Open For Curiosity: Maker Faire Kyiv Returns This Weekend!

Maker News
Open For Curiosity: Maker Faire Kyiv Returns This Weekend!

"Nothing will stop Ukrainian makers. Their time has come!"

This weekend the largest maker festival in Ukraine, Maker Faire Kyiv, returns to the capital. On March 2nd from 11am to 5pm at the National Technical Univeristy (aka Kyiv Polytecnic), MakerHub with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Academy of Sciences, and GIZ Ukraine, will bring together engineers, inventors, startups, entrepreneurs, designers, students, and schoolchildren interested in science, creativity, and the latest technologies. 

From 2015-2019, the team from Maker Hub, Yuri Vlasyuk and Svitlanka Bovkun, organized Maker Faires across Ukraine, building a grassroots community or talented doers, makers, technologists, engineers, and educators. Events in Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, and Dnipro expanded the network of makers beyond the capital and Maker Hub and community partners organized 16 events over 4 years. For the last several years this network has shown amazing resilience  and cretivity in supporting the community during the war, but hosting events that celebrate creativity have been, understandably, difficult to organize.

After hosting a successful RepRap Festival in Kyiv last year, and seeing the joy it brought to makers and the public, organizer Yuri Vlasyuk decided it was time for Maker Faire Kyiv to return and celebrate making beyond the 3D printer (and that too!). The Polytechnic also provided a venue with sufficient safety options, which has been a primary challenge in organizing the event (or any event) over the last few years. The venue is an old Science Library with ample room to shelter if needed. The event is held within the framework of the TOLOCAR: Mobile Makerspaces in Ukraine project,  a program funded by the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) and implemented by the German Institute HIWW with the support of GIZ Ukraine.

"We joke in the team that Kyiv Maker Faire will be interesting to kids from 5 to 105 years old, but in reality, considering the diversity of participants, it will be interesting to a wide range of visitors, from programmers and lawyers to people thinking about their project or retraining, educators and people without special knowledge but with an interest in learning something new."

Here are a few of the projects coming to Kyiv this weekend. Many Ukrainian makers have been very involved in the defense effort over the last few years, and built some amazing things (which you can read about here) but, in the hope of injecting some much needed perspective and a return to a more joyful time, this event is focused on projects with no defense connection to minimize risk. He noted that at last year’s RepRap festival, “People were hungry to talk about making, creativity, and were curious to learn new things. It was important to have an atmosphere not about selling but about making for pleasure — for the love of doing.”

In speaking with Yuri this week, he stressed the importance of a variety of makers, craft techniques, the technical work that Ukraine is known for, as well as fun “oddities” like steampunk and toys. Having just organized a 3D printing festival, he wanted to feature those projects and their uses, but recognize the tradition of Maker Faire as a “big tent” with all kinds of makers. Likewise, he highlighted the importance of the craft community in Ukraine, but also that this event was not commercial – many Ukrainian makers sell on Etsy and similar platforms. Given the location in the Technical University, he highlighted a student architecture group traveling from Lviv who are working with old clay 3D printers and specialized additives to create innovative building materials.

Fit in Fakten is a media literacy corner with educational tables and online games, interactives and posters. Our goal through the game is to introduce you to the main concepts of media literacy so that you cannot be misled. Materials are also available on the platform:
The project is created by the Goethe Institute in Ukraine and the popular science media “Kunsht”.

Stratosphere Balls” is an innovative manufacturer of balloons. Founded and located in the city of Kyiv. We combine deep scientific knowledge, creativity and practical experience to create products that meet the needs of our customers. We are open to cooperation, innovation and growth. We believe in a future where our technologies help everyone who needs it!” Learn more here.

The Esper Hand is a self-learning robotic prosthetic arm that detects muscle activity and adjusts controls based on the user’s behavior patterns to perform everyday tasks with more human-like dexterity. LEARN MORE.

The non-governmental organization Federation of Robotics of Pryluchchyna aims to help secondary schools launch a full-fledged course in robotics with the help of a minimal set of equipment.  Any secondary school in Ukraine can take part in the project. Teacher training takes place online – free of charge. LEARN MORE.

Quite symbolically, this Saturday, on March 2, Kyiv will host the first Maker Faire Kyiv in a long time! Where, in addition to uECG and uMyo, we’ll present our first project in collaboration with TURFPTAx. The device working name is uLabel and it is an ML dataset collection tool for finger movements. LEARN MORE.


At the Kyiv Maker Faire, I will bring my handmade jewelry and accessories made from real mechanical watches that cannot be repaired. Coating is done with the help of epoxy jewelry resin. A second life for old and unnecessary things. I will also bring my tools and materials to show and tell everyone who wants to get acquainted with this type of needlework. I will be happy to answer questions about my field of activity and share the secrets developed over the 13 years of my workshop’s existence. Those who wish will be able to choose, try on and buy my author’s products, thereby supporting the master and his creativity.

If you are interested in learning more about how the Ukrainian maker community has evolved over the last years, at the end of 2022, Maker Hub and collaborators prepared and conducted a survey of Ukrainian makers from all over the country, as well as those who temporarily left. This is the first major study of the maker community, and they learned something important—a central need of the community is learning and generating ideas. And the members of the crafting community are waiting for the opportunities of the business component, so that there will be opportunities to gradually transform crafting from a hobby into a business. 68% of survey respondents want to be members of the community, which means to become residents of makerspaces and participate in online and offline maker events.

The research was carried out within the framework of the Tolocar project. Tolocar is a program implemented in cooperation with MitOst eV and implemented by the German government through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Residents of maker and hackerspaces and Fab Labs also took part in the survey. You can read it by going HERE.

What’s up next for the MakerHub team and the Toocar Project? Building up the maker movement as a whole, but especially creating more makerspaces and resources, to create jobs. Zero to maker to business and rebuilding the country in the process.

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

Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee


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