Mini Maker Faires Set To Inspire & Amaze in Redding & Ashland

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More than a decade ago, Dale Dougherty and Sherry Huss noted that our increasingly consumer-focused society often disregards the fundamental human activity of creating. From this notion came the idea for the first Maker Faire, which took place in the Bay Area in 2006. The goal of the faire was to offer a community-based learning environment to inspire everyone to become a “maker.” Since then, Maker Faires have become a global phenomenon, expanding to cities around the world such as Tokyo, Rome and Detroit. Mini Maker Faires have also become a growing trend, one that has now reached to Northern California and Southern Oregon.

Shasta County Mini Maker Faire in Redding – Saturday Nov. 12th

The term “maker” is nonexclusive and incorporates people from many seemingly unrelated fields such as science, engineering, education, entrepreneurship, technology and art. As Ada Rappeport, co-chair of the Shasta County Mini Maker Faire explains, “This event not only allows makers to connect with the community, but to find one another, which is so important for them to be able to inspire and encourage each another.”

The faire is open to the public and takes place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12th, at the Redding Civic Auditorium. Thanks to the generous support of Shasta College, kids and teens ages 18 and under can attend the faire for free. The cost for ages 19 and up is $10.

“We want to expose kids to things they didn’t even know existed,” Rappeport explains. “Something they see may ignite an unexpected passion.” Upon entering the faire, children will receive a “passport” which can be stamped at makers’ booths for prizes. Kids will also have the opportunity to participate in team challenges to build a mini race car, a helmet for a raw egg, a sculpture incorporating dry ice, or a bridge made of pasta.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy the incredible displays and activities offered by makers. Danny Scheible, the Sacramento artist who invented “Tapigami,” will instruct visitors on the art of rolling masking tape. Pieces created by visitors will then be used as part of a group installation at the faire. This activity allows visitors to participate in the creative process, inspiring people to appreciate art in a new way and become makers themselves.

“So often we see the end product and not the construction process,” says Rappeport, “We want people to see the messy process of making.”

*Note: visit http://www.makerfaireshasta.com for more details & to preregister for dry ice sculpture and pasta bridge activities.

Rogue Valley Mini Maker Faire in Ashland – Saturday, Nov. 19th

Greg Dills’ passion for introducing kids to the wonder of making motivated him to direct efforts for the first Rogue Valley Mini Maker Faire. The faire will take place at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland on Saturday Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The faire is free for children under 2 years old and $10 for children and adults ages 2 and up.

Dills, who works as a volunteer coordinator at ScienceWorks, values the life-long skills kids can develop through making.

“We provide tools, then allow them to think and experience on their own, which builds their confidence and independence as they grow up,” Dills says, “If adults do everything for kids, they will never be able to do things on their own.”

To this end, a local mechanic shop will facilitate a “car take-apart”, teaching kids to use real tools safely as they disassemble two cars. With the help of other local makers, kids and adults can experience a Frasca 141 airplane simulation, ride different kinds of machines, make bath balms and soaps, build Lego structures and learn “upcycle” art techniques. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to meet inspiring young makers at the booths of the Ashland High School and Central Oregon Community College robotics clubs.

Several well-known makers will also share their crafts. Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron, authors of 3-D Printed Science Projects, will demonstrate 3-D printing.  Annika Schindler, LAIKA costume fabricator for stop-motion movies including The Boxtrolls will demonstrate costume creation. Scheible will make a group “Tapigami” installation at the faire as well. “It’s show-and-tell for everyone,” Dills says, “Hobbyists of all kinds can bring their work out for the community to see.”

*Note: See http://www.roguevalleymakerfaire.org for more details.  

Jenna Christophersen
About Jenna Christophersen

Jenna Christophersen is a Chico native who loves her community and can never get quite enough of the arts. She supports fostering creativity in any venue, especially as a part of young people’s daily lives.

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