Category Archives: Be A Maker

It’s A Wrap! Our 2016 Highlights

mmh-i-make-rgbThanks again to all the makers, exhibitors and attendees who helped us make Houston Mini Maker Faire 2016 an amazing event! Please check out these posts for selected highlights (sorry, but there were so many things going on we can only talk about a few of them here). Stay tuned for more info and insights into the future of the Maker Movement in Houston!

The Power of Innovation at Maker Faire

mmh-i-make-rgbWhen’s a good time to start innovating? Now! Who can be an innovator? You! Where’s a good place to get started innovating? A local makerspace! You’ve probably noticed that technology has become both very powerful and highly empowering. Using your creativity and this powerful technology, YOU can become one of the world’s leading innovators! And a great place to get started is a local makerspace, with experience, resources, tools and — especially — community to help you take those first steps into uncharted territory. Check out this blog now, then come learn about the amazing vibrant growing makerspace scene around Houston at Houston Mini Maker Faire (@ GRB 11/12-13) — then start planning how to realize your most creative ideas….

Exhibitor Info Meeting: Wed, Oct 26

2014052520209We invite all exhibitors who have already registered to participate in Houston Mini Maker Faire 2016, or are thinking about doing so, to attend the planning and information session from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Children’s Museum of Houston (1500 Binz St, Houston). People planning to help as Maker Faire volunteers are invited too. Click here to get more information about this meeting.

Creativity Is Fun!

20161003_133517One of the reasons we all enjoy creativity is it can be so much fun! And no one knows that better than makers who use creativity to express themselves through artistry, Cosplay, Scifi and Fantasy. Some of these projects are simple, but some are very complex and use a lot of advanced technology. This BuyTicksyear Houston Mini Maker Faire (Sat & Sun, 11/12-13 @ GRB Hall A) will have more cosplay exhibits than ever before, and several learning 20141005_134405 (small)sessions where you can gain knowledge about how to do projects yourself. Click here for more information about the planned exhibits on the theme of Cosplay, Scifi and Fantasy.

Discount tickets are available online (click on the “Buy Tickets” button) but are ending soon — enter discount code Max2 at the “Enter promotional code” link for half-off on the ticketing web page.

Buzz!

mmh-i-make-rgbSo many exciting and new things are in the works for Houston Mini Maker Faire 2016! We’ve begun our coverage of exhibit content on the Event Info tab — check it out and check back often to see the storyline unfold. This is a truly “buzz-worthy” event about creativity and innovation in Houston — the kind you’ll say “oh wow — I wish I’d been there” if you miss it. So plan now to attend on 11/12-13 at the GRB in downtown Houston, and get advance purchase discounts on your tickets while they’re still available — we’re smiley-facedoing everything we can to avoid an epidemic of forehead-slapping the day after Maker Faire in Houston!

Students — Get Into The IDEAS Pitch Competition!

ideas-mainWe’re growing Houston Mini Maker Faire into important new areas this year — including a pitch competition to demonstrate how ideas can be developed from inspiration to reality! As a collaboration between Houston Community College (HCC) and Innovation Spark (the local Maker Faire organizer), the IDEAS Pitch Competition invites all students of high school age or older to explore and propose innovative approaches to answering pressing sustainability and societal needs.

Do you have ideas to make Houston and the world a better place that you’ve been wanting to act on? Perhaps as a business, a charitable activity, or a product or service? But you’d like some help to make them happen, perhaps mentoring, coaching, or a reality-check with the marketplace? Then this is the event for you! You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with this kind of support — and there are some great prizes too! So we invite you to get involved — the first session happens on 10/22.

hcc_tech_fairesEach of the 3 build-up events will be informative and inspirational, including Tech Faires with plenty to learn. They’re also a great way to visit HCC campuses around Houston to see how this local college is building for the future. We recommend attendance and participation in all of them — and they’re all free to attend! Get involved and show the “Power of Houston”!

Power Up! Houston

dsc_2981Houston is the city of “Can Do”, full of inventors, engineers and ideas! But getting an idea from the drawing board to the market can be a daunting task. To break through these challenges and help the Houston community build the future, we’re introducing a new exhibit to Maker Faire: the “Power Up! Houston” Pavilion! This centralized exhibit will bring together suppliers and manufacturers with entrepreneurs and inventors. Representing a cross section of Houston small-batch manufacturers, parts and materials suppliers, the Pavilion participants aims to educate attendees on the services they provide, what is required to submit jobs, and the best way to leverage their services.

There is a strong growing need for local prototyping and manufacturing services coming from makers, inventors and startups. The point of this Pavilion is to include you as manufacturers and suppliers in development of this community (which will lead to more business) and to give you the opportunity to develop a clear understanding of this emerging local market. So, if you’re a “supply-side” provider of project manufacturing and services, register to exhibit in the Pavilion and get connected with the future of Houston. If you’re a do-er with big ideas, whether crafter, artist, inventor, maker or entrepreneur, attend Houston Mini Maker Faire for this empowering access to people who can help you achieve your ambitions.

Click here for more info about the Power Up! Houston Pavilion.

The Joy Of Learning at Maker Faire

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hcc-sharesThe words “joy” and “learning” are not placed together very often these days, but at Maker Faire we practice and show joyful learning — with passion! Any new parent can tell you “joy” and “learning” definitely belong together as they proudly describe how their young child is learning so many new things — for indeed, humans start as avid learners — and how that learning results in important actions — first steps, first words, first drawings, and so on. Some experience the joy of learning through “Eureka moments” — those jolts of great satisfaction when you figure out something important after investigating, thinking and focusing intensely on a problem or challenge.

But somehow it seems too many of us lose this natural joy in learning as we go through the experiences of life. For many, learning in the structured systems common today is at best described as work and perhaps even drudgery. When was your last Eureka moment?…

dsc_2779That loss of the joy in learning is a problem. In a world so full of change, those who learn the best and most quickly are the ones most prepared to turn challenges into opportunities. And it’s clear that technology has become one the greatest and most rapid forces for change, such that it is now being described as “exponential technology” to more completely describe its power and pace. Coping with this speed of change has become one of the biggest challenges to communities and businesses: how can they most effectively capture the opportunities presented by the rapid pace of change and technology to improve the future of their constituencies?

dsc_2958Makers have a powerful answer to this challenge: re-ignite your natural love for learning and practice it often. Discover things you are passionate about and dive into learning about them. Accelerate and strengthen your learning through experimentation and testing, to discover your boundaries and learn faster from failures. Share your learning to help the community. Indeed, the “Maker Movement” is now recognized worldwide as a compelling model for effective learning that is put into action. And it’s really good at harnessing the rapid progress in technology to create value for communities and businesses (and has an abundance of examples to prove this, many of which we will exhibit at our event). Our “secret formula” is: learning + creativity + action = success, and we put it on display, in abundance, for all to learn from at our local annual event — the Houston Mini Maker Faire! Come join us at the GRB Convention Center on 11/12-13 to experience some new Eureka moments of your own!

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Call To Makers Now Open!

makers-apply-hereWho has the most fun at Houston Mini Maker Faire? Our Makers and exhibitors, of course! If you want to connect with the energy and inspiration of Maker Faire, while at the same time doing something very important for the future of the Houston metro area, come join us as an exhibitor at Houston Mini Maker Faire. Click here for more information about what’s involved and how to sign up. We will schedule in-person and video-chat info sessions all around Houston to be sure you’re fully prepared for this amazing experience, and you can always ask questions. Let us help you make it happen! We recommend you sign up as early as possible to take advantage of our new program through which you can cover your expenses through advance ticket sales.

This year we take another leap forward for Houston as we grow to a 2-day event (11/12-13/2016) and increase our exhibit area at the George R. Brown Convention Center by 50%. Our plan is to grow this to be a leading event for Houston, Texas, the US and the world — but we will always value and support our individual exhibitors and small teams. Come help us build this amazing story together!

We’re Maker Faire so we love to show all things creative, informative, inventive and innovative! We will accept any exhibit within Maker Faire guidelines (not sure? — just ask), but here are some special focus areas for 2016 — if you can help us show and share exhibits in these areas, please let us know:

  • Cool Tech: we plan to showcase a broad high-impact array of tech the Maker Movement is using and creating. The very latest tech tools and toys like: VR, AR, Internet of Things, drones (UAVs), aerospace, gaming, big data, AI, robotics, etc. Kickstarters, startups and inventions belong here too.
  • Living: medical technology, sustainability, food sourcing innovation, hydroponics, aquaponics, bio science, DIY bio, tiny homes, alternative housing, green homes, custom CNC home accessories, etc.
  • Cause Champions: do you have a nonprofit cause that needs help in innovation or technology to make a breakthrough? We invite you to exhibit so you can get Makers and attendees involved and see how “Houston Makes A Difference”!

Again, we welcome all creative and inventive people as fellow Makers and want you to join us for this important event. Click here for full information about exhibiting at our event and to get to the registration system (you must register to exhibit at Houston Mini Maker Faire). We will get back to you promptly to finalize arrangements.

Thanks For A Great 2015!

20151114_132722We thank everyone who participated in and attended our recent Houston Mini Maker Faire: attendees, volunteers — and especially the sponsors and exhibitors/makers! You helped us make this an outstanding event with something for everyone, and whet our appetites for more. That’s why we’re making preparations for the 2016 event, and we plan to make it even bigger and better. We’ll announce details as soon as we can.

We have a lot to be thankful for as we look back on 2015. Please take a few minutes to check out these event highlights from the “official” makezine.com website. With 134 registered exhibits — many with multiple things to show and share — we could only cover a small fraction in this overview, but we were so impressed with everything we saw as we worked with the exhibitors and makers during the event. Thanks again — and we wish you the very best in 2016!