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July 26-27, 2014 - Maker Faire

Maker Faire is rapidly becoming a popular summer tradition in Detroit. This year was the 5th annual gathering of makers, inventors, tinkerers, technicians, hackers, thinkers, and dreamers on the grounds and in the interior of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.

Like last year, there were more than 400 Makers with all sorts of gadgets, machines, devices, robots, pyrotechnics, model rockets, drones, self-outfitting 3D printers and much more DIY goodness. The grounds were packed with interested visitors enjoying everything from drag-racing bottles to basketball-playing robots. As usual, the Life-Size Mousetrap shows were very popular; apparently lots of people had the board-game version as kids and really like to see it scaled up to human dimensions. Sadly, we missed the EepyBird Coke and Mentos display, but it is always a hot ticket as well (you don’t really need another ticket, just be smart enough to be there at the right time).

The food and drink were good and reasonably priced (for a festival-type atmosphere anyway), so the lines were long. I had the taco meal from Buffy’s Mexi-Casian Grill and it was really tasty and filling. To my joy, but my stomach’s chagrin, they had a variety of hot sauces so I naturally chose the hottest one. I ate it setting on the lawn in the shade while watching the Maker Faire activity swirl around me. Thats right, if you pay attention you can find some shade without going inside.

It’s hard to imagine a better venue for the Maker Faire than The Henry Ford Museum and its grounds. This is THE museum that depicts the technological advancement of the United States from the days of the industrial revolution through the present. If you’ve never been there, you should take a vacation day, or a week, and go. You won’t be disappointed, but you will be amazed, not only at the technology but the scale of much of it. Humongous train engines, the cars of our Presidents from horse-drawn through recent times, including the automobile in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Depictions of life-styles in the early 20th century, cast iron stoves, assembly lines, generators, a functioning diner, suspended aircraft, and so much more. The Henry Ford is a destination that everyone should experience at least once. However, they keep current by changing displays and having traveling exhibits, such as the “Women Who Rock” exhibit currently on display, so you do need to keep coming back for more.

Check out our photos and our video of the basketball-playing robots for a virtual experience of Maker Faire Detroit and plan to attend next year!

Sponsors of the 2014 Maker Faire Detroit included the following:

Ford Motor Company
Pure Michigan
Kettering University
Central Michigan University
Academy of Model Aeronautics
University of Michigan Dearborn
Detroit Free Press
LochBridge (app sponsor)

For more information about Maker Faire, Maker Faire Detroit, and The Henry Ford, check out the following links: