Teens Organize Mini-Maker Faire

Inspired by the Maker Faire in California, the Poulsbo (Wash.) Church's teen class set out to create an event drawing more than 1,000 attendees to their church and school on June 5, the sunniest day of the year.

The teens' enthusiasm spread to their church and community, drawing participants from as far away as Seattle, Wash., and Port Angeles, Wash., for the Kitsap Mini-Maker Faire.

The festival was designed as an inclusive, family-friendly, hands-on community event to celebrate makers. Makers invent, create and modify things. Their materials range from copper and aluminum to wool and wood, and their processes utilize water, solder, a microwave, fire or anything else that works.

Some of the 58 makers who demonstrated their craft were robotics builders, origami folders, 3-D printers and a stained glass artist. Attendees made spool racers, periscopes and mosaic tiles, and had a chance to ride a Segway, pet a goat or build a computer to take home.

"The Kitsap Mini-Maker Faire was a lot of fun, and we had a chance to talk to a lot of interesting people," says Jon Chandler, a maker who demonstrated low-temperature, long-cooking methods and other food-related technologies. "We talked to many like-minded people and found that some people in the area share related interests."

Support for the teens' vision came from many quarters. TJ McCue, teen class teacher, set up a website and Facebook page. Church members gave countless hours of work before, during and after the event. Community members came as makers, musicians, food vendors and volunteers, and local newspapers and businesses gave their support through publicity and financial donations.

"I am encouraged by the teamwork from our church and community," says Murry Rexin, co-organizer. "We couldn't have done this without them."

To learn more about the Kitsap Mini-Maker Faire, visit kitsapmaker.com or facebook.com/kitsapmaker.

August 01, 2011 / Washington Conference