Westminster students participate in Maker Faire

For the past three years, Westminster students interested in creating and tinkering with
things have attended Maker Faire. Maker Faire is a convention where crafters, educators,
engineers, authors, artists, and students, to name a few, gather to show something interesting
they have made, hence the name “Maker” Faire.
“Maker Faire is an event where a lot of people come together and tinker with things,”
said senior Omari Matthews. “Everyone comes together in order to establish a community of
people who enjoy making stuff.”
Maker Media is the parent company of Maker Faire, MAKE Magazine and Maker Shred.
The founder and executive chairman of Maker Media, Dale Dougherty, and the vice president
of the company, Sherry Huss, created the Faire in May, 2006, in San Francisco. The idea
originated from MAKE Magazine, a magazine written for an audience of tech-influenced DIY
people. This community of forward thinkers is called the “Maker Movement.” The Faire gives
people a platform to show their projects and random creations that they may not have
otherwise had the chance to share with their community.

“Attendees come to be inspired, see the future and all its possibilities, and light the fire
within them to become Makers themselves,” said the official Maker Faire website.
Many different Maker Faires happen throughout the country, some of the major ones
being in New York City and San Francisco. Individually, other cities such as Atlanta will have mini
Maker Faires. Atlanta’s Maker Faire was held on October 1 st and 2 nd .

The Faire is open to people of all ages, from elementary school students to high school
students to adults. Anyone interested can participate.
To be a part of the event, you must sign up and pay $50 to have a tent, under which you
keep a table full of materials and the object(s) that you are showing to everyone. For the last
three years, Westminster has purchased a tent at the Atlanta Maker Faire (held in Decatur).
“We decided that each division would decide what they want to do there every year,”
said Westminster Maker Faire faculty advisor Mark LaBouchere. “The first year it was the lower
school, last year it was the upper school, and this year it was the middle school.”
Westminster’s involvement in the Faire is related to the fairly new STEAM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) initiative that has been budding for the past few years,
an example being the STEAM exhibit held in Broyles every year.
In preparation for the Faire, the STEAM group met every Thursday at 7:45 a.m. The
sessions were mostly run by teachers, but they hope that it will become more student run in
the future.
This year, students created little robots by cutting off the end of a toothbrush and
putting a battery and some cables on it. Some students put ink on their robots to create designs
on paper. Last year, Westminster made low-tech air rockets using rolled-up pieces of paper and
hot glue, and launched the rockets by stomping on an airbag with a tube attached to it, causing
the rocket to shoot off. They continuously improved their models over time to better their
creation. Three years ago, Westminster students created a wind tunnel to take to the Faire.
They tested what would and would not float in the tunnel.
“The whole idea is that kids are getting used to designing things,” said LaBouchere.
Some of the things that were seen at this year’s Maker Faire were bikes with seven
wheels, musical instruments made out of old machinery, and a kinetic sculpture that made
paintings. At the bigger Maker Faires, such as the one in New York, there were even crazier
creations such as a life-sized Mousetrap.
“It’s fun to look at what people are interested in creatively,” said LaBouchere