Why Educators Want to Attend Maker Faire 2012

Savannah and Sara
Savannah and Sara
Savannah and her mentor Sara Bolduc exhibit Savannah’s “Lightastic” project in the Young Makers area at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011.

Maker Faire Bay Area is just about here, taking place next weekend, May 19 and 20 at the San Mateo County Event Center. This year, more than ever, Maker Faire will provide more resources and inspiration for teachers and other educators–everything from a special Educators’ Meetup on the Thursday before Maker Faire, to a DIY Learning: The New School pavilion, from our K-12 Education Day field trips to educational discounts. This year, as in the past, we’ve offered free teacher tickets to come experience one day of Maker Faire to the first 500 classroom teachers who request them. We actually have a handful of these left, available to those who join our community of educators before the end of the day today (and if you sign up after we’ve given them all away, you’ll be among the first to know for next year’s event!)

Educators, get all the information you need about all the Education events on the Maker Faire educational outreach page.

And for insight and inspiration, check out what a group of teachers answered when we asked them to “Tell us more about yourself and your students!” including things they love about making, Makers, or Maker Faire, etc.

    • Maker Faire projects are one of the most powerful experiences I have seen my students have. The fact that the project vision and creation are completely student-driven makes buy-in (and frustration levels!) run high, but creates an experience students truly learn from. — Aaron V., a high school Computer Science, Engineering, and Science teacher in Oakland
    • Right now students have an inquiry-based science curriculum but do not make things in the classroom. I would like to learn about project-based topics where students without many resources would be able to make things, and see why science is applicable and useful to their everyday lives. The school has a robotics group but many students do not have the chance to participate in it; I’d like to learn about what I could do with them in my class. — a high school Science teacher in Seattle
    • Technology is starting to become an important part of our instructional day as our district moves forward. I want to integrate technology and art into my curriculum more and love that Maker Faire offers the opportunity for inspiration. — Breanne R., a elementary Art and Math teacher in San Jose
    • I was inspired years ago by attending the Maker Faire to try BlinkyBots and a few other kits. I added soldering to my Physics curriculum. This empowers students (especially females) who light up when they see a kit they soldered come to life! The current focus in my mind is to incorporate green living into student projects. I have many students from a farming background that are interested in renewable energy. I would like to learn about solar energy and biodiesel. Next week, I am starting a recycling computer parts into art and other projects. The Maker Faire gives me the inspirational fire and connections to do what I want with students! — Brian S., a high school Computer Science, Math, and Science teacher in Ceres
    • I’ve definitely got both a tech side and a creative side, and making seems to be a perfect intersection of those interests. After attending Maker Faire last year, I was really inspired to try out a number of things on my own time, even getting an Arduino set and learning how to program again. — Cliff C., a high school Math teacher in Oakland


  • I am very committed to cultivating a ‘Maker’ mentality in our classroom – but need ideas/support because this does not currently exist at the school. — an elementary school teacher in Petaluma
  • My students are primarily English Language Learners and come from low-income, immigrant families. Many times their families do not know the opportunities that exist for their children outside of the school. As a result, my students would not be able to “make” and design unless it was presented to them in school. — Elisabeth A., a 3rd Grade Math, Science teacher in San Jose
  • Really interested in the wonderful potential for the Maker movement and how it could fit into some of the changes which will eventually happen in science standards for K-12 settings. Engineering will be a greater component and these programs are important to rediscover enthusiasm for science. — Frank K., a college Engineering, Science administrator in Santa Barbara
  • I enjoy learning new things and being able to provide exciting hands-on experiences for my students. The students appear to enjoy working on the computer and building with blocks. I would like to attend  Maker Faire to get more ideas to help enhance the curriculum and provide an avenue for the students to explore, experiment, and create. — Grace W., a Kindergarten teacher in Union City
  • I don’t get to make with our students enough! My school is currently going through a large strategic planning phase, and STEAM skills and creative focus are big. Maker Faire is a terrific opportunity to see how other makers and schools implement making into a day-to-day school setting. Our students are hungry for this kind of real-world, project-based learning. — Jason S., a elementary technology coordinator in San Francisco
  • My husband and I visited the Maker Faire a few years ago, and we were blown away by the creativity, ingenuity, and spirit of innovation. I would love to attend this year and get ideas for how to make my English Language Arts classes more creative and hands-on. — Jennifer H., a high school English Language Arts teacher in Menlo Park
  • I’m hoping to bring back what I learn and see to use to help inspire the many special needs students that I work with everyday. — Jennifer C., a elementary Special Education teacher in Simi Valley
  • I am a teacher in the East Side district in San Jose. I teach chemistry and a science research class. The research class is one in which students work on long term projects of their own design. This year, some of the projects included a novel type of xray machine, quantum dot based solar cell, ion channel platform, a unique advanced battery, and low temperature superconductors. Maker Faire always provides inspiration for me for next year’s projects. — John A., a high school Science teacher in CA
  • I teach First Grade, and it’s hard to fit creative activities into the daily curriculum. I found that Maker Faire was a very good resource for finding projects that I could tie into the curriculum. I was particularly happy to find instructables.com and to share that resource with my fellow teachers. — Katherine T., a 1st Grade teacher in Fremont
  • Students love to make things, and I love to make things with them! — Katie L., a high school World History teacher in San Francisco
  • I attended Maker Faire last year, and was inspired to create more art and facilitate creative expression in my students. — Kerri F., a Kindergarten teacher in Mountain View
  • I’m looking to integrate “make” in the classroom (not just mine but others) and to see the curiosity of the make community spread to my kids. — Marco C., a high school English teacher in San Francisco
  • I love going to Maker Faire and seeing all of the amazing inventions and how the many kids/teens are clearly inspired by what they are seeing. I saw a display with knitted DNA strands and went home and made my own for my classroom! — Maria F., a middle school Science, dance teacher in Oakland
  • My class and school population reflects the culturally diverse area in which we live. We have a high percentage of English Learners. The students in my class are bright, curious, and LOVE anything “hands-on”. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the scheduling flexibility to work with our hands, unless we can show it is directly tied to state standards. That’s what I want to find out!! I have so many students that I KNOW would benefit from a chance to learn by doing and making…. I would love to guide my students towards an appreciation of DIY and making and all the ways it can benefit them, their school and their communities. — Marilyn E., a 4th Grade teacher in Union City
  • My school is classified as “alternative,” which means we must meet state standards BUT we can get there in ways that don’t necessarily match the district curriculum. I love teaching project based units that span a whole semester. I love open ended projects where student outcomes are unknown at the beginning. I am strongly drawn to “making,” but need some more examples and ideas to spark my creative process. My kids are open minded and love to tinker already. — Michelle Y., a 2nd and 3rd Grade teacher in Palo Alto
  • In addition to being a teacher, I am a maker. We also make a point of being environmentally conscious at my school, and this goes hand-in-hand with repurposing materials creatively. A couple of years ago when I first attended Maker Faire, I ran into FabMo, and I’ve been visiting their fabric give-aways and making crafts out of repurposed materials ever since. I am currently planning on teaching an arts and crafts elective at my school with the focus on creatively repurposing discarded materials. I’m looking forward to the next Maker Faire, as it is always filled with inspiring and creative ideas for makers and teachers. — Monica D., a middle school Computer Science, English Language Arts teacher in Belmont
  • In the past, I’ve done a lot of food science “making” with students – baking bread from sourdough starter, roasting coffee beans, fermenting sauerkraut or root beer, making jam or butter, making cheese from scratch, etc. Usually these project come from projects I am tinkering with at home that I can find a curricular connection to. … I love the engagement students display when they have the opportunity to create something as part of science, and I feel like the invitation to make is an effective way to draw students into science (“understand this, and expand your creative powers!”). In past years, I have found the Maker Faire to be a great source of inspiration for both my own projects and projects I bring into the classroom. — Monica S., a high school Science teacher in Berkeley
  • Our school is a low-income grade school in Daly City we have a large population of second language learners. Because of cuts in funding we have no choice but to use previously loved materials to create gifts and projects for classroom assignments. Most are done within the classroom as individuals, however occasionally we have a group project. I love Maker Faire because I see so many creative ideas and possibilities to share with my students. — Nathalie J., a 5th Grade teacher in San Mateo
  • I love Maker Faire because I have free choice to choose my projects which means I look forward to being inspired AND actually use what I see and learn. — Patricia C., a elementary Art teacher in San Francisco
  • I have taken good ideas home from Maker Faire in recent years, and also love to see all the things women are doing. That inspires me and then, during my enthusiastic sharing, my students. Attendance at Maker Faire is an extra credit activity available to my students. — Patricia A., a middle school Math, Science teacher in Morgan Hill
  • Right now my focus with “making” has been on creating a community of writers who value their own personal writing, share, and continually innovate their language. In a non-traditional sense, treating writing as a valuable product is making in itself. I love making, and in future years I really want to learn how to bring in more making! I … want to learn more about integrating design, empathy-building, and making into my future middle school classroom so that I encourage students to develop creativity and wonder. — Rei J., a middle school History and English teacher in Stanford
  • Seeing what you are doing for kids seriously brought tears to my eyes–probably because I was thinking of all of our kids who fail or barely pass science class yet show me pictures of the things they’ve made and ask me questions way beyond what we’re talking about in class. I need a way to keep them going in the right direction and get them motivated to work for good grades to get them into college, and I think a Makers Club is the way to do it. — RJ H., a high school Science teacher in Ventura
  • I like to encourage my students to work on their own projects. Attending Maker Faire allows me to see what ideas are out there and how I can incorporate those ideas in my classroom in order to stimulate the mind of my students. — Shahram M., a high school Science teacher in San Francisco
  • I often use concepts and ideas from Maker Faire to get across ideas. For instance, we talk about creative, practical and analytical thinking in one segment of class. Maker Faire has allowed me to show experiments (like molecular gastronomy) and give demonstrations (basic cheese making) that emphasize each and every one of these, which helps bring the point home to my students. As you can see, it also reinforces my love of cooking, so it’s a win-win for us all! — Shavon W., a college English professor in Newark
  • I am completely committed to the Maker philosophy, and have been teaching classes in this vein long before Maker Faire started. I have already begun telling all my students about the upcoming Faire in San Mateo, and hope that many will attend to taste the flavor and excitement of creating/re-purposing their very own projects and making them their own. Students [in my classes] are often so energized that they take their projects home, and often end up collaborating on their own time with other students outside of class. My hope is that these kids end up “makers for life”. — Shelly L., a teacher in La Selva Beach
  • Personally, I love making stuff. I am a craft fanatic, when I find the time to do it….I want to bring these ideas of making from my personal life into my classroom, and am looking for a community to help me integrate it with my given curriculum. — Shira H., a high school Math teacher in Mountain View
  • I have gone to Maker Faire for the last three years and it has inspired me to make/create more things in the classroom. As a class, we have made various science and arts & crafts things that I’ve learned about through the Maker Faire. I choose things that related to grade level standards and at the end of the year we just do fun activities just because the students like them and can be creative. We’ve made felt bracelets, lotus memory books, tie-dye cloth, scrap art and etc… I’ve also learned about many different organizations and companies that I would never have heard of it wasn’t for Maker Faire. Maker Faire has also inspired me personally. — Son-Hui W., a 3rd Grade teacher in South San Francisco
  • In math, we often read about real world examples, but I’d like to explore ways to have students create models of these examples to really see the mathematical concepts. I find that with the technology we have, sometimes, I shy away from building things with real objects because Google Sketchup or Geogebra can mock it up pretty nicely. I love Maker Faire because it connects me to people truly more creative than I am. While I am good at making connections and making some things (knit/crochet items, origami), creativity doesn’t come naturally to me. I came away inspired last year and have no doubt that this year will be the same! — Sue-Ting C., an elementary Math, Music, Mandarin teacher in Los Altos
  • I started something a few years ago called Exploration Days where the kids create their own projects based on whatever field of study they prefer and then find the CA content standards to match their project. I’ve got: sculptors, movie makers, musicians, textile artists, builders, scientists, artists, etc. The point of the exploration is to find something that they are curious about and explore it through a medium that equally fascinates them. It’s what school should be but often isn’t.” — Susan S., a 6th Grade teacher in San Jose
  • Even though I’m an English language arts teacher, I am personally interested in science and technology–as I know a lot of my students are as well. The creative process across disciplines is in many cases similar, and I strive to point this out to my future engineers and programmers in creative writing. Cross-curriculum projects will be a part of our future curriculum, and I can’t imagine a better place to go to get inspired about a science and technology cross-over project for my English class. — Suzanne E., a high school English Language Arts teacher in San Francisco
  • I love that Maker Faire feels like Disneyland for the inventor’s mind. It is very eye-opening for teachers and students especially because we have the tools or at least the platform from which to create and innovate! — Tamar S., a high school Science and advisory teacher in Oakland
  • I will finish my credential to teach middle school science next year. I’m still developing my own set of projects and activities to use in lessons, but I believe in doing as much hands-on as possible. One reason I’m really excited about Maker Faire is that it will give me more ideas and resources for implementing project based learning in the classroom. — Tegan L., a middle school Science teacher in San Jose
  • I wish I had more time to make things with the kids at school, but it seldom seems to happen. I think the kids would benefit from more hands-on, creative projects. I always leave the Maker Faire really inspired to try new things both at school and in my personal life, usually in arts and crafts. I have picked up small project ideas that fit in with my curriculum at the Faire. (At home, my son’s last birthday party was a Minecraft / Maker theme and they just used all kinds of junk to build things.) — a 3rd Grade teacher in Walnut Creek
  • Of course, my art students are “making” many wonderful art pieces, but I think what they are “making” the most of is a brain that can problem solve and “making” their eyes see the world in a different way. They are building connections to the basic principles of making things and how it correlates to their lives. — Yolanda G., a high school Art teacher in San Jose


24 thoughts on “Why Educators Want to Attend Maker Faire 2012

  1. Dale Dougherty says:

    Reblogged this on Makerspace.

  2. Jake Spurlock says:

    Reblogged this on Makerspace and commented:

    We’re excited to see such passionate teachers coming to Maker Faire.

  3. Speechy Keen SLP - Maker Faire 2012 says:

    […] It’s that time again! Anyone who knows me personally knows I am a HUGE Maker Faire fan. Not only am I somewhat of a creative person myself (*coughcoughGEEKcoughcough*), I also get so many great therapy ideas from the innovation presented there. A giant light bright for students with fine motor difficulty? Real R2D2s to interact with and a great opportunity for practicing your pragmatic skills and language skills? Tesla coils to… oh ,heck. Those are just plain cool! And the “makers” are there with their creations, ready to answer questions and demonstrate their work. So many of my clients are inventors and “tinkerers” themselves – taking apart the toaster, rewiring the desktop … and Maker Faire is a great place for them to have their curiosity encouraged and have new ideas ignited. There is a great blog post on the Maker Faire website about eductors’ views of Maker Faire – be sure to read it! […]

  4. Daily Notes – 1 | marzukatk says:

    […] “Why Educators Want to Attend Maker Faire 2012″: […]

  5. wisestep12 says:

    we are lucky to see the teachers at maker faire

  6. Philip McIntosh says:

    What we really need is mini maker faires popping up in schools all over the country.

  7. Brookelynn Morris says:

    Reblogged this on Makerspace and commented:

    We are excited to see such passionate teachers coming to Maker Faire.

  8. Maker's Faire 2012 Recap - University Zone - Everything Academia - Blogs - TI E2E Community says:

    […] thing about MakersFaire was the large focus on Education.  Check out the blog on : Why Educators Want to Attend Makers Faire So many of the providers and booths were focused on making electronics more accessible to […]

  9. Assigning Art Journals to Art Students | scribology says:

    […] Why Educators Want to Attend Maker Faire 2012 (makezine.com) […]

  10. Why Educators Want to Attend Maker Faire 2012 | Mentor Makerspace says:

    […] Reblogged from MAKE: […]

  11. Makerspace | Why Educators Want to Attend Maker Faire 2012 says:

    […] Reblogged from MAKE: […]

  12. MAKE | Why Educators Go to Maker Faire 2013: We love teachers + they love us! says:

    […] what educators said about what they love about making, makers, and Maker Faire in 2012 and […]

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Michelle, or Binka, makes . While at Maker Media, she oversaw publications, outreach, and programming for kids, families, and schools. Before joining Maker Media in 2007, she worked at the Exploratorium, in Mitchel Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and as a curriculum designer for various publishers and educational researchers. When she’s not supporting future makers, including her two young sons, Binka does some making of her own, most often as a visual artist.

View more articles by Michelle "Binka" Hlubinka


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).