By Krysten Brenlla
For years, Maker Faire Miami has exhibited local artists, engineers, scientists, creators, crafters, and makers in the city we call home – and this year, the event is coming back with a splash.
Taking place this weekend, April 15-16, at the Watsco Center on the University of Miami campus starting at 9 a.m., DIY enthusiasts from across South Florida are coming together to showcase their latest technology, art, and projects – think Battlebots, robots, 3D printing, woodwork, textiles, and more.
With the goal of inspiring and developing future entrepreneurs, STEM enthusiasts, and creators, Maker Faire Miami brings together industry professionals from across the nation to connect with young creators to showcase the future of technology, while fostering creativity and innovation. The event was born in 2014 as a “Mini Maker Faire” held at the LAB Miami, but soon after left the “Mini” behind as it scaled up.
“Our 10th anniversary is a moment to reflect on the last decade of events and appreciate how it has grown to become a staple for Miami’s innovation and maker community,” said Tom Pupo, executive director of Moonlighter Fab Lab and co-producer of Maker Faire Miami with Mario Cruz. “Over the years, we’ve seen that Maker Faire Miami represents the entire creative pipeline; it is a level playing field for all to exhibit their talents, tell their stories, and learn new skills.”
In addition to more than 121 hands-on exhibits, guests will also have the opportunity to hear from world-renowned speakers in technology, engineering, and science.
“Each year, we celebrate our local makers by featuring their work, and we educate and inspire them by bringing in industry leaders from around the world to come and share their expertise through ‘Maker Talks’,” said Cruz, aka “Mario the Maker” and the Faire’s lead organizer. “Maker Faire offers a unique environment where attendees can see, touch, and interact with real projects, and learn from makers and innovators of all ages. This is the magic of Maker Faire – a cross pollination of creativity.”
This year’s featured speakers in ‘Maker Talks’ include:
- Michael Sayman, a tech prodigy, former Facebook engineer, and author of “App Kid: How a Child of Immigrants Grabbed a Piece of the American Dream.”
- Elijah Horland, a young maker, inventor, and co-host of MythBusters Jr. on Discovery and The Science Channel.
- Mel Ho, a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and maker who has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, and other major publications.
- CW&T, the art and design practice of Chei-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy, the 2022 recipient of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award for Product Design.
- Charyln, a senior software engineer at Pave, former software engineer at Google and Uber Eats, and former developer advocate for the Uber API.
- Dr. Madeline Gannon, a world economic forum cultural leader, one of the ‘Top 10 Women in Robotics Industry’ and ‘World’s 50 Most Renowned Women in Robotics’ Analytics Insight recipient, and owner of research studio ATONATION.
And that’s not all. Maker Faire Miami is also partnering with local organizations to offer a weekend-long build-a-thon, where students from three schools across Miami-Dade will be competing to build the best electric vehicle using Infento engineering kits, Cruz said.
Additionally, students from Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens’ “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge,” a classroom-based science project operated in partnership with NASA to advance NASA’s research on growing plants and agriculture in space, will be presenting their year-long projects to NASA scientists and engineers.
Finally, Maker Faire Miami is offering a ‘Maker Education’ zone, a series of talks and workshops designed to mold a new way of teaching, thinking, and learning for educators and students, Cruz and Pupo added. With free entry for all Title-1 and MDCPS Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics educators, participants are encouraged to share valuable techniques and resources that help create an equitable, inclusive, and relevant learning environment for students – all while brainstorming ways to not only teach for the 21st century but learn from it too.
“What we love the most about Maker Faire Miami is the excitement and inspiration it brings to our community – for the young and the young-at-heart,” said Pupo.
Single day ticket passes to attend are $19 per adult, and $16 per child ages 6-12. 2-day ticket passes to attend are $25 per adult, and $18 per child ages 6 – 12. To learn more about Maker Faire Miami, such as how to volunteer, or to attend this year’s showcase, visit their website at https://miami.makerfaire.com/. To view the full schedule of events and exhibits, visit https://miami.makerfaire.com/schedule/.
If you are an educator looking to attend, please register here.
Maker Faire Miami is volunteer organized and run, and would not be possible without the support of local organizations, makers, and volunteers.
For more Miami Tech Month events, visit miamitechmonth.com.
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