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




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!


Tickets Now On Sale!

Tickets to the Houston Mini Maker Faire 2016 are now available on Eventbrite (click here)! We’re back at the George R. Brown Convention Center, and we’re growing to be a 2-day event — so you can attend on Saturday 11/12 and/or Sunday 11/13/2016! (See info on discounts below.)

This is going to be our best Maker Faire ever as we continue to be the leading showcase of human ingenuity and creativity plus a fascinating window into emerging technology-driven capabilities. There are learning opportunities in abundance for people of all ages and backgrounds, and even more hands-on activities too. So, whether you like traditional crafts or the latest high-tech demos, Houston Mini Maker Faire is the place to be! Check out our new topic focus areas that we will devote large sections of the exhibition too:

  • Cool Tech: a broad high-impact display of the latest tech you’re hearing about. Examples include VR, AR, Internet of Things(IoT), drones (UAVs), aerospace, gaming, big data, AI, robotics, etc. We’ll have Kickstarters, startups and inventions 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: for many community-cause situations, ideas + tech + do-it-yourself action = problem solved! We will provide a showcase where leaders of community causes can describe their challenges and invite action from creative, inventors and attendees to help make the world a better place.

BuyTicksDiscounts: even at full price a family of 4 can attend 2 days of Houston Mini Maker Faire for about the same cost as attending a movie (don’t forget the snacks…). But with our 51% advance purchase discount, it isn’t even close! Be sure to enter the promotional code Max16 when you place your order online and do this soon, because this is a limited-time offer and only available to the first 2,000 buyers.

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.

It’s Official — Houston Mini Maker Faire Returns to the GRB in 2016!


Mark your calendars — the Houston Mini Maker Faire will be at the GRB Convention Center for a 2-day event on November 12-13, 2016! Come join us and be part of our growth story as we boost invention and creativity throughout the Greater Houston Area by developing a world-class exhibition right here at home. With your support we’ll bring more exhibits, activities and mental stimulation — new and exciting things for both Maker-Faire “veterans” and newbies. We’ll share more insights about content, schedule, tickets and Maker (exhibitor) registration in the near future.

Maker-Related Events Around Houston

There are maker-related events all year round in 2016 in the greater Houston area. Here are some key events so you can plan ahead:

  • 3/18-19: Greater Houston Hamfest focusing on amateur radio (Ft Bend County Fairgrounds, Rosenberg)
  • 4/2-3: Science Hack Day Houston. Crams bright creative minds together for almost 48 hours to see what amazing things emerge! (The Houston Museum of Natural Science)
  • 4/8-9: Lone Star Robotics Regional, one of the largest robotics tournaments in Texas. Check this out to see firsthand what “sports for the mind” can do! (GRB CC)
  • 4/9: Houston Art Car Parade (note: the route has changed for this year — it will follow Smith St. in downtown Houston)
  • 6/17-19: Maker Hall @ Comicpalooza. Bringing science fiction together with science fact — what’s better than that?! (GRB CC)
  • 6/23-25: the MATE International ROV (robotics) Competition (the subject of the movies “Spare Parts” and “Underwater Dreams”) is in town! The venue doesn’t have much viewing area so you won’t be able to get in, but this is so cool we just have to list it. And they will stream a video feed from the event.
  • 7/9-10: the Brick Fiesta LEGO fan event and exhibition happens at the Galleria. Open to the public for a small entry fee, this event is for you and your kids if you love LEGO bricks or just want to learn more about the artistic, creative and engineering side of this ubiquitous building block. The models on display will be amazing! (Galleria)
  • 11/12-13: the Houston Mini Maker Faire returns to the GRB for a larger 2-day event! Come join us as we amp up the volume on invention and creativity in the Greater Houston Area! (GRB CC)
  • April 2017: the FIRST Robotics Championship, the world-class international competition, will be in Houston. As many as 50,000 visitors will travel here to participate and watch. (GRB CC, Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park)

We will update this list as new events are published.

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” 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!

Fun and Learning at Houston Mini Maker Faire

Whether you joined us in person on our big day (11/14/2015) or are seeing this for the first time, you’ll enjoy this overview of the recent Houston Mini Maker Faire. The video is a quick summary of many of the exhibits at our event, with a special focus on the unique content shown by Houston Community College (HCC). And, frankly, we just can’t get enough of Larry the Lounge Lobster and the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir!….   ;-}

(Thanks to Gina Monteleone from Stafford Municipal/Educational TV for producing this video.)

A nice recap of our 2015 Event.

Thanks to everyone that joined us today. We look forward to seeing you next year.

Setup on November 13th, 2015.


Day of the Event November 14th, 2015

How Rockets Fly by Tripoli Houston Rocketry Club

Startup Show Case – Arovia

Note: this link has been revised to show the updated design of this product. Like all tech-based products under development, there have been many improvements from the initial demo prototypes. Click here to see the latest design and follow this exciting team at .