Fourth Annual Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI Celebrates Creativity

New Marquee Activities will Combine with Returning Favorites to Take Over OMSI’s Entire Campus, Making the Event Bigger – and Better – Than Ever

In what has become a Portland tradition, OMSI will present the fourth-annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly showcase of creativity and cool DIY technology taking place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12 and 13, from 10 a. m. to 5 p.m. To celebrate the opening of the Tilikum Crossing and the new OMSI Max station, new activities will combine with returning favorites to create an event that will take over OMSI’s entire campus.


Among the anticipated highlights:          


  • Cyclecide, a pedal-powered carnival that has been featured at such high-profile festivals as Burning Man, Seattle’s Bumbershoot and Coachella
  • Walking Beast, a giant walking “spider” (and another festival favorite!) that took more than 6,000 hours for its Maker to develop.
  • Clock Ship Tere, which from the distance looks like a land pirate ship, but upon closer inspection features the gears that make the ship come alive. Designed by Andy Tibbetts in Portland, the project, which most recently was featured in Boca Raton, Fla., functions not only as a work of interactive art, but as a way to explore mechanical principles.
  • Intel’s Team McFly’s flying Delorean, which flew 68 feet and earned the team a second place finish at RedBull Flugtag 2015
  • Innovation Stage, with confirmed speakers that include LAIKA, Intel and R2D2 Builders
  • Workshops and activities in all six of OMSI labs
  • More than 140 Makers, including returning favorites such as the Tesla Coil, R2D2s, 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.


"It’s easy to see why the city of Portland has been a leader in the Maker movement, since the concept of grassroots innovation perfectly dovetails with our culture and citizens,” said Andrea Edgecombe, OMSI events director. “Every year the demand leads our event to grow with more amazing makers and projects, leading to this year’s event which will take over the entire campus with a number of new, marquee exhibits.”


The Portland Mini Maker Faire is presented by OMSI and Intel, supported by ESCO, OSH Park, Microsoft and Albina Community Bank, and 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 invited anyone who embraces the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and aspires to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience.


The Portland Mini Maker Faire’s 140 exhibitors will run the gamut from demonstrations of 3D printers, a ping-pong ball launcher and flying robots; to rocket-making, sustainable art and much more.


Visitors can watch demonstrations of everything from historic European martial arts to augmented reality and get hands on with projects that include superhero masks; laser cut shapes; circuits made from conductive and insulating dough; leather making silk painting; etched glass; 3D photography; lighted jewelry made from metal, glass, crystals and LEDs; and a variety of upcycled art projects.


“Maker Faire is an excellent way to get students excited about making things, innovating, and engaging with technology and engineering outside of the classroom,” said Jill Eiland, 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:


  • A Tesla Coil producing one million-volt, blue corona and arc discharges spanning five to six feet.


  • HAM Radio, 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.


  • The Cupcake Mobile, built here locally after the artist saw one at Burning Man.


  • Supersonic ping pong ball launcher, modeled after the Mythbusters one, which uses vacuum and compressed air to launch a ping-pong ball faster than the speed of sound.


  •  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.


  • Artosaur, an interactive, mechanically living public art project.


  • Portland State University's welding research department will be showcasing precision robot welding.
  • Intel® Galileo and Edison development board, which bring STEM projects to life – from programming a text-based digital pet to learning how to track your electricity and water use using a web-enabled platform.
  • The R2D2 Builders Club provides realistic replicas of astromech droids from the Star Wars films that are often used by Lucasfilms for official events, movie premieres, commercials and red carpet appearances.


The event will take place throughout OMSI. 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 beer and wine available at the bar and a Bridgeport Beer Garden.


Portland Mini Maker Faire would not be possible without the support of presenting sponsor Intel and supporting sponsors ESCO, OSH Park, Microsoft, and Albina Community Bank. 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.


The inaugural Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2013 celebrated its eighth annual Bay Area event with some 120,000 people in attendance. As Maker Faire has grown in popularity and relevance, additional flagship faires were launched in 2010 in Detroit and New York City. Community-driven, independently produced Mini Maker Faire events inspired by Maker Faire are now being produced around the United States and the world, including here in Portland.


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.



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