Mini Maker Faire is maxi celebration of imagination
"If you make it, they will come."
And building on the success of three earlier editions, the 4th annual Westport Mini Maker Faire drew crowds to marvel at the innovation, creativity and ideas of people who make things.
There were robotics and 3D-printer demonstrations, jewelry making, pottery being fashioned on a wheel, homemade engines, marshmallow blowguns, just to name a few of the exhibitors.
"There's a lot of cool different activities, clubs and things," said Tim Boges, 15, of Brookfield, who came to the event to stage demonstrations with his robotics team. "It allows us to see some things you might not have seen before."
"Last year there were over 100 maker faires worldwide," said Mark Mathias, who brought the event to Westport in cooperation with the Westport Library. "And we're one of the few that has no entry fee."
"Thanks to Mark for coming to us with the idea of putting on this maker faire," said Bill Derry, the library's director of innovation.
"Here we are imagining," he told the crowd at an opening ceremony, "and you are here to fill that imagination, and make it even better."
"We didn't know we were creating a revolution," said Maxine Bleiweis, the library's executive director, noting that the annual faire is an extension of the library's permanent MakerSpace, which features 3-D printers and a pair of resident robots.
"Because of that space, 8-year-olds have trained 80-year-olds," she said. "People have jobs because of what they've learned in that space."
Shreyas Gorre, 7, of Westport, exemplified the way that many youngsters have embraced new technologies like robotics.
"I like that it moves and it's fun to build," he said, adding that he enjoys both building and programming robots.
"I really like it," he said of the faire. "There's lots of robots."
"I like anything that has to do with technology and this is just a way to have everything in one place," said Jacob Weber, 12, of Westport, who volunteers at the library's MakerSpace, and on Saturday got the opportunity to pose for a 3-D generated portrait. "For instance, I've been wanting to do this for a while. This is real cool."
"It's fantastic," Adam Rosen of Fairfield said of the event. "What an opportunity for young folks to show off their ingenuity."
"I'm always impressed with the number of opportunities Westport creates for kids to show off their interest in STEM," he added.
For more information about the Westport Library's MakerSpace, visit www.westportlibrary.org.