Maker Faire is part science fair, educational fair and celebrates all things STEM, STEAM, and art and everything in-between. Pittsburgh’s second full Maker Faire was held October 15 and 16 on the Northside of Pittsburgh, sprawling from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh into NOVA Place and Allegheny Center.
Pittsburgh’s first attempt at hosting a Maker Faire came in 2013, with a mini-Maker Faire being held in October inside and just out front of the Children’s Museum. The first Faire included a mobile FABLAB, vendors, access to the Children’s Museum MAKESHOP, and art and STEM activities for families to complete with their children. After a year off, Pittsburgh graduated to holding its first full Faire in 2015, which included robotics demonstrations, an entrepreneurship and innovation zone, educational vendors, and a maker’s market.
This year’s Faire expanded to three full days, including a Friday educational day which was free to local school students. The maker’s market increased in size and attendees could also partake in a food truck roundup. In addition to vendors and activities, the Faire also included educational talks and workshops on both Saturday and Sunday.
Some of the exhibits included Viking crafts by the Society for Creative Anachronisms, multiple robotics clubs, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s mobile FABLAB, a soft tissue 3D printer in development by CMU, Little Bits and Makey Makey exhibits in the education zone, and a Tesla coil instrument built by Hack Pittsburgh members. The Faire was co-sponsored in 2016 by the Children’s Museum and Hack Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s first makerspace which opened to the public.
If you are looking for family-friendly entertainment and a chance to expose your children (or your students) to everything which is happening in the Pittsburgh region in STEM, entrepreneurship, innovation, and STEAM, be sure to check out the next Faire!