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The Greatest Show (and Tell) in Nashville

The Greatest Show (and Tell) in Nashville


Last Saturday was the first ever Mini Maker Faire for Nashville, TN and by all accounts it was very successful.  I had the pleasure of attending & exhibiting at the Faire and must say that I was very proud to be part of this event.

The Faire was hosted at the Adventure Science Center (ASC) on a hill just off I-65 that looks upon the city.  The weather was perfect (despite a little morning rain) and the people of Nashville showed up to support the Faire.  Most of the exhibits were located outside the ASC in their parking lot.  There were also exhibits, workshops, and presentations that took place within the ASC.

There was no cost for admittance to the Faire.  However, to enter the ASC there was a small fee which was waived for the first 1000 kids thanks to Regions Bank.  ASC staff reported that 2400 people entered the ASC during the Faire and I think its easy to say there were at least 3000 in attendance.

Exhibitors from all over Tennessee, the surrounding states, and one exhibitor from as far away as M.I.T showed up.  There’s no doubt that kids loved learning to silkscreen, vacuum form their own mask, build a Sonic Screwdriver, play with robots, and much more.  For the adults there was also plenty to love – electric vehicles, music installations, electronics, and even an opportunity to sit down at an outdoor movable furniture exhibit.

Tony Youngblood made this awesome video that shows all the outdoor exhibits in two minutes.

YouTube player

I was most impressed by some of the incredibly (almost scary) smart kids I met at the Faire.  A 12 year old “almost” put me in my place during a argument discussion about what’s better – a RasPi or a microcontroller!  I’ll be posting some more articles in the following days about some of the exhibits and people I’d like to highlight.

The Adventure Science Center, Make Nashville, and Artscubed did a great job hosting the event.  I look forward to it being even bigger and better next year!

[Disclosure – as a member of Make Nashville leadership, I was one of the coordinators of this event]

6 thoughts on “The Greatest Show (and Tell) in Nashville

  1. Scott says:

    We came to the event early and by the time we left they were shuttling people in from remote parking lots! Wow. The turnout was pretty impressive for the inaugural Nashville event. If 2400 people actually entered the ASC, I think total attendance may have been more in the 4000 range. Can’t wait until next time! Hopefully we can dream up something to display and become presenters!

    1. The Greatest Show (and Tell) in Nashville Ian Lee says:

      I like the way you think! I’m looking forward to reporting on your exhibit next year!

  2. M Kelley says:

    Thanks for the article, Ian! My partner and I led a silkscreen demo making handkerchiefs during the event, and we too were impressed and amazed by the level of curiousity, excitement, and passion these kids brought to the table. We had a great time showing them the ropes and feeding off their enthusiasm. It’s a good feeling to know the next generation here in Nashville is on the ball!

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I'm a software engineer by day and maker by night. Most of my making revolves around woodworking, electronics, and the combination of the two. I'm also the founder & president of NashMicro - the Nashville Microcontrollers users' group and the father of three future makers. Follow me on Twitter as @ianlee74 or for the most recent news on everything Gadgeteer, follow @gadgeteerin.

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