Nashville Mini Maker Faire
I love Maker Faires. Traveling around has let me attend quite a few of them. They certainly range in size but “the greatest show and tell on earth” always has something to entertain be it robots, 3-D printers, circuit boards, science experiments, or any number of other do-it-yourself tinkering projects on display. The Nashville contribution is what is considered a “Mini Maker Faire.” It only lasted one day in the parking lot of the Adventure Science Center and had the misfortune to coincide with rain. All the same, we were there to see what was up in Nashville.
As with any proper Maker Faire, there was a tent teaching soldering, 3D printers, and laser cut sculptures. Aside from the music act, the only other amplified speaker was for the announcer of the Power Racing Series—modified kids electric ride-on vehicle races. Whenever there was a race going, there wasn’t much else that could be heard.
I was particularly delighted to see that the Nashville Public Library has a hacker space for teens. Studio NPL is a creative space for teens aged 12-18 to foster STEM, digital literacy, and 21st century skills. They run workshops and provide tools to inspire inventive spirits and I can’t get enough. My hat is off to you guys.
There was a strangely high representation of costumed groups. Apparently, there were tents for the Empire and Rebel groups from Star Wars. Participants dressed as jedi and sith milled around with lightsabers at their hips. Not to be outdone, a group of costumed Ghost Busters were stationed next door with their proton packs on and a giant Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man in the back. I wasn’t quite clear what tied these groups into Maker Faire. I guess they made their costumes and are looking to recruit more members? Though, credit where credit is due: right next to the costumed Star Wars contingency was the highly relevant team crew building droids. There was a working BB3 and several R2 units.
Sure, it’s no Bay Area or World Makers Faire, but it was a pleasure meeting the passionate planners who made this event happen. I look forward to swinging by in the future and seeing how this event grows and inspires another generation of tinkerers and critical thinkers.