Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to Host Portland’s First-Ever Mini Maker Faire

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to Host Portland’s First-Ever Mini Maker Faire
OMSI’s own giant trebuchet will in operation at the Portland Mini Maker Faire

Portland has earned a reputation as a mecca for creativity, ingenuity and sustainability, which translates to a thriving maker community – and a perfect locale for a Mini Maker Faire.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, from 10am to 6pm, OMSI, with Intel and MAKE magazine, will present the inaugural Portland Mini Maker Faire, featuring nearly 100 exhibitors.

“We are excited that the Maker community responded so enthusiastically to our call,” said David Perry, Director of Museum Education at OMSI. “The variety of Makers we assembled will delight our visitors, as they are introduced to this mind-boggling array of artistry and ingenuity.”

The Portland Mini Maker Faire will run the gamut from the latest tech, including demonstrations of 3D printing and home 3D photography production, to the ancient techniques of sword forging and chainmaille making. From a 19′ wooden canoe that visitors can help stitch, to demonstrations of survival skills, soldering and chocolate crafting, there is truly something for everyone.

Other highlights include a giant trebuchet that will be used to launch objects like watermelons, water balloons, or blocks of ice; and an insider look at OMSI’s exhibit workshop, where it researches, designs and produces exhibits that travel the world, which will be open to the public for self-guided tours for the first time ever during the Faire. Few people realize that OMSI has the largest museum-based, traveling science exhibits program in North America.

One of nearly 100 makers participating in the event, Red Troll Forging makes swords out of iron or steel using traditional blacksmith methods. Photo courtesy Gia Goodrich/OMSI

In addition to the interactive exhibits, the Innovation Stage will showcase a wide variety of Makers and projects including Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Faire and pubisher of MAKE magazine, Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, and Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow and director of interaction & experience research at Intel Labs.

OMSI’s affiliation with the maker movement was cemented when it became one of 12 U.S. organizations to receive funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur FoundationIMLS to plan a maker center in the museum.

The OMSI Maker Center will serve as a test bed for experimentation about the best ways to use digital media and state-of-the-art technology tools and programs to engage young people in hands-on learning that can help them achieve the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, careers and life today.
Both Maker Faire and the Maker Center illustrate OMSI’s commitment to focus on specific educational areas, including Innovation and Engineering.

Portland Mini Maker Faire would not be possible without the support of presenting sponsors Intel and MAKE magazine, and community partners ADX, EcoShuttle, Epilog Laser, Guildworks, Hand Eye Supply, New Belgium Brewing and Solamor.

For more information on the schedule and participants, event details and costs, and the free shuttle, visit www.makerfaireportland.com.

Thanks to Portland Mini Maker Faire organizer Andrea Middleton of OMSI for the post.  The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a scientific, educational, and cultural resource center dedicated to improving the public’s understanding of science and technology. OMSI makes science exciting and relevant through exhibits, programs, and experiences that are presented in an entertaining and participatory fashion. OMSI is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and relies on admissions, memberships, and donations to continue our educational mission, programs, and exhibits.

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Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire's global licensing program for locally and independently produced Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

View more articles by Sabrina Merlo