Maker Faire Inspires Creativity

Manat Kaur with Sherry Huss, Co-Founder of Maker Faire.
Manat Kaur with Sherry Huss, Co-Founder of Maker Faire.

Manat Kaur with Sherry Huss, co-founder of Maker Faire

Walking through the gates of Maker Faire, one is sure to notice passionate inventors, fire-shooting animals, and stair-climbing robots. The twelfth edition of the flagship event was held in San Mateo, California, from May 19-20, 2017.

Started in 2006 by Dale Dougherty and Sherry Huss, Maker Faire is based on Make magazine, a publication featuring innovative do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-with-others (DIWO) projects. “The goal of the fair is to celebrate makers and the idea of making,” said Huss.

What started with 100 makers and 22,000 attendees in 2006, the Bay Area event has grown to 3,000 makers and 150,000 attendees. Last year, more than 1.5 million people attended Maker Faire at one of the 191 events in 39 countries.

Erin B. and Sam P. making marshmallow shooters at Maker Faire.

Erin B. and Sam P. make marshmallow shooters at Maker Faire.


Maker Faire features projects in such categories as Art & Design, Woodworking, and Food. Cyclecide, a club of inventors and artists, recycles old bikes to build new-and-improved items. The event showcased a spinning seesaw, a 12-bike carousel, and a two-person pedal-powered ferris wheel. “I like Maker Faire because people who come are interested in how things are built,” said Laird Rickard of Cyclecide. “They ask good questions.”

Kinetic Steam Works created an old-school pencil sharpener powered by steam and big turning gears. An angled blade slivered off pieces of the pencil’s wood, sharpening the pencil.

Kids get to do hands-on lessons such as drone flying, soldering, and sewing. “I bring my three kids here to explore and see what their brain comes up with,” said Tammy W. of San Jose.



At the Young Maker section, Eric J, a tenth grader at Nueva School in Hillsborough, displayed his robot which shoots balls into a hoop. “I love seeing how everyone is really involved and curious [about the robot],” Eric said. “It is motivational.” Other young attendees built rockets and marshmallow shooters from PVC pipes.

“Everybody can build something,” said Dougherty, who continues to work on his vision of “making more Makers in America.”

Photos courtesy of the author