Maker Faire Rochester 2021

Maker News
Maker Faire Rochester 2021

Lights, Unicorns, LEGO! Maker Faire Rochester returns to the heart of Downtown Rochester, NY this Saturday! Get your tickets HERE.

In October 2020, Maker Faire Rochester joined seven other Maker Faires from around New York State to produce the first virtual state-wide Empire State Maker Faire. The Empire State Maker Faire had makers from every corner of the state in addition to makers from across the US. However, although returning in person this year, the team decided to hold off on bringing back the Student S.T.E.A.M. Fest until 2022. Supported by NYSCATE, the Student S.T.E.A.M. Fest brought in over 2,000 3rd to 8th grade students for their own personal Maker Faire, including a keynote by Mario the Maker Magician and hands-on activities aimed specifically at those students in attendance.

“One of our favorite experiences from 2019 was seeing all 2,000 students sitting in one place soaking in Mario the Maker Magician’s performance and inspiring a whole generation of makers. I almost broke down several times that day seeing kids energized, learning new skills, asking teachers if they could stay longer, and just having a blast” says Dan Schneiderman, one of the faire’s co-chairs. “While we’re heavily missing the student day, it is energizing to see our maker community in person again at this year’s Maker Faire Rochester. We would like to thank our parent organization, NYSCATE, for bringing back the faire this year to their annual conference.“

Featured Makers

Sparky the Unicorn

On the heels of it’s month-long stay at the interactive immersive popup space, the Beyond Art Lounge, in Ithaca, Sparky the Unicorn is making its return to Maker Faire Rochester. Sparky is a giant, 12 foot high rideable sculpture of a unicorn, that is also a puppet you can work yourself. This beautiful work is covered in tulle fabric and over 6,000 LED lights.

Or become a Unicorn Scout and make your own Light Up Horn!

Projection Mapping and Lighting Effects for Lego Models

Scott Lawerence likes to make stuff. Retro computers, LEGO, electronics…all of it. When he can mix some of these together, that’s even better! Scott has brought life into several of his LEGO creations. One uses small RGB LEDs controlled by an Arduino to perform color lighting effects on a miniature Spaceship Earth. The other uses projection mapping to create a fireworks show onto his Mini Disney Castle.

Horse Bike

In 2017 for the Churchville Country Fair parade, Barry Nobles built a horse bike. What is a horse bike? It is a body of a horse sculpted out of an old hot tub cover mounted around a bicycle frame, with an eccentric front wheel.

After the horse bike project, Barry started the tagline “Think it, Make it” to help encourage people to come up with ideas, take action, and make something. In 2019, he went on to build a half scale of the lunar lander which has made several appearances at Maker Faire Rochester in the past.

Leonard Motor Works Starrettania

Like your ride with new school tech and old school styling? Leonard Motor Works is bringing back 1930s styled electric motorcycles with long wheel bases, fat tires and sweeping fenders. All hand built in house and designed to be user serviceable, these bikes will bring beauty and character back to the streets.

Norwalk Havoc Robot League

For the first time at Maker Faire Rochester, the Norwalk Havoc Robot League will be hosting live combat robot fighting! The Norwalk Havoc Robot League is a combat robotics league founded in 2019, with the goal of providing a space to push the limits of combat robotics. They’ll additionally be bringing three 250lb combat robots from season 5 of the TV Show Battlebots!

Big Face Portraits

Taking a COVID-safe twist on the laughter-inducing Big Face Boxes, the Maker Faire Rochester team has created (and demoed here) Big Face Portraits! Who needs a fun house when you can bring these framed fresnel lenses on the go?

Pinball Box 3000 Returns!

Our cardboard @pinbox3000 Arcade is returning to this year’s faire!

See more of the awesome makers who’ll be showing off their skills and projects in Rochester this weekend HERE. Find out everything about Maker Faire Rochester at the website and on the usual channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


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Dan is the Community Manager at Make: Community. He is also a space enthusiast, event organizer, and co-chair of Maker Faire Rochester. Dan can often be found developing hands-on activities for maker events through Rochester and New York State.

View more articles by Daniel Schneiderman

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