One of the biggest and most prominent “Maker” events — Maker Faire Bay Area 2016 — is taking place today, Friday, May 20th, and throughout this weekend at the San Mateo Events Center.
More than 150,000 tech evangelists, crafters, educators, engineers, students, and DIY enthusiasts from all over the world will gather together and meet with over 1,000 Makers showcasing their latest innovations and creations.
Maker Faire began in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, the brainchild of founder Dale Dougherty. What started as a fun gathering for “makers” to learn from each other rapidly grew into a “Makers Movement” — a multi-city, multi-national science fair series with two flagship events in the Bay Area and New York, as well as dozens of independently-produced Maker Faires in cities around the globe. Dale and his team have also built a “Maker” family of brands, which include Make magazine, Maker Shed, and Makezine.com that collectively benefit a total of more than 25 million Makers.
In addition to such notables as Google and Qualcomm, this year Maker Faire Bay Area is being headlined by two major sponsors, Intel and Barnes and Noble, who are leaders in the Maker Movement and are committed to educating and inspiring Maker enthusiasts.
Intel, which touts some of the earliest tinkerers in Silicon Valley, has been a steadfast supporter of Makers around the world. “Delivering technologies that empower and inspire Makers of all ages to learn, invent, and carry on the legacy of DIY innovation is core to Intel’s values,” said Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager for Intel’s Technology Group.
Intel is giving attendees first-hand experience with interactive technologies that allow them to play games and interact with build zones to unlock their creativity. They can also make music with the DJ collective Third Rumble, or learn more about “America’s Greatest Makers,” a reality series where teams can compete to create the world’s newest technology breakthrough and win a $1 million grand prize.
Barnes & Noble sees its partnership with Maker Faire as “another important milestone in our ongoing campaign to promote tech literacy across the country,” according to Kathleen Campisano, vice president of toys and games.
Attendees are invited to visit the Barnes & Noble Pop-Up Shop where they can get a first-look at new technology and educational products. Some of these include Air Hogs Connect from Spin Master that takes drone flights to a whole new level; Fisher Price’s Think & Learn Code-a-pillar for preschoolers, which offers the perfect introduction to coding for little Makers; and Sphero, which advances coding with demonstrations of Star Wars’ new favorite character, BB8.
This year’s Bay Area flagship event features an impressive lineup of speakers, fun entertainment activities, and most importantly, thousands of cool inventions by creative Makers. For just under $50, you are able to experience it all and “maker” this weekend a blast! Tickets are available on-site.