Brighton Mini Maker Faire

At the February 2013 meeting of Digital Education Brighton Andrew Sleigh outlined what Brighton Mini Maker Faire is with some further info about the general global Mini Maker Faire movement.

 Below is some further detail about this and if you are interested in becoming involved or knowing more please do contact Andrew at mailto:andrew.sleigh@gmail.com

What is Brighton Mini Maker Faire?

It’s a 2 day exhibition, workshop and education event, with follow-on activity, in Brighton, where Makers come together to show off their creations, teach, and inspire creativity. Projects cover a huge range, from traditional crafts, smart fabrics, to computer games, electronics, robotics, and novel crossovers of all of the above. Visitors can meet the makers, learn, be inspired and get hands on with craft and technology.

Brighton Mini Maker Faire exists to inspire and enable people to use technology creatively. We’re particularly interested in the fertile crossover between disciplines like fabric crafts and electronics, robotics and gameplay, and the spectrum of making and fabrication, from traditional techniques like glass and pottery to new technologies like 3D printing and laser cutting. Our aim is to inspire and provide opportunities for visitors to try their hand at making things and leave with a new confidence in their own ability to be creative.

BMMF is part of a growing global maker movement (http://makerfaire.com/press/highlights.html), with over 80 Mini Maker Faires planned for 2013, explosive growth in community workshops (‘hackspaces’) and exciting developments in maker tech appearing every day (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, etc).

Here’s a video of our 2012 event, which attracted 7000 visitors: http://vimeo.com/channels/brightonminimakerfaire

BMMF and young people/schools

A large part of the enjoyment of making is learning new skills. And likewise, one of the benefits of making is discovering that self-directed, explorative learning is rewarding. We believe that everyone can benefit from this, and it can be a useful complement to other types of learning – especially the kind of learning young people get in schools and FE/HE.

What we want

1. More young people, classes or schools to submit maker applications (these open in May). Or just to come to the event. (Can be tricky as it is usually in the first weekend of September)

2. How do we provide opportunities for kids to learn to make beyond the weekend itself?

e.g. Bringing workshops to schools, running weekend workshops at the community hackspace (http://www.buildbrighton.com/wiki/Upcoming_Workshops), getting makers into schools to do talks and demos, running after-school clubs, etc.

And how do we do that in a sustainable, manageable way, given that we already have a ‘free job’ (putting on BMMF), and that many makers are hobbyists, not professionals (not to mention all the constraints of working with schools and young people).

We feel there’s an opportunity here for something really exciting, but we’re not sure how to make it work. We’d love to work with people who can help make it a reality.

Andrew