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Saturday 1 June 2019

Maker Faire 2019

A few weekends back we braved the (unseasonable) stormy weather and headed to San Mateo for my favorite event of the year - Maker Faire!

Maker Faire is always such a fun event - even in the rain! If you've never been before, it's a showcase of the latest innovations in the STEM world with a heavy mix of creativity and imagination thrown in. Cute robots and wacky vehicles, illuminated light shows and science experiments, crafting and upcycling scrap material... there's a little bit of everything at Maker Faire.

While Maker Faire runs for the full weekend (Friday afternoon through Sunday) we were only able to make it on the Sunday. We still managed to cram in a day full of STEM based fun. Here's a look at our day...

There are always lots of fun sculptures and crazy vehicles to see at Maker Faire. Some are purely visual, some are interactive and some zoom around the fair taking passengers for rides. Whether steam powered, pedal powered, flame shooting or just plain weird, they're always fun to check out. There were a few less vehicles zooming around this year due to the rain. Some even had make shift rain covers to protect them from the weather.

We were in luck and had the opportunity to take a few rides on a super cute rhino bug mobile. Mathilde loved this thing and would've happily taken it home if she was allowed!

There were plenty of robots on display too. We watched robots compete against each other shooting baskets, watched robots zoom by as we walked around, and made friends with some pretty cute bots.

And there was one familiar robot zooming around the fair who we just had to snap a photo with.

There were remote control displays to interact with and sculptures to manipulate by hand. These were a hit with the kids, especially when they got to compete against each other.

We also took turns in a flight simulator, flying and trying to land (or rather, crashing) a small plane named Richard Cranium. Ah, that name brought back high school memories!

Not everything at Maker Faire involves futuristic technologies. In fact, we spent quite some time working on some hands on crafting with weaving, spinning yarn and sewing plush toys. This was a great way to keep out of the rain!

The dark room was another fun place to escape the bad weather and brought plenty of glowing and lighted fun. There were robots, glowing games, light displays and kaleidoscopic displays to marvel at. The Dark Room seemed a little smaller this year than previous years, but there was still plenty of fun to be had.

The textile crafting wasn't the only traditional crafting on show at Maker Faire. We enjoyed watching a glass blowing display during which a talented glass artist took molten glass and turned it into a stunning vase. It was amazing to watch. We also watched a glass artist work on teeny tiny glass figurines. 

There are always lots of tasty foods on offer at Maker Faire. The usual festival fare is always a hit with the kids. Cotton candy, Icees, corn dogs, deep fried Oreos, giant roasted turkey legs... There are always a few new things that take the kids' fancy. This year it was fruit slushies served inside of fruit. We went for a pineapple slushie served inside of the hollowed out pineapple that the fruit came from. It was pretty tasty, but not the most practical thing to carry around.

We had another fun day at Maker Faire this year. This was our 7th year attending. Can you believe it? Mathilde has actually been to every Maker Faire since she was born. In fact, she wasn't even a month old at her first!

You can see our previous Maker Faire visits below:

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