Tag Archives: creativity

What’s the Big Story about Tiny Houses?

When: 4:00pm – 4:15pm both Saturday, November 12th  &  Sunday, November 13th

Where: Maker Exhibit Hall Stage at the George R. Brown Convention Center

What:  The tiny house movement is a return to houses less than 1,000 square feet, some as small as 80 square feet (7.4 m²). Building types include cottages, cabins, trailers, containers, caravans, house boats, tree houses and many more. The typical tiny house on wheels (THOWs) is usually less than 8 ft by 20 ft, with livable space totaling 120 square feet or less, for ease of towing and to exempt it from the need for a building permit.

Dream big, live tiny! Living with less is freeing – both financially and by allowing more time for personal development, community involvement and the ability to react on opportunities when they’re presented.

Speakers:  Houston Tiny House Enthusiasts

About the Speakers:  The Houston Tiny House Enthusiasts are individuals that meet bi-weekly, alternating between Round Table Meetings and Workshops. They are an open group willing hear about your ideas and experiences with simple living, and sharing discussions on everything— from environmental focuses and financial concerns, to building, parking, zoning, and more!

Our Goals as a group:

  • Supporting each other by sharing resources and knowledge
  • Working on projects together, lending a helping hand
  • Visiting builders, tiny houses and events together
  • Sharing ideas of small living and sustainability

After the Faire, you can catch-up with the Houston Tiny House Enthusiasts at one of their Meetups or follow them on Facebook.


Creativity and making things can be the one of the most fun things you do! With these exhibits we prove that — so visit and stay a while….

(This is just a small sampling of our planned line-up — more updates very soon)

  • Children’s Museum of Houston will have many (!) fun learning activities. They claim they’re for kids, but we often see grown-ups having a lot of fun there too!
  • Drive A Robot
  • Fly a drone — for real! — in the Drone Flying Zone by Drone Parks Worldwide. If you ask nicely they might even let you wear their FPV (first person view) video goggles….
  • Spend a few minutes at the BuniBox booth and make your own fun short video story that you can keep for ever!
  • The TexLUG LEGO Zone will have more LEGO displays than you can shake a Texas-sized stick at! Moving trains, a moving 10′ tall crane, custom minifigs — the kid (inside you) will be very happy here!
  • Minecraft Creeper Robot (by Techno Chaos)
  • R2GN3 Astromech Robot by R2D2 Builders Club
  • The loveable insanity of the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir art car
  • Make your own soap at Feto Soap
  • Play a real multi-player VR game at the ExitUS booth (very cutting-edge, and very free because this is Maker Faire!)
  • Do some VR (Virtual Reality) tourism of top tourist sites from around the world at the Google Expeditions exhibit at the Techno Chaos booth
  • Enjoy the very latest in VR games and applications, including some games developed right here in Houston, at the ITC VR Village
  • Try to pump water by hand just like many people do every day in “third world” countries — the go see how students are trying to solve problems like this at the Power Up Houston! Hackathon
  • Many fun activities at Idea Lab Kids
  • Fun learning activities at Engineers Without Borders
  • View distant worlds — even other planets — as you take a 3D tour at the Google Expeditions Virtual Reality demo.

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.

Arts & Crafts

tqsetrex3We are amazed by all that technology is making possible these days, but Maker Faire also celebrates the many facets of creativity. Diving into arts and crafts is a great way to get hands-on with creativity — it also presents opportunities to express oneself uniquely, traditionally or unconventionally. You could spend a lot of time playing with arts and crafts — and we invite you to do just that!

There is more — a lot more — Arts and Crafts at this year’s Maker Faire than IMG_2841ever before. And PopShop Houston is in the house! Plan to buy some original, creative, hand-made holiday gifts at Houston Mini Maker Faire. Made right here in Houston, by real makers and artisans!

Planned exhibits include:

  • The Adventures of Queen Becky: Face painting.
  • Artlabs: 3D printing and items for sale.
  • new-updated-pop-shop-america-logo-craft-fair-handmade-modernBill’s Junk: An exhibition and sale of quirky handcrafted objects and hyper-real paintings that blend the wonder of art, science, nature, and technology. Bill will be working in the booth, and guiding visitors in their own hands-on book painting experience. tqsetrex2Items for sale.
  • Claire Drennan Knitwear will be offering demonstrations of the vintage knitting machines that I use to create my knitwear and hats, scarves and legwarmers. Items for sale.
  • Contemporary Handweavers of Houston: Looms, finished examples, projects for hands-on making
  • Creativity Shell: Interactive Sewing Station. Activities for attendees.
  • make-your-own-soapCrescent City Couture specializes in making unique, quality, and usable items from fun and fabulous textiles! Items for sale.
  • Dormalou Project: art gallery inside a suitcase.
  • Feto Soap: Make Your Own Soap — Learn how to make a bar of soap using a glycerin base you can easily melt and pour. You choose the color, fragrance & toy and go home with a completed soap! Nail polish too. [Items for sale.]
  • Fox & Wit: Humorous greeting cards, stationery and gift products for purchase. Come by make and design your own greeting cards with purchase of any item. [Items for sale.]
  • FREEDOES: Display of handmade cold porcelain and recycled material dolls. Items for sale.
  • Geekazoid!: We will be selling original artwork, vinyl decals, and we will be creating custom printed metal and plastic products on site. Items for sale.
  • It’s About Time: National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors promotes the science of timekeeping along the Texas Gulf Coast. Learn how clocks are made and maintained.
  • Koala and Rawr Soaps believes bath time should be fun for everyone! Our soaps are handmade and include fun surprises like handcrafted bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that can be enjoyed long after the soap is gone. Items for sale.
  • Linkster Love: embroidered good, hats, towels. Items for sale.
  • Lovely Madness has a madness to create lovely and unique items for all types of events. Items for sale.
  • Mellichamps Lego Compatible Military Miniatures: approximately 300 hand made military minatures and parts and material for building your own figures or dioramas. Will include some learning sessions. Items for sale.
  • Monster Dance Designs: Eccentric Etched Glassware. Items for sale.
  • Moonlit Soapworks: Handmade Artisan Soap & more… Items for sale.
  • Ooby Dooby Baby: Baby clothing and accessories. Items for sale.
  • Pigsey Art combines art and technology to create lasercut wood journals and home goods. Items for sale.
  • Protein Bracelets: Science Aces invite you to come learn the basics of how proteins are made while making a fun bracelet you can use to teach others about all that proteins do!
  • Puzzometry – The Hardest Puzzle You’ll Never Solve shows laser-cut acrylic puzzles. Originally funded on Kickstarter. Locally made. [Items for sale]
  • Reserved Only: we’re about the good stuff when it comes to nursery essentials. Our goal is to create handmade baby goods using quality material without sacrificing style. With a little bit of handmade magic and high quality fabrics, we provide modern moms the authentic and functional baby items they have been looking for. Items for sale.
  • Quilting Your Quilts: Long-Arm Quilting and Custom T-Shirt/Memory Quilts. Items for sale.
  • Sew Houston and Kimberly’s Stitchery and Mercantile: “A Stitch In Time” will present sewing machines though time and offer hands on experiences.
  • Turquoise T-Rex: Handmade jewelry from upcycled materials, various metals, and locally sourced crystals. Items for sale.
  • Tyrannosaurus Crafts: Crafter sales. Items for sale.
  • WildBloom Boutique: Handmade jewelry, soaps and candles with DIY jewelry station! Items for sale.

Building The Future Of STEM Education

We can all imagine a world in the future full of technical marvels and improvements to quality of life. But who will design and build that future? Preparing our youth to be the creators of an amazing future is the focus of many education strategies, including:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math): emphasis on knowledge, problem solving, engineering disciplines and process
  • STEAM (STEM + “Arts”): STEM, with additional focus on creativity, design and exploration
  • 21st Century Skills: core competencies for the modern workforce, especially creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving
  • Computational thinking, digital literacy, technical literacy: preparing students to be able to use current and future technology to solve real-world problems
  • Project-based learning: adding hands-on projects to STEM curriculum to increase effectiveness and engagement
  • Makerspace education: hands-on creative experiential learning to build functional technical literacy on top of a STEAM base

Clearly, there’s a lot going on in education today! While some may see some of this as fads that come and go, we believe things are moving quickly and that tremendous and important opportunities are emerging. That’s why we focus on elements of STEM and STEAM education each year, and offer Houston Mini Maker Faire as the best showcase of makerspace education available in Texas.

Think of Maker Faire as a smorgasbord or buffet, full of interesting options and choices. The information and experiences at Houston Mini Maker Faire can give you better insight into what to invest your valuable time and money into, to achieve your objectives for education. This is useful both for parents who are confronted with so many options for kits, after-school classes, camps and so on — and for teachers, librarians and administrators trying to make informed decisions about how to best set up a makerspace or similar at their facility, and what programs and experiences to use to increase the impact of STEM education.

And what’s really impressive about Houston Mini Maker Faire is the scale and variety of exhibits. Here are just a few examples (click here for more info):

  • Learn about drones. What’s their potential for STEM education?
  • Are there practical applications of VR for education? We will have real-world examples of VR that you may not have even heard of yet, but need to know about. (Stay tuned for the big announcements here.)
  • Robotics: we continue our “tradition” of exhibiting the widest variety of robotics in Texas, with many new examples and kits you can learn about. Find out how to get involved as a teacher or a parent, and learn about the huge things happening in educational robotics in Texas.
  • New topical areas, such as Health Tech and Urban Gardening/Hyperlocal Food Sourcing/Aquaponics will be there, with many interesting opportunities for education content and activities.
  • IDEAS startup pitch competition: how do we help students act on their ideas to create new businesses and make the world a better place? This real event by HCC will model how to make this happen (sign up now to get involved).
  • Power Up Houston Hackathon: a hackathon is a great way to get students active and focused on real-world creativity and solutions. Participate, or observe and see the magic happen live!
  • Learn about tech and creativity components you can add into curriculum to promote technical literacy, STEM and STEAM: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, IoT (Internet of Things), wearables, sewing, new science demos, kits, crafts, e-textiles, and more. In many cases you can try them out, right at Maker Faire!

One thing that’s very unique about Maker Faire is that it’s more about showing and sharing than selling. Yes, there are a few quality vendors there that you can purchase items from if desired, but you never have to worry about “arm twisting” and high-pressure sales tactics. In most cases, you can talk to the expert — the person who actually did the work — right there at the event! And of course, Houston Mini Maker Faire is about much more than STEM education — you could easily find great highly-useful ideas built by an artist or innovator who wasn’t even thinking about education impact at the time! So put your “explorer hat” on and come out and see how all these bright minds have put together examples of creativity, education and inspiration!