Meet the Speaker: Jennifer George


Jennifer George is the granddaughter of Rube Goldberg. (  A man who  is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways, similar to Heath Robinson devices in the UK, as well as the Storm P devices in Denmark. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948 and the Banshees’ Silver Lady Award in 1959).  Ms. George is the Legacy Director of Rube Goldberg Inc, a non-profit STEM education based initiative that sponsors the yearly Rube Goldberg Machine Contests. She is also  a writer , jewelry and clothing designer.  For almost twenty years, her label was carried at Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s, Saks Fifth Ave, Bloomingdales, and dozens of other specialty stores across the US.

For more information, please visit here.

Meet the Maker: Casa de Keneally


Make Space

Well, where to start? Casa De Keneally Maker Haven is as much a place as a frame of mind. We really enjoy finding fun and creative ways to turn other people might call trash into things other people might never think of, EVER. The world we all live has moved to such a strong consumer economy that most people do not even TRY to come up with solutions to problems any more. They just hop online or run to the store and purchase something. The art that we Makers hone, the ability to look at a problem and see an opportunity for creativity and fun is missing for many people.

Our household tries to find the Make in life. We love coming up with crazy ideas and just seeing if it can be done. Want to build a tree house that is built on HUGE oak beams that are suspended from chain loops way up in the trees (in planning)? Do It! Want to make a HUGE metal Blaster Cannon for an outdoor Halloween display? Do It! Want to raise chickens for the first time? Do It!

We had a spare bedroom and we converted it into the “Room of Requirement” and it serves our smaller scale creative needs. I think we are the only family in the area that has a 40 CO2 laser vented out of an upstairs bedroom, a 3D printer (we await our TiKo), a music studio and computer and analog design and fabrication areas. We have fun in there!! We think, we design and we Make.

This year marks our 3 year attending the Maker Faire KC and our first year having our own table! We ARE EXCITED to be part of this Amazing thing! We will display a little bit of everything and we plan to pass out a make and take craft item as well as several information/resource sheets on getting started in robotics and automation. There are SO MANY resources. Did I mention we ARE EXCITED? I think I did!

This post was written and provided by the Keneally Family. 

Meet the BRAND NEW Attraction: The Bike Zoo

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We have BRAND NEW Attractions for the 6th Annual Maker Faire Kansas City! Combining mechanics with puppetry, The Bike Zoo, will be bringing their larger than life, interactive, playful, hand-built creatures to the Faire!

The Bike Zoo was born as a collaboration of collective imagination between bike-builders, puppet-makers, and performers while fostered by the creative and supportive environment of Austin, Texas. Ringleader, Cofounder and Mechanical Engineer, Jeremy Rosen and his company create everlasting memories.

At Maker Faire Kansas City, you will discover and be able to ride the:

    • The Giant Rattlesnake (pictured above) is 80 feet in length, has 34 wheels, is articulated in 15 places and seats six people. As participants or performers pedal, the Giant Rattlesnake slithers; it looks very, very real.
    • Butterflies, ranging from 10′ to 18′ Tall!
    • The Carousel which can seat 6 peddlers and up to 10 riders in the center

For more information about the Bike Zoo, please visit here.


Meet the Maker: The Art of Bryan Fyffe

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Q: Bryan, for those new to Maker Faire Kansas City… tell us about ‘The Art of Bryan Fyffe.’

A: Hello! Okay, so my name is Bryan Fyffe and I am a local Kansas City artist, illustrator, educator and MAKER! My art is a mix of hand drawn elements, photos of textures (like cracked cement, peeling paint and rusted metal) and digital software. I create art for myself and for clients that range from book publishers to theme parks. Between projects I travel with my work to galleries and comic book conventions from Seattle to NYC. I create art prints and framed art in many styles and sizes.

Q: As a Maker, what inspires your work?

A: As a maker I am inspired by the expanding options we as creators have in tools, tools that have come about with technological advances. From pigment-based inks available in small format color printers to laser-etching that allows me to take computer-driven art and burn it into chunks of wood… I create my work by using EVERYTHING – my sketches, which I scan and turn into pixels… My digital camera that I use to photograph interesting textures, like peeling paint and rusted metal to Adobe Photoshop, where I bring each element together into one finished work. I feel that my work could only exist in this time. I feel fortunate to have these wonderful tools in which to be creative!

Q: From the description of your work, we know that you use photos of textures often. Do you find yourself using a specific texture over and over again? What attracts you to certain textures?

A: I am always building a library of textures! I scan in my denim jeans to get a fabric weave texture, coffee rings and tea stains… Sometimes I shoot images of objects themselves – I built an illustration of a robot out of objects ranging from typewriters, cow bones, carrot roots, analog synthesizers and guitar cables! You can never have enough resources to work with! To me the textures add nuance and warmth. They create a sense of history and visual interest in each and every piece. I often stop to admire broken tree limbs and the well worn path on a wood floor.

Q: You are a veteran of Maker Faire Kansas City. This would be your 4th year at our Faire. The team has seen you at other events, First Fridays, and other cool places. Can you share why you choose to show at Maker Faire Kansas City?

A: Maker Fair Kansas City for me is a unique chance to talk to students and attendees about the possibilities of digital art. I like to share my “USE EVERYTHING AT YOUR DISPOSAL” attitude in creating work. My focus at Maker Faire is to showcase and educate. If I can be the springboard for another creative, then I feel I have been successful.

Q: A little bird (AKA an old team member) told us that you have a work relationship with Disney. Would you be able to tell us a little bit more about that relationship and what you do?

A: Sure! Disney is a wonderful client! I create work for both their galleries and theme park merchandise. I am able to take my style and apply it to known brands like Star Wars and Disney’s Haunted Mansion. My work is on display at both US parks and Disney-owned hotels. A few times a year I travel to the parks to sign work for fans and I often take the time while at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to take pictures for future illustrations. I have a number of fun pieces lined up for 2016!

Q: Is there anything you’d like to share with us?

A: I’d say attend Maker Faire KC! Get inspired! Keep an eye out for what Union Station and others have to offer! We live in a great city with so many resources for aspiring makers/creatives! From maker labs to a creative community who is always willing to share their knowledge. I feel that Kansas City is VERY unique in this way!

You can find my work at and on Instagram at @bryanfyffe.

Meet the Maker(Space): Black and Veatch MakerSpace

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Make Your Cake and Eat It, Too: The re-emergence of learning by doing

Black&Veatch MakerSpace

  • Located at Johnson County’s Central Resource Library 9875 W 87th Street, OPKS
  • 1,700 square feet • Tools and tutelage generously supported by Black & Veatch and the Kauffman Foundation
  • See the full list of equipment and events

Like many kids growing up, Aaron Attebery’s imagination found an outlet in Legos. Unlike many kids, the Kingdom City, Mo., native also built his own go-kart using the family welder. The unstructured time spent building in his early years led to more formal explorations of the mechanics making up the world. The nonprofit Technology Student Association exposed him to like-minded individuals in high school. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering soon followed. He now plies a successful trade as a solutions engineer at Kansas City-based Black & Veatch.

Aaron’s story illustrates a new approach to incubating the problem solvers of tomorrow. STEAM – that’s science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – education initiatives have been reinvigorated and take a top-down policy approach to creating the skilled workforce today’s economy demands.

The Maker movement, meanwhile, has taken firm root in garages and workshops across the country and has been catalyzed by the crowdsourcing power of the Internet. Self-taught tinkerers of all ages learn by experimentation, enthusiastically sharing their successes and failures with the larger community. Innovation bubbles from the ground up.

These two approaches collide beautifully in the middle at spaces popping up across Kansas City. They go by different names – MakerSpace, FabLab, etc. – but share the same principle: give the community the fundamentals and loose structure inspired by academia infused with the thrill of experimentation and diving headfirst into a problem with only your wits and curiosity.

Imagine downloading and printing a 3D model in less time than it takes to visit the local hardware store. Or cutting through dense woods like walnut with a focused beam of light. The instant gratification of making something rivals that of any aced test. Unrestrained access to new technologies changes the dynamics for students in particular.

“Having instant access to information makes young people such agile and quick thinkers,” says Aaron. “Giving them more channels to express that adaptability is really going to shape our future.”

Maker Librarian Meredith Nelson and MakerSpace Facilitator Nick Ward-Bopp lead Johnson County Library’s MakerSpace initiatives and programs. With the reopening of your new Central Resource Library this spring, our community again has access to a host of tools and programs for makers of all interests. All are available with nothing more than a Johnson County Library card. Waiting for you at the new Black & Veatch MakerSpace are 3D printers, a media recording suite and so much more. We can’t wait to see you there.


This post was provided by the Black & Veatch MakerSpace. For further questions about the space, please visit here

Meet the Maker: Lee Bots





Q: Hello! Lee Bots is new to Maker Faire Kansas City this year. Can you tell us a little bit about what Lee Bots? 

A: Lee Bots, is the results of my love for old, unwanted junk, into something new. These bots started five years ago, but only in the last few years, after graduating college, have they started taking on a life of their own. As of today the 400th bot has been made. These robot sculptures are handcrafted by me out of discarded electronics. Once on there way to the trash these computers, printers, electrical conduit, etc get torn apart and reassembled with new life as bots. The bots, are assembled together using a variety of different parts and wires. The robots can be put together with a variety of new and old parts. Like computer parts that are only a few years old can be put together with a vacuum tube from the 50’s. 

Q: Where do you get the materials for your robots?

A: The material for the bots comes from many different places now. Most of the computer and other electronics parts have been given to me by friends, family, and a few businesses around town. Parts like typewriters and antique tins are nabbed from stores like Salvation Army, Antique stores, and flea markets. And for the electrical boxes and conduit I get mostly from Habitat for Humanity Restores shops. I always love going to the different places, hunting for bot parts and having the cashier look at me funny with my cart full of random electrical parts, or priceless antiques.


Q: Would you mind sharing with us how Lee Bots began? Was it out of boredom, a personal challenge? Or…

A: Lee Bots started with my first computer and a pile of old, unwanted, junk. The computer was out of date and sat in the closet for many years, unused. The pile of junk sat in the corner of the garage, covered with dust. These two separate worlds were brought together with one college project. My 3-D foundation class project, “found object”. Now, armed with a purpose, the tearing apart of my once loved computer was easy. The Discovery of all the little parts inside the computer opened up a new world of possibilities. While, the junk pile provided an old rusty mailbox and an old lamp shade, which became the base for my first bot dog. The computer parts become the eyes and detail pieces for Rupert.  The left over computer parts became my first little, bit bot, made from the audio ports, USB ports, and keyboard keys.


Q: What inspires you (and these robots!)?

A: The ability to bring life back to something that was once overlooked, unwanted, junk, inspires me. Saving these objects from the doom of the trash. The challenge of looking at a pile of junk and finding new way to put together bots keeps me going. Every time I think I’ve seen all the computer parts there is to see I always find new parts and ideas that keep me going.


Q: The team watched your Lee Bots film. Did you create this yourself?! It’s so cool! Can you tell us about the process of creating it? 

A: I made the video myself. After having friends suggest that the bots would make for a great stop motion animation, the decision was easy to dive in, head first, into making a short film. It was around Halloween, so the theme of Frankenstein was chosen. As for knowing how to make a stop motion animation…. I had no idea what I was doing. Figured everything out with the help of YouTube, as I went along. I plan on making more stop motion animation in the future.


Q: Anything else you’d like to share with the Maker Faire Kansas City audience!?  

A: Never over look an old pile of junk. You never know, until you look hard enough with your imagination what could be hiding, waiting, for you to set it free.



Meet the Maker: Tag Team Tompkins

Tag Team Tompkins is not new to Kansas City area, but this will be your first time at Maker Faire Kansas City. So WELCOME to the Faire!

Q: For those who haven’t seen you around the area, who and what is Tag Team Tompkins?

A: We began as a mother-daughter collaboration, making framed original art for several seasonal pop-up store events in Kansas City. Our favorite events were Debbie Dusenberry’s Halloween shows at her old Curious Sofa shop in Prairie Village. I’d retired as a creative at Hallmark, where Madeline works currently – I just couldn’t stop making things! My husband/her dad stepped in to edit and proofread our work, and our close friend Bob Atkins of Skylab Letterpress printed for us.

Q: You’ve told us that your work is inspired by literary quotes or personal words to live by, but what quote (or writer) kind of started it all?

A: In searching for quotes for Halloween, my college minor in English served me well. Shakespeare and Poe provided many great possibilities. You can’t go wrong with Shakespeare!

Q: Your prints are obviously quote based, but how do you design the graphics that go with them? Is it all hand drawn by the team? Or…?

A: As we design, I’ll collect quotes, and Madeline will add to the list or nix things. When she and I agree, that’s when our direction is set. I love to draw and will sketch and then cut out the designs in black paper. I like how cutting it simplifies the art. Madeline’s hand lettering brings the art to a fine finish. We decide what size the finished work will be and hope our printer has available time. Our printer always has helpful technical and design suggestions for pleasing results.

Q: Tag Team Tompkins lets people personalize/customize their prints, can you tell us a little bit more about that process?

A: Our customers sometime appreciate little bits of personalization to their purchased prints, names and dates on our wedding print for instance, or a birthday tag on a Chinese Zodiac print. Last year, Madeline took a sketchbook to a Royals game and hand lettered her own thoughts – “Baseball isn’t everything but it can make a crap week a bit better.” We loved it and hurried to make a print (thank you, Skylab!). We then made a print that left off the word “baseball” – knowing that everyone has something that makes a hard week better. And now we even have a border design that we can provide a short favorite quote for someone’s pleasure. Our charge for these prints is $15 and $25.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share with the Maker Faire Kansas City audience?

A: We are considering offering a free print to interested browsers – we have extra stock of our “Dire Warning” prints. Madeline plans to show her point pen and brush lettering. I’ll work on some silhouette cutting for our new prints.

Preview (and/or purchase) Tag Team Tompkins work here

Meet the Sponsor: General Motors Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant

GM Company logo, November 2010. (United States)


Please meet our Coppersmith Sponsor, General Motors Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant!

The General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant has been producing World Class Quality vehicles in the Kansas City area since 1945. Fairfax Assembly was the first industrial facility to operate as a dual purpose manufacturer producing both automobiles and jet fighters in the same building. The present facility, constructed in 1985, has received numerous awards, including North American Car of the Year for the Chevrolet Malibu, as well as earning a top safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and J.D. Power recognition in multiple categories. For more information about General Motors Fairfax Assembly, please visit here.

Official Hotel Sponsor: The Aladdin

We are proud to announce the Official Hotel Sponsor of Maker Faire Kansas City 2016 is:

 The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel.

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If you are attending Maker Faire from out of town or wish to be near Maker Faire Kansas City, you are encouraged to book a room with The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel. There is a special group rate for those attending the Faire.

A block of rooms has been reserved at
The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel
To secure the group rate of $125/night,please
make your reservations by June 20, 2016
Reservations Number: 877-224-2870
Direct Booking Link can be accessed here
Address: 1215 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, MO. 64105
Please identify that you are booking for “Maker Faire”

– The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel is 1.7 miles away from Maker Faire Kansas City, which is hosted at Union Station Kansas City –

The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel in Downtown Kansas City is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in the heart of the Downtown Kansas City convention, business, financial and entertainment districts.

Located on site, is The Zebra Room, a full service restaurant featuring American cuisine with a seasonal flair for breakfast and dinner; The Martini Loft, located on the mezzanine level, a great stop for snacks and signature martinis and CitiScape Day Spa.

All rooms feature complimentary wired and wireless high speed Internet access, dual shower heads, iron, full size board, 32-inch flat screen, HD OnDemand movies and television, CD player, hair dryer, AM/FM clock radio plus much more!


Meet the Sponsor: Blue Scope Foundation

BlueScope Logo 2012-compressed


Maker Faire Kansas City is all about spotlighting creativity and resourcefulness but also educating others about the Maker Movement. In the last five years, we have been honored by local and global companies that sponsor us to help us continue being a place that helps grow creativity, resourcefulness and education. We continue to be honored with a new sponsor to our Faire, Blue Scope Foundation. Blue Scope Foundation is one of our Coppersmith Sponsors.

BlueScope is a global leader in premium branded coated and painted steel products – the third largest manufacturer of painted and coated steel products globally; we have great strengths in engineered steel buildings in key markets, and are number one in building and construction markets. They are located all around the world and we are extremely honored and happy to call them a 2016 Maker Faire Kansas City sponsor.

For more information about Blue Scope, please visit here.