Kids of All Ages Get Hands-On at Maker Faire Silver Spring

Maker News
Kids of All Ages Get Hands-On at Maker Faire Silver Spring

KID Museum Silver Spring Maker Faire

Ever since Zac Friedman-Hill, 12, attended a hands-on camp at KID Museum in Maryland last summer, he’s become very busy making things at home. He works with whatever he can find — wood, LEDs, a glue gun (one of his recent projects was a Smurf whose eyes glow when its hands are pressed together).

Visitors to Maker Faire Silver Spring this Sunday can meet Zac and see the light-up fedora he made at camp. They’ll also meet Jacob, 11, who will share the inspiration behind his 3D-printed creations. Garjuyen, 8, will demonstrate his Arduino. And Audrey, 10, will have her hacked, wired, and soldered toy invention on hand.


The 15,000 expected Faire attendees are sure to be inspired by young makers like Zac, and at Maker Faire Silver Spring, they can jump right into making. KID Museum’s interactive Maker Faire activities are designed for people of all ages: “Ping” lets visitors assemble a fan-powered, ping pong ball-run to send messages to their friends. “Lumberyard Sculpture” invites everyone to grab a drill and take part in constructing a giant wooden structure. Faire-goers young and old can also try their hands at Arduino microcontrollers and Lego Robotics. In addition to KID Museum activities, the Faire will host almost 90 hands-on exhibits, including those by NASA and NOAA scientists, entrepreneurial makers like NanoFarm and Ready, Set, STEM, and computer engineers from Fab Lab Baltimore and the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab.


With the intention of incorporating making into everyday learning, KID Museum is hosting its second Educator Roundtable at Maker Faire Silver Spring. This year’s Roundtable will discuss strategies for creating in-school makerspaces, integrating maker education into ESOL programs and curriculum, and elementary experiences in making.

KID Museum has been on the front lines of increasing access to maker education both in and out of schools. In addition to on-site field trips, drop-in sessions, camps, and after-school programs, the museum partners with public and private schools in providing multi-session Invention Studio programs. This year’s Educator Roundtable echoes KID Museum’s expanded efforts to bring maker programs and makerspaces directly into schools.


More maker-oriented learning in schools is sure to make both kids and educators happy, as experiential learning has been shown to increase interest and retention. Festivals like Maker Faire Silver Spring expose more people to the power of making each year. “We’re new to the Maker Movement,” says Zac’s mother. “But I had a hunch that it would appeal to him. It’s really great to see active exploration — so much of what kids do in their spare time involves passive viewing of media or following instructions to build Lego sets. It’s wonderful to see them realize that they can create things and follow their own imaginations.”

KID Museum is hosting Maker Faire Silver Spring on Sunday, September 25th at Veteran’s Plaza and the Silver Spring Civic Building from noon until 5:00 p.m. The Faire will feature two performance stages as well as interactive activities for children and adults of all ages. Maker Faire Silver Spring is free and open to all.

For all the information you need to join us, head to our site.

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Emma Starr

Emma has been involved with KID Museum since 2012 as the Chief Writer, and now as Director of Communications. She's worked in publishing and writing for over twenty years, including at national non-profit organizations, print magazines, online publications, and more recently, as the written voice of Larry the Labrador, a letter-writing, globe-trotting canine. She was the Marketing Director of Planned Parenthood of New York City and Senior Editor for, the online publication of ELLE magazine.

View more articles by Emma Starr


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