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OMSI's Mini Maker Faire returns

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - It came to me in a dream, says HYPERLINK http://www.yarncar.com/ Yarn Car maker Tim Klein, who turned his 1967 Imperial Crown into a drivable work of art, using more than four miles of soft acrylic yarn, and 2,000 black river rocks!The second-annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly showcase of creativity and cool technology, returned to the HYPERLINK "www.omsi.edu/" Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) parking lot the for two days, starting on Saturday, September 14.

“This is a showcase of creativity, ingenuity, intervention – it’s amazing,” is how OMSI Event Director Andrea Middleton described the event for THE BEE.

“We have more than 100 ‘Makers’ here. These are people who have made something, and are here to show it off to the public.”

To the question, “What’s a ‘Maker’?” Middleton responded, “The publishers of ‘HYPERLINK "makezine.com/" MAKE Magazine’ are credited with the name, and with popularizing the idea.

“It’s all about the growing do-it-yourself movement; that is, a ‘making-instead-of-consuming’ way of thinking. It’s about making it with your own hands.”

It’s not necessarily more scientific than agricultural, Middleton commented. “The ‘Maker movement’ covers a huge variety. At this event we have beekeepers. But, we also have robots, model rockets, Tesla coils, and a guy who covered his car in yarn. “The variety of Makers is the thing that is the most fascinating and amazing to me.”

This event is a sanctioned, but smaller, version of the flagship HYPERLINK "makerfaire.com/" Maker Faire® shows regularly held near San Francisco and in New York that host more than 800 Makers and have 100,000 visitors come through their gates.

Providing a venue for this event is an exact fit with OMSI’s mission, Middleton remarked. “One of our strategic initiatives here is innovation and engineering.”

During the Faire, some 6,000 visitors came to view the exhibits, listen to the talks, and see demonstrations and performances that bridged arts, crafts, science, and engineering.

“Don’t forget,” Middleton added, “all the hands-on activities we have that are designed to inspire and stimulate the Maker within!”

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry considers its mission to foster such invention. OMSI is situated on the east bank of the Willamette River, on Water Street, just north of the Ross Island Bridge.