From high-tech to high-touch, makers will showcase innovation at the campus-wide event

PORTLAND, Ore. – In what has become a Portland tradition, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will present the seventh annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly showcase of creativity and cool DIY technology, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Among the anticipated highlights:         

A lightening simulator that will repeat strikes up to 100 times per second

U of O telling the story of UO alumni Bill Bowerman and his creation of NIKE by showcasing the waffle outsole of the first NIKE’s made with waffle irons. Kids will have a chance to make their own rubber waffle outsoles as well as mix rubber compounds and mold rubber waffle parts.

Portland Printer Alliance using a steam roller to screen print T-shirts.

A new fabric/sewing area featuring fashion DIY stations where visitors can try their hand at sewing, tie-dying or creating a new look.

More than 120 Makers, including returning favorites such as da Vinci Days, 3D printing and much more.

Hands-on activities are among the most sought-after favorites at the Maker Faire each year, augmented by a rich menu of exhibits, talks, demonstrations and performances that bridge arts, crafts, science and engineering. 

“Maker Faire truly embraces the heart of what makes Portland unique—a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do,” says Melony Beaird, interim events manager at OMSI. “From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these talented and creative ‘Makers’ to showcase hobbies, experiments and projects and share their passion with others.”

The Portland Mini Maker Faire is presented by OMSI and Lam Research and supported by University of Oregon, Rockwell Collins, OSH Park, Epilog Laser, Sunstone Circuits and CUI Inc., with community partners Ninkasi Brewing Company, Portland Pedal Power Sustainable Catering, Portland Sangria and DRY Soda Company, 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 120+ exhibitors will run the gamut from low-tech, such as DIY sustainable art where artisans create everything from key chains and jewelry to guitar amplifiers from reclaimed materials, to high-tech with demonstrations of a Tesla coil and virtual reality.

You truly can find anything at Maker Faire—from the “Swashbucklers of Stumptown” offering lessons in swordplay and interactive pirate gaming, to the chance to make DIY hovercrafts from old DVDs, foam boards and other material.

“The Mini Maker Faire encourages thousands of young minds to think creatively and work together to solve tough challenges or make something new, things we do every day at Lam,” said Sesha Varadarajan, senior vice present and general manager of the Deposition Business Unit at Lam Research. “Lam is proud to be this year’s presenting sponsor and to support the next generation of Makers.”

Other selected exhibits and demonstrations from the broad array being presented include:

Nexgarden, bringing its aeroponic farming prototype that houses up to 300 plants. Visitors can explore the inner workings of the prototype, including the plumbing, computer system, sensors, plant root systems, data collection and more; and then make their own mini hydroponic "farm."

Sand in the City® Sand Sculpting with sand sculpting demonstrations and workshops

Fun With Wind with a wind tunnel where kids can test paper airplanes they have built.

Hearing-impaired musician Myles deBastion, who connected with the Portland maker community to create interactive light sculptures that transform sound and music into a visual and tactile experience to make it more accessible to him and others like him.

The R2-D2 Builders Club, which 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.

OMSI's Fabrication Shop, which will be open for visitors to ask questions and see the new Animationland components that will be available for the first time to the public. Pepco will also host an interactive light and sound sculpture by OMSI's Electronics Developer Thomas Hudson, as well as woodcarvings by OMSI's Fabricator Elise Miller.

A presentation on “Sneaker Science: How Designers Protect Athletes” with Susan Sokolowski, PhD, Director and Assoc Prof, Sports Product Design Graduate Program, UO and Alex Xu, Asst. Prof, Sports Product Design, UO.

“Science Circus,” a popular OMSI Outreach program that teaches basic Newtonian Physics using circus tricks.

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

Regular admission: $16 adults | $10 youth (3-13) and seniors (63+).

OMSI members receive 50% off all tickets.

A food cart pod will be serving up local food and flavor, with Ninkasi beer, Portland Sangria, and Wandering Aengus hard cider available at the bar. OMSI’s restaurant, Theory, will also be open with wood-fire pizza, salads, sandwiches and What’s the Scoop? ice cream.

For more information on the many participants, visit portland.makerfaire.com.


Event: Melony Beaird, 503.319.7858, MBeaird@omsi.edu

Media: Cathie Ericson, 503.539.6772, cericson@omsi.edu


About Maker Faire

Founded in 2006, Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness where people of all ages and backgrounds gather to show what they are making and share what they are learning. With nearly 200 Maker Faires happening around the world, the event engages more than 1.4 million annual attendees across 38 countries. In 2014, there was even a Maker Faire on the grounds of The White House. The two flagship events, the annual Bay Area Maker Faire and the World Maker Faire in New York welcome a combined 2,000 Makers and 250,000 attendees each year.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Make: has been widely credited with jumpstarting the worldwide Maker Movement, which is a transforming force in innovation, culture, and education. Maker Faire is part of the Maker Media brand, which includes Maker: Shed and Make: Magazine.

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.

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 operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in nearly every county in Oregon. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu. Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.