2016 Denver Mini Maker Faire

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The Denver Mini Maker Faire is a place where you pay a small amount of money (only $5 for museum members) to go to different artists booths and make souvenirs that you get to take home. It was held June 11-12, 2016 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Elise VanDyne, Maker Faire-y, guided me through the Mini Maker Faire. She explained how all of the contraptions worked and why they would be important in the business industry. She was very on top of things, takes her job seriously, and made a point of talking with everyone.

This year was the 3rd annual event, the theme was “Building the Future”, and there were over 100 different booths with most focusing on something STEAM-related, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Making.

A pin maker is where you put inside a machine a piece of very thin plastic, a metal pin and a small sheet of paper that has a design that you want on the pin on it. You press, twist and take the pin out, insert a needle, and you have your own custom pin.

Robauto is a robot company for kids that makes inexpensive, working robots, that you can add personalities to. They send you a robot, you add batteries, then you steer it with either your phone or a remote control.

I also visited CodeSpire which is a coding program that teaches you how to code and make your own games. They have summer camps, and it was very interesting.

I also got to use a copper compressing machine. You insert a small square of copper and push down on the lever, it then compresses your copper and spins it around. It then has a dent in it. You got to pick what you want the dent to look like.

Another station was the geek derby. Here you got to put together a miniature model car that is made with pieces that were 3D printed! There was an airpen that is like a glue gun but it makes hard, plastic structures. Whatever you draw is basically drawn in plastic.

One of the booths was called Sparkfun!. They had hover pong. It had an electronic ping pong and your hand became the paddle. The Edibot is a robot that follows one color, that you program it to follow, wherever it goes. For example, pick yellow. There was a yellow plastic ball and if you move the ball, the Edibot would move to where the ball was. The clouds are clouds that make a fake version of the weather outside. For example, if it is sunny, they part and make rays of sun, if it is raining, they look all cloudy and make mini lightning bolts and make thunder sounds. It tells you the weather outside before you even go outside.

The pinball machine maker takes apart pinball machines and makes them into different games. For example a horse derby game where you pick your horse number and 11 different horses are there. The light goes over the 11 pieces. When you press the buzzer, the light stops on a horse. If you hit the right moment, your horse gets a boost. If your timing is off you give another horse a boost. First one to the finish line wins.