We survived the kids tent at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014

Grizzly Peak's 3D printed model trains debut to hundreds of young makers.

MF_BA2014_D2_Tent

The 9th annual Maker Faire was an enlightening experience like no other. Grizzly Peak Model Trains was one of 1,100+ exhibitors that saw over 130,000 event attendees celebrate this year’s theme: The Year of the Maker.

Tucked into a corner of the hands-on activity tent appropriately called “The Yard”, we were next to heavy-hitters with The Sequoia Gem and Mineral Society and Peninsula and Geology Society showing kids how to polish gemstones to our left and the Bay Area Garden Railway Live Steamers to our right. Curiosity Hacked was a few spaces down while the popular Marshmallow Shooter station anchored the northeast corner (sadly, PancakeBot was not one of our neighbors).

We’ve never seen so many kids engaged in making things out basic household items. Everywhere you turned kids were making stuff like spaghetti and marshmallow towers or purses out of old blue jeans. The noise alone raged with the wind-blown tent as if the sheer power of imagination would launch us into space. Removed from the frenzy of the main expo hall brimming with 3D printer movers and shakers, we were nonetheless inundated with hundreds of curiously anxious 5 to 12 year-olds, who happened upon us as they lined up to polish semi-precious stones or “see the real trains.”

logo_01Witnessing their responses to our humble N-scale models was the best part of the weekend, that and giving away 300 souvenir pins. One parent called his son, “trainsfixed.” 

Another child cried out as his father pulled him away, “Those are my trains!”

We made a few new fans and have a mother lode of ideas to take back to our kitchen table as we gear up for what will hopefully be our next Maker adventure at the World Maker Faire New York in September. Here are some of our favorite Maker memories.

Set-up Day: Preview, paella and cupcakes

MF_BA2014_BoothMF_BA2014_TrainsWithLogo2MF_BA2014_D0_Dragon1MF_BA2014_D0_ElPulpo1

MF_BA2014_D0_HorseChairs MF_BA2014_D0_LegoTrain MF_BA2014_D0_NeedleFeltDino MF_BA2014_D0_StructureConstruction MF_BA2014_PaellaParty_service MF_BA2014_PaellaParty_Cupcakes

Day 1: Kids of all ages

MF_BA2014_D1_DJ_showing MF_BA2014_D1_Darby_showing1 MakerFaire_D1 MF_BA2014_D1_mobileCupCake MF_BA2014_D1_HoolaGirl1

Day 2: Trains, arduino-based aquaponics and bubbles

MF_BA2014_D2_SteamTrainEngineMF_BA2014_D2_ArduinoAquaponicMF_BA2014_D2_Bubbles2!

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Maker Faire Bay Area 2014: Adam Savage’s 10 Maker Commandments

 

Seeing hundreds of kids and kids at heart react to our model trains for the first time at this weekend’s Maker Faire in San Mateo was a spectacular treat. Pictures of our three days at the Faire to come, until then, thanks to everyone who stopped by and gave us feedback. We can’t wait to do it again…World Maker Faire New York in September? 

Thankfully Make Magazine has video from the cool talks we missed, like this one from Adam Savage.

Bears out.

Countdown to Maker Faire Bay Area

Only 4 days to go until Grizzly Peak Model Trains' first-ever Maker Faire exhibit.

Final touches are in effect. Bear logo buttons made. Models packed. Production Team emails are coming in with instructions on event center check-in, set-up, parking, and a sweet invite to the 9th annual Maker Happy Hour and Paella Dinner Friday night. Weekend weather will be a cool 64 degrees. Don’t forget sunscreen.

Pick up your tickets and we’ll see you there!

Color renderings of a few of the models you can operate at our booth:

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