SOURCE: O'Reilly Media

O'Reilly Media

September 15, 2011 15:40 ET

Second Annual World Maker Faire Kicks Off at New York Hall of Science

World's Largest DIY Festival Draws Tens of Thousands to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens; Panel Discussion on Main Stage Will Explore Making's Potential to Help Close STEM Achievement Gap

QUEENS, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 15, 2011) - World Maker Faire returns to the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) this Saturday and Sunday for two unforgettable days of technology, engineering, art and do-it-yourself creativity. More than 500 inventors, scientists, crafters, educators, tinkers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs, students, and authors will show what happens when talented minds imagine the world differently. Last year's inaugural World Maker Faire drew 25,000 people, and attendance is expected to grow this year.

In addition to the individual Makers, this year's Faire features a craft pavilion, a 3D Printing Village, a series of workshops that demystify the open-source Arduino microcontroller, and a number of projects that emphasize innovations in health care. Also, NYSCI's 450-plus hands-on exhibits, science demos, and art-technology pieces will be open to all Maker Faire attendees.

"World Maker Faire shows us just how fun and exciting science and technology learning can be," said NYSCI President and CEO Margaret Honey. "The creativity and ingenuity on display is exactly the type of hands-on, experiential learning that we need to inspire young people to want to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM.) These four areas of learning are critical to American competitiveness but they are on the decline in the United States. Maker Faire is one piece of our efforts to revitalize young people's interest in STEM learning."

Dale Dougherty, Co-Founder of O'Reilly Media and Founder of Make magazine, launched Maker Faire in 2006 with the goal of creating a festival that celebrates Making and gives artists, inventors, scientists, students and tech enthusiasts a place to come together to exchange ideas, showcase their projects, and inspire the next generation of Makers.

"Education is a big part of what we do, and we are starting to make more headway in this space," Mr. Dougherty said. "The Maker community has evolved into a growing movement of individuals who look at things a little differently and who just might spark the next generation of scientists and engineers. Through Maker Faires, these resourceful and imaginative individuals have organized into thriving communities to create things that are personally motivating and socially engaging."

On Saturday at 1:00 p.m., Dr. Honey and Mr. Dougherty will be joined on the Main Stage by Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Francisco D'Souza, President and CEO of Cognizant, to discuss the impact that Making can have on education and innovation in the United States, including its potential to help close the STEM achievement gap.

Some of the other exciting speakers scheduled for the Main Stage include:

  • David Pogue, New York Times tech columnist
  • John Hodgman, author and resident expert on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Brant Revill, project lead for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) crowdsourcing effort,
  • Phil McKinney, chief technology officer of HP
  • Zach Leiberman, professor at the Parsons School of Design

Some of the Maker displays at the second annual World Maker Faire include:

  • The return of ArcAttack: A unique musical experience generating an 'electrifying' audio visual performance, with dual-resonant solid state Tesla Coils as synchronized instruments.
  • The Brooklyn Aerodrome: Fly remote-control planes and learn how to build your own planes from scratch using foam board, clothes hangers, and recycled signs.
  • Deconstruction Zone: Want to wreck some stuff? Crack open, take apart, and see the insides of computers, VCRs, radios, and all kinds of electronics provided by the NYSCI. For ages 6 and up.
  • The Ever-Popular Coke Zero & Mentos Fountains: Now in its second year at World Maker Faire, this mysterious combination of pop and candy creates geysers of soda that shoot over 20 feet into the air in a spectacular mint-powered version of Las Vegas' Bellagio Fountains.
  • Robots: Robots that drum, robots that dance, robots that talk, robots made out of LEGOS, robots that fight other robots -- you get the picture: World Maker Faire is bot-tastic.

For a complete list of events and Makers at the World Maker Faire, please visit

World Maker Faire 2011 is presented by RadioShack and includes the following sponsors: Cognizant, GE, Microsoft, Atmel, Digi-Key, HP, AutoDesk, ShopBot Tools, Epilog Laser, SparkFun Electronics, TechShop, Clif Kid and Etsy.

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  • Contacts
    Mary Record
    New York Hall of Science
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    Bridgette Vanderlaan
    Maker Faire
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