Fifth Annual Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI Celebrates Creativity

New Marquee Activities will Combine with Returning Favorites to Take Over OMSI's Entire Campus

PORTLAND, Ore. (August 23, 2016) –  In what has become a Portland tradition, OMSI will present the fifth annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly showcase of creativity and cool DIY technology taking place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Among the anticipated highlights:          

  • NeedybotThe Lodge at Wieden+Kennedy developed this fuzzy, friendly robot as an experiment to see if they could entice people to connect with a robot the same way they connect with other humans. Meet Needybot and find out how you can help him learn.
  • Supersonic Ping Pong Ball Launcher: It set a new world record of 806 meters per second (1,803 mph) in May; come see if it can beat its own record as it launches ping pong balls through plywood.
  • Nemotoad: Made out of plywood, Styrofoam and fiberglass, this steampunk hovercraft is powered by a riding lawnmower engine which allows it to reach speeds of about 20 mph on water.
  • Innovation Stage, with confirmed speakers that include LAIKA, Portland Apparel Lab and BB-8 Builders.
  • Workshops and activities in all six of OMSI labs.
  • More than 115 Makers, including returning favorites such as da Vinci Days, Yarn Car, and 3D printing.

Exhibits, talks, demonstrations and performances will bridge arts, crafts, science and engineering. Hands-on activities are designed to inspire and stimulate the Maker within.

“Portland has such a robust creative community and we have been honored to be able to showcase their many talents these past five years,” said Andrea Edgecombe, OMSI events director. “Every year the event grows with more amazing makers and projects. We are always excited to see the innovation and ingenuity that exists in our region.”

The Portland Mini Maker Faire is presented by OMSI and Intel, supported by OSH Park, Century Link, and Rockwell Collins, and is in partnership with Make: Magazine. It celebrates the Maker movement and brings together Makers of all fields with the goal of supporting grassroots innovation in the community. 

Makers of all ages and backgrounds range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, homesteaders, garage tinkerers and even commercial exhibitors. Maker Faire’s mission is to entertain, inform, connect and inspire these Makers and aspiring Makers.

OMSI invites anyone who embraces the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and seeks to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience.

The Portland Mini Maker Faire’s 115+ exhibitors will run the gamut from demonstrations of 3D printers and steampunk computers; to rocket-making, sustainable art and much more.

Visitors can watch demonstrations of everything from historic European martial arts to metal forging and get hands on with projects that include clay making, wood working, computer programming, leather making, and a variety of upcycled art projects.

“Maker Faire is an excellent way to get students excited about making things, innovating, and engaging with science, technology, engineering and math outside of the classroom,” said Jill Eiland, NW regional public affairs director at Intel. “Intel is a proud supporter of the Maker Movement nationally, and we are pleased to help bring the Mini Maker Faire to Portland.”

Other selected demonstrations from the broad array being presented include:

  • HAM Radios, which will allow visitors to talk to people around the country and world. Find out why this old-fashioned technology is still crucial: amateur radio works long after cell and telephone systems fail.
  • Intel will feature demonstrations and activities designed to inspire and empower the Maker community showcasing products such as: Arduino 101*, Intel® Galileo Gen 2, Intel® Edison™ and their newest innovator product the Intel® Joule™ compute module.
  • Da Vinci Days Kinetic Sculptures, used in the “Kinetic Challenge,” a  two-day race that covers a 10-mile course over roads, through mud, sand and on water.
  • Portland Children’s Museum with “Get Rolling,” which allows visitor to explore 3D space, problem solving and physics as they work together to build a large-scale marble run.
  • Lumina Lab/Stoicheia Elements with its dodecahedron, each side of which depicts the iconography of one of the Twelve Olympians. Whimsical images, centered in a stained-glass rosary design, remain static and unchanging, while 2,000+ LEDs continuously morph and change, making every moment unique.
  • CNC Router Parts will offer a "pinewood derby,” where participants can create their own car on a digital tablet, which will then be made into a real car on a desktop CNC machine; or choose a predefined car from the larger fabrication machine. After assembling and racing the cars, visitors can take them home.

The event will take place throughout the OMSI campus, in the north parking lot and inside the museum. Admission details:

  • Regular admission: $15 adults, $10 youth (3-17) and seniors (63+).
  • Two-day passes are available for $25 adults, $15 youth and seniors
  • OMSI members receive 50% off all tickets.

A food cart pod will be serving up local food and flavor, with Full Sail beer, Union Wine Co. wine, and Reverend Nat’s hard cider, and DRY Sparkling soda available at the bar. OMSI’s restaurant, Theory, will also be open with wood-fire pizza, salads, sandwiches, and Salt & Straw ice cream.

Portland Mini Maker Faire would not be possible without the support of presenting sponsor Intel and supporting sponsors OSH Park, Century Link, and Rockwell Collins. It is presented in partnership with Make: Magazine.

For more information on the many participants, visit

About OMSI

Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit

About Maker Faire

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. 

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers.  They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2016 celebrated its eleventh annual show with some 1,250 makers and 150,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in five years to 900+ makers and 90,000 attendees.  Twenty-three other larger scale Maker Faires occur in cities around the world—Detroit, Atlanta, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, and Shenzhen to name a few— and over 120 community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world.

About MAKE Magazine

MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology projects. MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will.

The Portland Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated under license from Maker Media, Inc.

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