her creations and techniques.
Smart Kitchen Projects
The Junyuan Champs, a group of students from Junyuan Secondary School, have a passion for creating interesting kitchen gadgets, like this automatic cake icing dispenser, which detects the cake, reads its moisture level, and automatically dispenses icing if the cake is at the optimal moisture level.
Fishes in the Reef
The Party Elves, an event planning service specializing in children’s events, will be bringing Fishes in the Reef, a co-created underwater world where adults and children collaborate on a loosely themed set and the parameters of play are explored and redefined.
A gifted group of students from Korea and their teachers will be sharing the IoT smart home they designed that features an intelligent door, overheat warning system, human detection power system, and a self-expecting gate. There are three booths at the Faire as part of this project: Code Da Vinci, KAGE and Worldclass Edu.
Electrical Experiments and Arduino Pinball
The Maker Family will be showing off a number of the projects they’ve made as a team: basic electric experiments using a big board;
works made using electricity, sound, and motors; and a digital Arduino Pinball game. Bonus: If you get a high score in the game, you get a gift!
Creative Makers @ Yumin
Creative Makers @ Yumin is a showcase of project-based lessons from Yumin Primary School that incorporate the design thinking protocol. Students were given the opportunity to code, tinker, and innovate. The display will share the students’ PBL process and makerspace artifacts.
The Taman Jurong Digital Makers are a group of seniors who started learning digital making a few months ago. They will be featuring their softbots. Each has a character of its own and is designed to react differently to external stimuli. Their outer skin is made of knitted yarn or other textiles. They hope to one day be able to make solutions to real world problems.
Cytron, a robotics and IoT company based in Malaysia, will be showcasing their new shield (Arduino), HAT (Raspberry Pi), and Arduino UNO compatible board Maker Uno, perfect for educational settings.
EduSTEAM is a group of creatives focused on STEAM education with expertise and activities in R/C gliders, drones, resin & string art, interactive design, VR, and 3D printing. They’ll be hosting a number of activities on their site.
The amazing larger-than-life MakerBear has delighted the masses at Maker Faire Singapore previously, but this year creator Bartholomew Ting is bringing the even-bigger OctoBear!
Check out the Maker Faire Singapore website for all the information you need to join the fun!