On April 6, the Los Angeles Public Library and Columbia Memorial Space Center will host the second annual City of STEM + Los Angeles Maker Faire. This year’s event returns to the Los Angeles State Historic Park, bringing this celebration of science, creativity, invention and fun to the heart of the City of Angels. Everyone is invited to participate in hands-on activities, amazing experiences, workshops, lectures, and appearances by famous creators and science celebrities. And to make the event even better, it is completely FREE!

The Los Angeles Maker Faire began in 2016 as the DTLA Mini Maker Faire, which was hosted by the Los Angeles Public Library at the historic Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. 

By 2019, the Faire had burst out of the confines of the building and overflowed into the gardens surrounding the library; we even closed down a major street to make enough room.  And then came the pandemic, which gave us an opportunity to begin collaborating with our friends at City of STEM.

City of STEM is a celebration of Los Angeles’ long legacy and continued leadership in science, technology and innovation, creating experiences that strive to be accessible and inclusive of all people, especially those traditionally underrepresented in STEM, ensuring that everyone feels like they are part of the ongoing STEM story of Southern California.  Since April 2015, they have kicked off an entire month of STEM activities with a free family festival.  City of STEM’s mission is to inspire learners of all ages and backgrounds to create, experiment, explore, and have fun by participating in events throughout Greater Los Angeles.  

In 2023, we brought the two events together into Southern California’s largest celebration of science, making, creativity, invention, and fun, bringing together almost 200 exhibitors and makers (including Bill Nye!) and over 20,000 attendees!

A Few Highlights of the Day

Invention Convention Pavilion – New to City of STEM + Los Angeles Maker Faire is the Invention Convention Pavilion, featuring 25 projects invented by students from several Southern California school districts.  Inventions include Easy Shoes, the Milk Fork, and the Meowy Light. Invention Convention Worldwide is a K-12 invention education program that teaches students problem-identification, problem-solving, entrepreneurship and creativity skills and builds confidence in invention, innovation and entrepreneurship for life. Invention Convention programs happen at the school, local, regional and national levels in the United States and a growing number of countries worldwide.

Tetra Bio Distributed Tetra Bio Distributed is a non-profit organization of engineers, designers, and makers that create, develop, and test open-source Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs).  They started working on this in August 2020 in response to the PPE shortage experienced in hospitals. Mark Roden says, “We’ve tested the device in numerous ways, including most recently with a Portacount, that showed the device passing at a 2100 level, when a normal elastomeric N100 respirator would pass at a level of 1000. What’s truly extraordinary about that result is that I was the test subject, and I have a beard; elastomeric masks are not meant to be effective for people with beards, and yet here we are. Practically, we’ve had immune compromised members of Tetra use the device to perform at dancing competitions, where a passive respirator (the normal N95 face masks people are used to) left him out of breath and unable to compete.”

Sprite Lights – Katherine Connell says, “Sprite Lights is light up wearable body art. Think of a temporary tattoo with LEDs! Sprite Lights is a blend of art and technology that allows you to express yourself in new and unique ways. It’s great for night time events like concerts and festivals, and indoor events like conventions and parties.”  About her Maker journey, Katherine says, “I have no formal training or background in engineering and I’m a self taught maker who knows just enough to break things spectacularly. But I like to think that’s what’s so great about being a maker. You can pick up something to learn, experiment without preconceived restraints, and make some beautiful disasters. I’ve learned so many things by being insatiably curious.”

Princesses with Power Tools – Caeley Looney, CEO and Editor in Chief of Reinvented Magazine, says, “Reinvented is so excited for our princesses to be back at the Los Angeles Maker Faire this year! Our booth will feature professional women in STEM dressed up as their favorite princesses for the day to show attendees how to use a powertool! Whether the attendee has used a powertool before or not, our princesses are there to help those at all comfort levels learn how to use a powered hand drill and walk away confident and ready to take on their next engineering project! Since our group is founded by a space nerd, all attendees will create their own DIY constellation projector using the drill that they’ll be able to take home with them, and it’s all absolutely free to participate!

One of the makers attending is Cal Poly Pomona student Ayden Wardell and his jetfan go-kart. “I am an 18 year-old maker who is studying mechanical engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. Whenever I get time in between my classes, I enjoy working on my engineering projects and showing what’s possible in a garage workshop. I am interested in many kinds of maker hobbies such as model rocketry and remote control aircraft, and with 3D printing and lathe machining, I have developed several experimental propulsion systems. However, my biggest projects have always been go-karts. From when I was around 10 years old, I have been building all kinds of go-karts, with some of the early ones not even having motors. As I learned from each go-kart model, I made improvements in structure and propulsion. Now, I have powerful electric motors and even an electric Jetfan on my latest go-Kart. Being a maker has taught me many basic skills of engineering which is why I continue to pursue my interests and learn much more in my college engineering classes.”

When:

 Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where:

Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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