Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI Wows with new Makers and Old Favorites

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 eighth annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly showcase of creativity and cool DIY technology, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  

Among the anticipated highlights:     
•    Una the Mermaid greeting guests for a “live mermaid encounter” in her tank that holds 800 gallons of water and is situated on a 22-foot trailer.
•    Pop culture robots, including Tom Servo and Crow from Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Pain Bot from Teen Titans Go, demonstrating how easy it is to make your own robots and robotic props.
•    Trash-eating robots that turn waste into energy and then use that energy to 3D print recycled plastic trash into new and useful objects.
•    The “Virror,” an LED wall fed by a 3D sensor that will greet you with an avatar of yourself as you approach.
•    The opportunity to try your hand at flying mini-drones.
•    More than 100 other Makers, including returning favorites such as da Vinci Days, the Yarn Car 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 has quickly become a marquee local event that embodies the true Portland spirit with its sheer variety. The passion that these people have for their hobbies and avocations is infectious, and they love sharing their talents and creativity with others,” said Melony Beaird, events manager at OMSI. “From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire allows these unique ‘Makers’ to inspire others as they showcase hobbies, experiments and projects.”

The Portland Mini Maker Faire is presented by OMSI, Lam Research and Make Magazine and is supported by Autodesk, Boeing, Collins Aerospace, CUI Inc. and University of Oregon, with community partners pFriem Family Brewers, Portland Brewing, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, Portland Sangria and DRY Soda Company.

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 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 100+ exhibitors will run the gamut from low-tech, such as origami, knife forging, beekeeping, ice sculptures and blacksmithing, to the high-tech with demonstrations of a Tesla coil, 3D printing and virtual reality. 

Lam Research will once again be presenting sponsor of the Mini Maker Faire as part of their ongoing efforts to help cultivate interest in the technology industry at an early age for the next generation of technology Makers.

Other selected exhibits and demonstrations from the broad array being presented include:
•    The “Trash Hackers,” who will show you how to upcycle trash responsibly.
•    Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society’s Children’s Trolley that kids can climb inside.
•    The Oregon Solar Car Team, made up of high school students, showing off their experimental project that revolves around the design, construction and management of a fully functioning, fully scaled, solar-powered racing car.
•    OHSU’s ThinkFirst Oregon's Brain Station, where you can learn more about your brain and make your own brain model or brain hat. 
•    Sand in the City® Sand Sculpting with sand sculpting demonstrations and workshops
•    The R2-D2 Builders Club, which provides realistic replicas of astromech droids from the Star Wars films that are often used by Lucasfilm for official events, movie premieres, commercials and red carpet appearances.
•    OMSI's Fabrication Shop, which will be open for visitors to ask questions. PEPCO will also host an interactive light and sound sculpture by OMSI's Electronics Developer Thomas Hudson.
•    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 pFriem Family Brewers, Portland Brewing, 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 Ruby Jewel ice cream. 

For more information on the many participants, visit https://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.