What if Albert Einstein, Willy Wonka, Curious George, R2D2 and MacGyver threw a really big party? They’d invite all of their really cool friends: the artists, the inventors, the crafters, the mad scientists, the happy scientists, the curious, the creators, the hackers, the tinkerers.
Sure, Leonardo da Vinci would be there showing off his new helicopter prototype and Rube Goldberg would be making people laugh with his convoluted contraptions and Grace Hopper would be taking apart all the clocks while writing new computer languages. It would be the kind of place where everyone who’s ever been called weird, crazy or geeky would feel right at home.
Good news: That party is happening this weekend in Detroit.
MakerFaire started out in San Mateo back in 2006. Last year, the party spread to Detroit and New York. MakerFaire is a celebration of crazy ideas and the can-do spirit. It’s now the World’s Largest DIY Festival. A two-day family friendly shindig showcasing invention, creativity and resourcefulness.
Last years event featured Twinkie-powered go-carts and fire-breathing bicycles and car-crushing mouse traps. There were more legos, robots and strange creations then you could arc a Tesla coil at – and that’s not counting the 250 Lobster and Fish that make up the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. It was a jaw-dropping, inspiring crazy event for our family.
The event is put on by the good folks at O’Reilly Media, the publishers of Make, the journal of the Maker mindset. It’s fittingly hosted at The Henry Ford, where you can tour Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park “idea factory”, Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House or the Wright Brother’s Bicycle Shop.
Bonus for Parents: Read “Want Kids to Win the Future? Turn Them Into Makers — and Sci-Fi Fans” by Angela Watercutter in Wired Magazine.