April 29th: Mini Maker Faire at Discovery Science Place


The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth!

By Gini Rainey

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, or projects. Called the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, this is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Glimpse the future and get inspired!

This year’s Mini Maker Faire, hosted by the Discovery Science Place, takes place Saturday, April 29th, 9am-5pm, at 508 N. Broadway in Tyler. General admission to the Faire is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Members of DSP will pay $4 for adults and $3 for children.

The Tyler Mini Maker Faire is a showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness and a celebration of the Maker movement. Demonstrations, hands-on activities, and fun for the whole family are a few of things you can expect when you visit the Faire. It’s an interesting way to see science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in motion.

Some of the demonstrations in this year’s event include:

Carl Garrett, who will showcase a working Shay, geared, live steam locomotive in 1/8th scale and will also bring three completed trucks and the two frames (locomotive and tender) in their current state of construction.

Tyler Modern Quilt Guild will teach beginners how to sew and beginning processes of quilt making.

Joanna Gifford, a local artist, will bring her latest collaborative installation that she is creating for the Promise Academy.

Kate Lindekugel, with 14-years experience in environmental science, will help attendees build an ecosystem in a bottle.

The Whitehouse Junior High School Robotics will be showing off their robotics skills and answer questions.

Tyler Mini Maker Faire is still accepting Maker applications if you would like to display your projects. Makers of all ages and skills are encouraged to apply. The Faire showcases a variety of Makers including: technology, arts, hobbies, sustainability, and food and beverage. There is no cost to participate, unless you plan to sell your products.

“Anyone can be a Maker,” Diann Raby, volunteer for the event said. “Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds.”

Makers typically include:

  • High school and middle school projects
  • College and University student projects
  • Local crafters that make jewelry, recycled feed sack totes, handmade canoes and kayaks, weaving, quilting, and more
  • Creators that feature things such as handmade bubble wands
  • Technology such as 3D printers, CNC machines, Lasermark, and more

As an attendee of the event, you will enjoy getting the opportunity to visit with the Makers. You will get to see first-hand the enthusiasm and passion they have for the things they make and how they make them.

There are also a lot of opportunities for hands-on interactions for both kids and adults, as well as demonstrations and workshops to participate in. The Maker Faire is a great place for you to see the diversity of talent and education that exists right here in your own community.

There are other ways for the community to get involved other than being a Maker. It takes a large team of volunteers and sponsors to make this event successful each year. Volunteers assist with greeting, registration, ticket taking, manning the information booth, plus setting up and tearing down.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, California in 2006 and was organized by “MAKE” magazine. According to “MAKE,” in its simplest form, Maker Faire creates conversations with Makers. It is a show-and-tell format for people of all ages that brings out the “kid” in all of us. “MAKE” magazine states, “Maker Faire is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker and connect to people and projects in their local community. Yet, Maker Faire is also a ‘fair,’ which should be fun and engaging.”

Last year, the San Mateo event drew 1,100+ makers and 145,000 people in attendance at its 10th year celebration event. Maker Faire events now take place in more than 120 communities around the United States and the world including our very own community.

Tyler started its Maker Faire in 2012 and has seen the event grow each year in popularity.

Never attended the Tyler Maker Faire and don’t know what to expect? Well, get ready for a family-friendly event that you’ll have a hard time describing to those who haven’t attended,” Raby said. “Is it about robots? Yes. Is it about technology? Yes. Is it about craftsmen? Yes. Is it art? Science? Creativity? Weird? Fun? All yes!”

For more information on how to apply to be a Maker, volunteer for the event, be a sponsor, or for more information go to tylermakerfaire.com.

If you would like to become a Discovery Science Place member in order to take advantage of the cheaper price for this event, as well as other member benefits, visit discoveryscienceplace.org.

Come out and create! And experience the new world of imagination at it’s finest.