Makers | News

MIT Mini Maker Faire Draws 3,000 Attendees

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA hosted everything from a robot tournament to 3D printing demonstrations and panel discussions on do-it-yourself DNA during the October 4 inaugural MIT Mini Maker Faire.

Held on the university's North Court, about 3,000 children and adults attended the event, part of the Maker Faire series started by the editors of Make Magazine. More than half the 110 exhibitors were students or faculty members at MIT.

"At MIT, we celebrate the artist, the scholar and the smith," said MIT Professor Marty Culpepper.
All 110 exhibitors at the MIT Mini Maker Faire demonstrated things they had created themselves.

Among the events that took place was a robot tournament in which audience members were able to cheer on their favorites, all of which were built and entered into the competition by local robot makers.

At the MIT Hobby Shop, attendees were able to see things like a full-size sculpture of the Iron Man suit and handmade objects such as musical instruments, pillows, jewelry and photography.

Live demonstrations allowed attendees to learn more about hand-tooling leather and the creation of a boat using a lashed bamboo frame and origami. A 3D computer-aided design tool, BlocksCAD, helped children as young as 9 design and print their own creations.

Panel discussions covered topics as diverse as an open-source program for 3D printers, barriers to female makers and high-tech cosplay.

There was even a go-kart course that young attendees could use to take rides.

"What you see is that little extra bit of passion that compels us at MIT to stay up at night," said graduate student Jessica Artiles, one of the organizers.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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