What is a Maker Faire? Why did the White House host one?

Maker Faire

What is a Maker Faire? And why did the White House host one? Over 100 entrepreneurs, representing 25 United States, will gather at the White House today for the first Presidentially-sanctioned Maker Faire. President Obama himself will be at the proceedings, welcoming the group “as part of an ongoing effort to bolster the manufacturing sector.”

The idea was conceived in 2006 by the founders of Make magazine, a bi-monthly DIY publication. The basic idea is that a whole lot of tinkerers, creators, and dreamers will get together and share their innovations with each other. According to the organizers, the idea is “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new.”

What does that translate to, practically speaking? Well, the program for last month’s Bay Area Maker Faire includes events like “The World Record Paper Airplane,” a primer on “Hacking Your Brain,” a Q&A session that asks “Should Science Be Allowed to Be Interesting?”, and a talk entitled “Making Rockets–The Democratization of Matter.”

So it’s basically like a Renaissance Faire, except, instead of turkey legs and jousting, there’s coffee and robots. Not a bad trade.


U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle speak on importance of education in Florida


Or, in the President’s own words:

There is an entire movement across the country of people who are recognizing that with new technology, that the tinkerers, the people who are working in their garage, who are coming up with an idea, that the barriers to entry, they capital they’d have to put in to work up those ideas are now drastically reduced.

You can stream the event live at whitehouse.gov, and watch it there once it’s concluded.

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