Author Archives: kami

Maker Ed Awesomeness at the Austin Mini Maker Faire

by Teri Sperry, AMMF Maker Ed coordinator

Giveaway alert: A family pack of Austin Mini Maker Faire passes is up for grabs, plus free tickets for professional educators and a special discount code for homeschoolers! Read on.AMMF_Poster_GraphicandInfo

I love the theme of this year’s Austin Mini Maker Faire, as expressed in the beautiful posters designed by Kat Townsend: We are all makers. Even more exciting for me (and the reason AltEd Austin is a proud sponsor of AMMF 2014) is its brilliant demonstration of another theme: We are all learners. We are all teachers.

Underlying its well-deserved reputation for outlandish fun in the tech, craft, art, robotics, and sustainability arenas, the heart of Austin’s annual maker extravaganza is education. At a time when our traditional school systems are deep in crisis, the Faire serves as a showcase for learning experiences as they should be: hands-on, interdisciplinary, learner directed, multi-age, naturally engaging, noncompetitive, playful, and focused on using critical thinking skills and imagination to address real-world problems.  WonderLabWith the generous support of our special area sponsor, WonderLab, we have expanded theMaker Ed section of the Faire in a big way and added some extra perks for educators. Here’s what’s in store:

Free admission for professional educators! Just show your valid school ID at check-in.

Special 20% discount for homeschooling families. Buy your adult and child tickets in advance using this code: AHS20OFF

Educators’ Lounge. This year we’re giving teachers and other education professionals a comfy place at the Faire to take a break and meet new colleagues. We’ll also facilitate some quick and fun ways for educators to trade ideas about incorporating making into their learning environments and overcoming maker ed challenges. As a thank-you for participating in the Lounge, we’ll have some great teacher-oriented swag bags. Many thanks to super volunteers Mike DeGraff, Claudia Pepper, and Laura Minnigerode and these sponsors for making all of this happen: Five Elements Furniture, SparkFun, Texas Instruments, and UTeach.

Three huge tents devoted to Maker Ed. Fairegoers will experience a dizzying array of hands-on activities and demonstrations presented by schools and other educational programs from pre-K through college levels. Anchored by AMMF sponsor Skybridge Academy, these edu-makers will give Fairegoers of all ages opportunities to sharpen their wilderness survival skills, practice the fine art of bubble making, learn how a couple of local high school kids have built a 3D printer, and much, much more.

More edu-awesomeness outside the Maker Ed tents. Some of our event sponsors are bringing exhibits and activities so big they’ve claimed their own chunk of AMMF real estate:

• In the ever-popular Austin Tinkering School pavilion, kids can make their own racecars and try their luck in the Nerdy Derby, or hang out in the Open Shop, deconstructing electronics and creating their own marvels with all kinds of interesting building materials.

• The Thinkery’s Kid Zone will offer multiple STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities for young makers. Its hand-built trebuchet will be flinging things the old-fashioned way throughout the day.

• On the outdoor stage, kids of all ages will be amazed and edified by the Mad Science show. Grownups will learn to safely wow their friends and enemies with the fiery arts at Tim Deagan’s Propane 101 for Artists and Makers. And everyone, I mean everyone, will have a blast at Steve Wolf’s multi-award-winning Science in the Movies show. Check out the performance schedule and plan your day at the Faire!

• Inside the Expo Center arena, beyond the planetarium, aerial dancers, and the gajillion fascinating craft, tech, and arts exhibits, you’ll find a workshop space where you can learn to program a Raspberry Pi, ferment your own vinegar from table scraps, make a perfect hula-hoop, or turn your small business dreams into reality. Reserve your space in a workshop today!

This is only the tip of the iceberg, people. I’ve highlighted the overtly educational features of the Faire, but no matter how you choose to spend your time at AMMF, you’ll learn something.

Jump off a tower into a giant marshmallow with the Stunt Ranch crew, find out how an intrepid professor is sustainably living in a dumpster for a year, or pedal like you’ve never pedaled before at the Austin Bike Zoo’s Interactive Wonderland and pedal-powered Carousel. I guarantee you’ll come away  with that unmistakable feeling that we are all learners, we are all teachers. And for sure, we are all makers.

Giveaway!

You have a bunch of ways to enter this random drawing, with up to 10 chances to win an AMMF family pack of 2 adult and 2 child passes. If you’ve already bought your tickets, be sure to let your friends know about this opportunity to attend the Austin Mini Maker Faire for free! Enter  by midnight Thursday, May 1, and we’ll announce the lucky winner on the AltEd Austin blog  on Friday morning. Good luck!

 

AMMF 2014 Performer Schedule is UP!

By Craig Burke, stage coordinator

pony trap

We’ve finally got the performer stage hammered out and the schedule is ready! We are really excited about the selection this year as we feel it represents the type of individuals and groups who not only consider themselves musicians, but also makers. Many of these makers not only make music, but also build robots, make sculptures, compose ear movie musicals, turn themselves into the undead, as well as create and hack instruments. Look for the Performer stage on Saturday, May 3rd and prepare to to witness soundscapes, robots playing drums, chiptune, zombies playing horns and more.ivy and the wicker suitcase

octantdead music capital band

Maker Store!

photoSomething new this year!  We will have a Maker store with lots of fun stuff for sale.  Arduinos, solar-powered grasshoppers, soldering kits, Make magazines, and all sorts of awesome Austin Mini Maker Faire T-shirts, bags, and stickers for your purchasing pleasure.  Bring some Making home with you from the Maker Faire on May 3!

Yoohoo, Doctor Who fans…

Dalek Storm, K9, and a weeping angel will be at the Faire this year!  Saturday May 3 at the Travis County Expo Center… buy your tickets now! DCIM100HPDVCweeping angel

Our beautiful poster!

ammf_posters-09Beautiful work by Kat Townsend of HeyKat.com!  Not too late to get your company’s logo on the poster, which will be posted all around Austin… you can find out more about sponsorship here.

These ARE the droids you are looking for!

We’re so excited that the Central Texas Droid Builders will be at our Faire this year!  7213004754_9880c55d31_b

The Call for Makers has been extended!

We know it’s hard for anyone in this town to focus in on anything until after SXSW is over… so we’re keeping our call for Makers open until April 12th.

You didn’t miss it!  Apply now!  Exciting, isn’t it?

excited call for makers face

Now seeking sponsors for Austin Mini Maker Faire 2014!

Here’s a neat one-sheet with all the deets!  Click on the letter below to get a pdf to share around, if you know of any of businesses or companies that might be interested.  And remember, the earlier you sponsor, the more you get out of it, so don’t delay! AMMF_2014_Sponsor_Letter

Call for Makers is OPEN!

Apply here to be part of Austin Mini Maker Faire 2014!  The call for Makers is open until March 15.

AMMF-CallForMakers-2013-01_doubled_for_print

Town Hall meeting for AMMF 2014!

1505271_636057626431396_2013107681_nOnce more we are hosting a Town Hall meeting for this year’s Austin Mini Maker Faire at The North Door on Monday, January 27th from 7-9 pm.

Do you want to participate this year as a Maker, volunteer, or sponsor?  Do you want to chime in about what you want to have at the Faire this year?  Do you just like to eat pizza and drink beer?  We got you covered.  We’ll answer questions and share intimate details about this awesome Austin event.  We’re also kicking off our Call for Makers, which will be open until March 15!

Austin Mini Maker Faire Spot from Stephen Henderson on Vimeo.