Press Release

JUNE 24, 2013

Contacts to Schedule interviews:
Joy Torchia, Union Station Kansas City
(816) 460-2022 (direct); (816) 813-0222 (mobile)

Nancy Besa at

Download a pdf of this press release.

Maker Faire: Kansas City Promises Excitement and Inspiration for Audiences of All Ages

Union Station Hosts Third Annual Festival — This Weekend June 29-30, 2013
Featuring 300+ Maker Booths, Demonstrations and Attractions

Kansas City, Missouri, June 24, 2013 — Union Station is gearing up for a big weekend festival for Maker Faire: Kansas City on June 29-30 — a weekend show-and-tell festival celebrating innovation, invention and creativity. Maker Faire: Kansas City features more than 300 makers showing off their creations and innovations in the areas of technology, robotics, electronics, pyrotechnics, engineering, printmaking, art and craft making and custom cars and bikes. Highlighting the things people make themselves, Maker Faire: Kansas City could very well be displaying the beginnings of the next great innovation in science, technology and engineering. And, it could spark some of Kansas City’s newest entrepreneurs.

“Maker Faire is a fun and inspiring event for families and individuals to see first-hand what others are making as hobbyists or for a career,” said George Guastello, Union Station President and CEO. “Union Station hosts this event because it offers such a great opportunity to demonstrate the invention, innovation and creativity happening in our home community and region. This event provides great networking opportunities among Makers and those interested in what others are making. It also helps connect entrepreneurship and education so students can see various skills they can develop and how they can use their own creativity to design inventions and products of the future. This event is sure to inspire making in all who attend.”

In addition to some 300 booth displays and exhibits, featured attractions include:

  • Arc Attack (making music with Tesla coil energy) performing shows Friday night, Sat & Sun,
  • Power Wheels Racing (adult racing teams using souped up Power Wheels cars)
  • Eepy Bird presenting a Coke and Mentos fountain show at 2 p.m. each day
  • FIRST Robotics teams and Roving Robots in Grand Hall
  • Michael’s Store Craft Truck (a truck featuring craft stations for people to make projects) –Steve Trash, Environmental Magician –US Army Humvee and Gaming Station
  • ZooMobile; Tornado chasing vehicles and BioMed Mobile Unit
  • Performance stage of local bands
  • More than 50 custom Low-Rider cars
  • A variety of food trucks

Featured Speakers and Sponsors:

This event also will feature national speakers on Saturday morning, all of whom are very involved in the Maker movement that is going global. David Lang, founder of Open Rov, which makes open-source underwater robots, will be a featured speaker and will talk about his new book, Zero to Make, which will be released in September. Other national speakers on Saturday morning include: Shannon Dosenmagen, from the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, along with Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendex, two of the three founders of Makers Row, a factory sourcing company. Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman Foundation’s vice presdient for advancing innovation and Sabrino Merlo, who leads Maker Media also will lead a panel discussion about how to organize a community-based Maker Faire. The full program and schedule can be found here.

All of the speaker presentations will be webcast at during the weekend event.

In addition, two national sponsors will have large booths offering demonstrations of their products. AutoDesk, a leader in 3D printing technologies, and ShopBot Tools, maker of affordable, industrial grade CNC routers, both will be demonstrating their products and how Makers, designers and manufacturers use their tools and products. Kansas City is the first Featured Maker Faire that these two companies have attended as sponsors. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has been the primary and founding sponsor since Union Station organized Kansas City’s first large Maker Faire in 2011.

“A steady contingent of garage or kitchen tinkerers are using easily accessible resources that are now affordable and sized for your home,” said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Advancing Innovations and Networks at the Kauffman Foundation. “You can design, build and print art, robots and even car parts in a way that was previously not possible except in labs or manufacturing facilities. Once a year, the Union Station is host to MakerFaire, a destination of choice for kids and adults who want to engage in designing,making and a whole lot of fun that might end up in an entrepreneurial endeavor.”

Science City will be part of Maker Faire, offering a variety of Making activities for kids and families inside of Science City during the weekend. Activities include Learn to Solder, making Squishy Circuits and creating a Cardboard Village. Staff members also will be doing a variety of special presentations and demonstrations. Other activities inside of Science City will include:

  • Aerial Performance Art by Voler: Thieves of Flight inside of Science City on Saturday
  • Food demonstrations in the Science City Test Kitchen all weekend
  • Science demonstrations by Science City educators all weekend
  • Making Project demonstrations by Joey Hudy and Super Awesome Sylvia, two nationally known  young makers’
  • Radio Disney will perform and have a Creation Station inside of Science City on Sunday

Joey Hudy is here all week in advance of Maker Faire, doing demonstrations and projects with children attending Science City’s summer science camp focuses on Making projects.

This is the third year for a Maker Faire in Kansas City, and the number of makers has continued to grow from 130 in 2011 to 300+ Makers this year. Union Station will be fully taken over by Makers during this fun weekend event that appeals to all ages. The front lot will be full of featured attractions and Sprint Festival Plaza and Science City will be filled with Maker booths, a speaker stage and demonstrations. The variety of makers ranges from robotics, 3D printing and digital media projects, to crafters, food artisans, wood carvers, printmakers and a variety of classic and custom cars will be on display along Pershing Road in front of the Station.

Kansas City hosts one of the three largest “Featured Maker Faires” in the country. Kansas City’s Maker Faire is a community-organized event, thanks to generous support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and other sponsors such as Time Warner Cable, AutoDesk, ShopBot, SmoothOn, DeVry University and a variety of community partner organizations.

Friday Night Preview – Maker Mixer offers entertainment before main event

Union Station will host a Maker Mixer from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 28 for the Makers to meet one another and network, and the public is invited to a night of fun before the main event.

Attendees can get a preview of the set-up before the crowds. Musical entertainment will include performances by Funk Syndicate, a Kansas City R&B variety band, and ArcAttack, a high-tech performance group from Austin.

The public can purchase $5 tickets for the Maker Mixer event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. the night of the event at the Information Booth inside Union Station. Public tickets for this Maker Mixer event can be purchased ahead of that day at the Union Station box office or online at

Maker Faire Weekend Hours and Ticket Prices


  • Friday: June 28: Maker Mixer Preview Night Concert: 7 to 10 p.m. In front of Union Station (tickets: $5)
  • Saturday, June 29: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 30: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ticket Prices:

One-day tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children/youth/military and seniors. Weekend passes and family packages (4 tickets for $30) are also available.

Group rates of $6 are available for groups of 15 or more people. All tickets are on sale online at or at Union Station’s ticket office.

The full schedule of events, speakers and featured attractions for Maker Faire: Kansas City also can be found on, and will be continually updated as all events and speakers schedules are finalized for the weekend.

About Maker Faire: Kansas City

Maker Faire: Kansas City is organized by Union Station of Kansas City, in conjunction with Maker Media. Maker Faire is one component of a long-range plan to promote education in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Union Station will regularly convene educators, business leaders, not-for-profit organizations and students to share lessons and combine efforts among local groups to highlight STEM education. In addition, Union Station and Science City are preparing a year-round Young Makers Studio Space to allow access to Making and STEM education through special events and field trips focused on robot building, engineering, inventing and more. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has been the founding sponsor for all three years. Time Warner Cable has provided significant in-kind support for Wi-Fi connections throughout the Maker Faire. Kansas City’s Neighborhood Tourism and Development Fund also provided a grant to support the marketing of the weekend festival. Additional sponsors were: AutoDesk, ShopBot Tools, Motorola, DeVry University, Smooth-On and Reynolds Advanced Materials. For more information on Maker Faire: Kansas City, visit

About Union Station Kansas City, Inc.:

Union Station Kansas City is a historical landmark and civic asset which originally opened in 1914 and was renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. The organization, driven by its mission of science and history education and entertainment, features Kansas City’s science center, Science City; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, one of the region’s largest 3D movie theatres; the Goppert Planetarium; the popular Model Railroad Experience open year round, live theater, shops, restaurants and home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses. Visit for details.

About Maker Faire Nationally and Internationally:

The launch of Maker Faire in the Bay Area in 2006 demonstrated the popularity of making and interest among legions of aspiring makers to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills at the event. A record 165,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires, in the Bay Area and New York, in 2012 with 44% of attendees being first timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York. A family event, the vast majority attend with children. In 2013, over 78 community-driven Mini Maker Faires are expected around the world, including Tokyo and Rome. For more information about Maker Faire, please visit