Steamboat Springs High School will host first Maker Faire Saturday | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs High School will host first Maker Faire Saturday

MakerSpace students Cooper Jones and Maggi Conydon work on their "rube goldberg machine" for this Saturday's Maker Faire event, a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and celebration of the Maker movement.

— No two maker faire events are alike; each is reflective of local interests, talents and a community's own creative spark.

Steamboat Springs’ inaugural Maker Faire will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Steamboat Springs High School and will feature 3D printing, crafters, printmaking, SUP design, coding, cryptography, renewable energy, theater, crochet, knitting, electronics, robotics, painting, drawing, a DIY bike fix-it clinic and rocketry.

The family-friendly festival will incorporate elements of ingenuity, creativity and a celebration of the maker movement, a new way of looking at problem solving and innovation with young people.

"Think of it as a science fair, but you’re not competing; you're celebrating creativity, innovation and the process, in addition to getting feedback," said Steamboat Springs High School media specialist Nicole DeCrette, who helped start the MakerSpace at the school and is one of the organizers for the event. "It's very experiential. The idea is that you can walk up, see how a kid made this rocket launcher and (believe) that you can make one, too. It's about learning the physics behind it and the maker's story."

With a focus on participation and sharing new ideas, the maker faire gives attendees an opportunity to visit booths, ask questions and touch and/or operate submissions as the makers — creators — explain and demonstrate their ideas or inventions.

"Makers is this buzz word around the country right now that is gaining more and more attraction with lots of people who have these hobbies and passions," DeCrette said. "What's different about the whole movement is that you present these ideas in a public way by sharing the process and getting feedback about prototypes of things."

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Through two year of pursuing grants, changing the space located in the high school and incorporating MakerSpace tools such as 3D printers and robotics equipment, DeCrette said the inaugural maker faire is a culminating event that gave her and other MakerSpace staff, including STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) coach Anne Barbier, a concrete goal.

"Our town has never had a maker faire, so it's hard for people to wrap their head around something they've never heard of, seen or experienced," DeCrette said. "But people have been great about taking a leap of faith and wanting to get involved."

The event will showcase some 33 exhibitors — including students of all ages, local nonprofits, businesses and art studios — with projects that highlight the STEAM categories.

"Nine year olds, for example, think outside the box with everyday things," DeCrette said. "Kids don't come up with all of those barriers that adults do. Kids say, 'Yeah, let's do that,' and they build that awesome mindset of innovation and creative problem solving. This about building upon that and fostering that kind of mindset."

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go

What: Steamboat Springs inaugural Maker Faire

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21

Where: Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple St.