Woven into the heart of the Edgerton Center’s mission is a focus on building, on working with one’s hands, on learning how to use tools and equipment in the service of an idea. So it was a welcome confirmation of our mission when a plan, hatched in early November 2013, culminated on Saturday, October 4th in the form of the first ever MIT Mini Maker Faire.
Originally created by Make® Magazine to celebrate the spirit of creation, the Mini Maker Faire attracted close to 3,000 visitors, hosted 107 Maker exhibitors, a robot battle competition, go-kart races, presentations, shop tours (including N51), and a LEGO® Sky Parade event for children.
The core group of planners included Electric Vehicle Team member and Mechanical Engineering doctoral candidate Mark Jeunnette; long-time MITERS member and instructor in the MIT-SUTD program Charles Guan ’11; Hobby Shop Instructor Brian Chan ’02, SM ’04, PhD ’09, graduate students Jamison Go, Jessica Artiles, Amy Zhao, and undergrad Daniel Meza, as well as Communications Coordinator in Mechanical Engineering Alissa Mallinson and IS&T Developer Peggy Conant.
Edgerton Center Administrative Officer Sandi Lipnoski worked closely with the team of planners and shared her savvy understanding of “how to get things done” at MIT while helping the team jump through some of the institutional hoops that come with planning a big event. Edgerton Center Instructor Ed Moriarty provided guidance in the early planning stages while Edgerton Center Director Prof. Kim Vandiver was able to move things through the pipeline at the last minute.
“By bringing together everyone interested in making, [the Mini Maker Faire] was a shining moment for the Edgerton Center too. Just about any student-run team that is building a physical object has a connection to the Edgerton Center,” said Jeunnette.
“It’s the consistent, long-term support the Center has provided students, through its shops in Building 44 and in N51 and on the fourth floor of Building 4, that has helped students become the kinds of makers who are celebrated at a Maker Faire,” said Jeunnette.
The School of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Media Lab provided principal sponsorship for the event, while a host of other sponsors helped in the effort.
Stay tuned as the team of planners is discussing an IAP event to build interest and attract a fresh crop of organizers for what may be the second annual MIT Mini Maker Faire. Visit MIT Mini Maker Faire to find out more.