Why I Volunteer for Maker Faire Kansas City

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Without the help of our volunteers, we would not be able to give you the best possible Maker Faire we can. So we’ve reached out to our volunteers and have asked them — Why? 

Our first in this series is from one of our superstar volunteers, Todd. Read on to see what his experience was like during Maker Faire KC.

Todd picture

Todd M. – Volunteer

Wow did I have a great time at Maker Faire Kansas City! It was my first time attending so I decided to get involved and volunteer after seeing the Faire’s information at Kauffman’s 1M Cups.  As a volunteer I worked the ticketing tables and was blown away by the crowd on Saturday.  The level of interest in this event was amazing (and very hectic at times). The other surprise was the broad range of age groups and cultural disparity of the attendees.  It wasn’t just a nerdy, tech fair that I (incorrectly) expected.

 

Throughout my 25 year career in the financial services industry I’ve been fascinated by innovation and somewhat disappointed by the lack of attention it gets at larger companies. So Maker Faire was a breath of fresh air to me in seeing the broad range of innovative ideas, concepts and implementations by the participants.

 

On Sunday I was able to enjoy the fair as an attendee and was immediately struck by the generational aspect of the exhibitors. You truly got to see “innovation through the years” and the history of Union Station provides the ideal venue. Ranging from the vintage Model T Ford’s to the additive manufacturing process (3d printing), the continuing cycles of innovation over the years was very evident.  I remember wondering what Henry Ford could have created if he had a 3D Printer.

 

The other aspect that was apparent was the appreciation for innovation and pushing the limits regardless of function, value, purpose, etc. Many of the displays may not have provided practical usage but their value in demonstrating simple possibilities causes your mind to wander to other practical or commercial uses.

The robotics basketball demonstrations were great examples of building a device to do something simple and easy but also demonstrate the possibilities in practical applications.

 

Besides the many booths and exhibits was the entertainment value that innovation can provide. The racetrack and Mentos activities were very entertaining examples of how innovation can not only amaze but entertain as well.

 

I’ll definitely be volunteering again next year as the experience was very enjoyable. The Maker Faire team did a great job of preparing and taking care of the volunteers. I would encourage anyone who has interest in experimentation, creativity and innovation to get involved behind the scenes and volunteer in 2015.

Big Kansas City Returns

MAKERS – 

Big Kansas City returns for its second annual conference, and it needs you!

 

What is Big Kansas City?

It’s an annual conference of “Founders, designers, developers, investors and the like Converging on the Midwest for two and a half days Sharing ideas, co-creating experiences, and inspiring altered landscape” hosted by Silicon Prairie News.

And they NEED you!

Every year they invite local artists to apply to have their work featured at Big Kansas City. This year’s conference is “exploring connections between creativity and technology.” With such a fantastic showing at Maker Faire Kansas City, Big Kansas City will be another way to get you and your work to the public!

Big KC is open to loads of ideas , but they’re looking for things such as:

  • Installations that engage and encourage interaction among attendees
  • Art that calls to mind our focus on innovation and entrepreneurship
  • New ideas that push the envelope for a conference experience
  • Exhibitions that can be shared (e.g. tweeted, facebooked, instagramed, or snapped)

 

What you get if you’re chosen:

  • Complimentary ticket ($599 value)
  • Exposure on Big Kansas City website and through social media to all of our followers
  • Coverage on Silicon Prairie News

 

 

For more information or to submit your idea, check out Silicon Prairie’s website:

Makers Highlighted

We know we’ve been a little quiet on the blog post after Maker Faire ended, but no worries! We are back up and running. We were just trying to catch up on all the awesome media (social and printed) about the Faire. If you’re interested, all social media news clips and blogs that are posted about Maker Faire Kansas City can now be found here

However, we did want to share a few articles we found highlighting our crazy cool Makers from this year:

 

thisiskc.com on Scott Copper and his DrawBot

 

thisiskc.com on Tappecue

 

Juniper Tangpuz’s Pop Up World was highlighted in makezine.com 

 

Nerd Girl Yarns on makezine.com     

 

Hammerspace’s Starship Bridge Simulator on makezine.com

 

If you find more, send ‘em our way! We would love to see them.

A Very Special Thank You!

Maker Faire Kansas City would not be what it is every year without the help of our sponsors. We are so very grateful for your help and your involvement in this event. Without it, we can honestly say we would not be able to provide everyone with such a wonderful learning and Making environment.

 

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Host

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Founding Sponsor 

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Signature Sponsor

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Wifi Sponsor

 

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Maker Patron

Maker Advocates

Non-profit Maker Advocate

Maker Faire Kansas City Recap!

Are you sure you saw everything there was to see at Maker Faire Kansas City last weekend? Cause if not, makezine.com has a  video AND a photo recap of Day 1 and Day 2 for you!

Be sure to check out the photos from the Faire here!

Maker of Merit

Some of our Maker Faire Crew was given a chance to award our Makers with the Blue Ribbon ‘Maker of Merit.’ These Makers have demonstrated great creativity, ingenuity and innovation for their Maker Faire project, and we would like to show you some of our winners. A few of our Makers actually received TWO ‘Maker of Merit’ ribbons.

A complete list will be posted on the official Maker Faire webpage.

If you aren’t pictured below and you have a photo of you with your ribbon, let us know! We will add to our photos.

Maker Faire News Coverage: Kansas City Star

All work below was done by Kansas City Star Staff; Original Article can be found here.

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Maker Faire transforms Union Station into creative hotbed

BY SARAH GISH

THE KANSAS CITY STAR

On Sunday afternoon, Union Station looked more like a film set than a train station.

In the station’s monumental Grand Hall, two men dressed as the Predator from the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie posed for photos with fans. Fon Davis, a visual effects whiz behind “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” stood on a stage explaining how he makes models out of latex-wrapped joints and cellophane. A woman in a metallic Wonder Woman costume struck a pose near a chain mail jewelry booth, and a 10-foot-tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man made out of 67 balloons — a nod to the 30th anniversary of “Ghostbusters” — loomed over the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds.

It was all part of the fourth annual Maker Faire, a festival celebrating innovation and creativity.

Kansas City’s Maker Faire is one of the largest of its kind in the country. More than 350 makers signed up for booths at this year’s festival — about 50 more than last year.

Inventors at this year’s Maker Faire showed off everything from cupcakes and jewelry to robots and custom cars. The drive in front of Union Station was home to a car show of glossy lowriders tricked out with chrome and hydraulics.

Six-year-old Nathan Smith of Lee’s Summit, wearing a Super Mario T-shirt, posed next to a two-tone mahogany 1939 Chevrolet as his dad, Charles Smith, snapped a photo.

“That one’s my favorite,” Nathan said, pointing to a white 2000 Chevy S-10 with orange swirls on the doors and a gray ostrich-skin interior. The truck belongs to Eric Dempsey of Blue Springs, a first-time Maker Faire participant.

Closer to Union Station’s front door, Levi White and his dad, Jeff White, both of Detroit, showed kids how to make marshmallow shooters out of PVC pipes next to a juggler tossing soccer balls high into the air.

“That was really fast,” Jeff White said when his three kids finished their marshmallow shooters. “Nice job, guys — and they’re all different.”

Brothers Ian and Gavin Macivor of Kansas City toted the marshmallow shooters they made through Union Station’s Grand Hall. As Ian got an up-close look at one of the costumed Predators, Gavin pinged off in the other direction. His parents, Rick and Jen, said they had a strategy for corralling their excitable sons through the 350 booths at Maker Faire.

“You can’t play man-to-man” defense, said Rick Macivor, who wore a Batman T-shirt. “You’ve gotta play zone.”

Union Station spokeswoman Nancy Besa says Maker Faire has become increasingly popular among families over the past four years. On Sunday, kids at Maker Faire built toys out of Legos, made molds of their hands in sand, and learned how letterpress and 3-D printers work.

“Kids these days are online a lot, playing games,” Besa said. She added that Maker Faire’s goal is to encourage them to think, “Hey, I could make that game, or model, or robot.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article643030.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

 

Maker Faire Schedule and Program is HERE!!

Download PDF for Print

Maker Faire Kansas City Parking

With four days to go, we just want to send a little reminder to everyone about parking.

 

Maker Faire Parking at Union Station: 

  • West Yards Parking Garage at Union Station Kansas City – $5 
  • Triangle Parking Lot off Pershing Road at Union Station Kansas City – $10

Strollers are welcome at Maker Faire Kansas City.

Meet the Maker: Modio

Do you have an iPad? Because you sure are going to want one after you see this!

createyourownModio is a new app for iPad that lets YOU build and modify incredible creatures and characters then easily print from for play using a desktop 3D Printer!

Modio wants you to unleash your creativity with this new app. You can build fun characters or scary creatures with the app’s built in library and modify sections to make your creation one of a kind. All the parts that fit together will snap together on the printed form. Don’t like a portion of your model? Just drag the part away and throw if off your iPad screen.

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Maker Faire Kansas City will have a ‘Modio Play Lab’ this weekend! Modio will provide the iPads and 3D Printers, you just bring yourself and your creativity and see how this cool iPad app works!