Grizzly Peak's 3D printed model trains debut to hundreds of young makers.
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.”
Witnessing 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
Day 1: Kids of all ages
Day 2: Trains, arduino-based aquaponics and bubbles