Maker Faire Milwaukee Has A New Home For Its 7th Edition

Maker Faire Maker News
Maker Faire Milwaukee Has A New Home For Its 7th Edition

Maker Faire Milwaukee returns with a new producerGearbox Labsand new home at the Milwaukee School of Engineering! After cancelling the Faire in 2020, Gearbox Labs partnered with MSOE for this year’s event to underscore the impact of the maker movement on higher education, as well as the growing role of makers in society.

The producers are kicking off the event on Friday, September 24 at 2 pm with “Maker City” talks at MSOE’s We Energies STEM Center. Talks focus on the impact of the Maker Movement on education, workforce development, entrepreneurship, community engagement and cultural change. Individuals and organizations from all sectors (academia, public, private, non-profit) will address issues at the local level and identify incremental changes that employers, educators and others in the community can make right now to foster Milwaukee’s development as a Maker City. The programs will be open to the public, with both in-person and virtual participation options.

In addition to workshops, demonstrations and talks, 100 exhibitors will share unique tech-inspired projects, hobbies, professional work, and maker skills at Maker Faire Milwaukee, which will be held in MSOE’s Kern Center and other locations on the university campus. Check out some of the highlights below and all the amazing maker exhibits and programming.

Power Racing Blowout!

Photo: Power Racing Series

Maker Faire Milwaukee is closing in on what could be the biggest field of Power Racing Series teams in Maker Faire Milwaukee history! Teams from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and from Madison, Milwaukee, and Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin  are headed to our Faire city for a weekend of racing–rain or shine–one its first live events in nearly 18 months. Power Racing events run throughout the day on Saturday, and a Sunday endurance race begins at 1 pm. A picture truly is worth a thousand words…

Milwaukee As A Maker City

In the collaborative, “can-do” spirit of the global Maker Movement, we invite individuals and organizations to explore local challenges and meet other tech people, crafts people, educators, entrepreneurs and community innovators who want Milwaukee to be a Maker City! A Maker City is democratizing entrepreneurship, increasing access to the technology and tools redefining education and work, and creating positive economic and cultural change for everyone in the community. The program is inspired by Maker City, A Practical Guide for Reinventing our Cities, co-authored by Dale Dougherty, Founder of Make: Community and Maker Faire.

2 pm | Making an Impact, Kyle Jansson, Director, UWM Prototyping Center  Forbes recognized makers around the world as 2020’s Most Disruptive Innovators for their collaborations to manufacture PPE at the start of the pandemic. With access to the world’s most advanced prototyping technology and maker skills, Kyle’s team worked around-the-clock to design PPE for frontline workers, and it’s an amazing story.

2:30 pm | Making Workers, Dan Meyer, Publisher of BizTimes & STUFF A panel discussion about the changing landscape of education and work, and the impact of the Maker Movement on jobs and career paths.

4 pm | Making in STEM Education The community’s premier STEM education non-profits discuss their missions, programs and collaborations.ert

Standout Makers

The UWM Print Club and AP3 will also return to the Faire with its Steamroller Printmaking Extravaganza! A student organization within the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, our club is dedicated to promoting awareness of and love for all forms of printmaking. Students (The Print Rollers) from UWM have carved 2′ x 4′ MDF and plywood blocks, and will be inking and printing them LIVE, with a steamroller! Faire visitors can experience print making, too, by selecting a smaller block, inking, and making a print to take home.

Meet Will Gorecki and his jet suit! A mechanical engineer by day, dreams to “fly like Iron Man” become a reality with a lot of ingenuity. Read more about Will in our Maker Spotlight.

Instagram | Website

It wouldn’t be Maker Faire Milwaukee without the Daleks! Frank Krug, a professional model maker who has worked in the rapid prototype industry for 20+ years, in between drawing and working, Frank tinkers in cosplay and prop-building. Dalek Asylum Milwaukee will be on hand describing techniques like resin casting, fiberglassing, 3D printing and painting a Dalek from “Dr. Who.”

Stuffies for all! Learn to make you very own “Plushzilla.” There is a virtual rainbow of creatures and colors to choose, providing something for just about everyone. All plushies are designed and created by local artist Steve Greentree, right here in Wisconsin.

Jonathan Siskind is a 17 year old Maker from West Lafayette, Indiana!  From a young age, he’s loved tinkering and building with my hands. It began with Legos and now that passion has progressed to building submarines and flamethrowers! 

Its no secret that Dalek’s like a good dance party. That’s where Data Scientist by day Dr. Karl Stamm comes in with his electronic musical tinkering. Come play with live music generation, and hands on analog electronics, to make sounds nobody has ever heard before. Explore how electricity makes sound, and the tools to craft any sound you can imagine with Karltron Synthesizers.

Maker Faire Milwaukee is locally produced and organized by Gearbox Labs. Milwaukee School of Engineering is this year’s Presenting Sponsor. Northwestern Mutual is the 2021 Making in Education Partner. Activity and Workshop sponsors are: ARMY ROTC, the Milwaukee Makerspace, STUFF, a BizTimes publication and We Energies. Additional event sponsors are Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A number of community partners also support the Faire, including the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition, Signarama, Tires Plus and the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Gearbox Labs, Inc. was founded in 2019 by Peter Haydock of Hingham WI, USA and Isabel Mendiola of Monterrey, Mexico, and publishes STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) resources for K-12 students and educators, informal learning organizations and self-directed student and adult learners. Gearbox Labs also provides professional development programs to schools, school districts to increase STEAM learning and teaching capacity and skills, residency programs and a growing catalog of online courses. A nonprofit member of the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition and the Milwaukee K-12 Computing Alliance, Gearbox Labs is based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Their curriculum has been adopted by schools in 34 states and 24 countries around the world.

Named one of the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges, the Milwaukee School of Engineering is the university of choice for those seeking an inclusive community of experiential learners driven to solve the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. The independent, non-profit university has about 2,700 students and was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. Faculty are student-focused experts who bring real-world experience into the classroom. This approach to learning makes students ready now as well as prepared for the future. Longstanding partnerships with business and industry leaders enable students to learn alongside professional mentors and challenge them to go beyond what’s possible. MSOE graduates are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.

Attending Maker Faire Milwaukee
The safety of all Faire participants is a priority for organizers, and Milwaukee School of Engineering COVID-19 protocols will be enforced throughout the event. Masks will be required in all campus building for individuals ages 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, and all Faire visitors ages 12 and over will also need proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result for entry to Maker Faire Milwaukee. Test results must be obtained within three days of the date you plan to attend the event; either a PCR or Rapid test will be accepted. Register for free or supporter tickets on Eventbrite.

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


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).