Mini-Maker Faire helps young imaginations run wild
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Mini-Maker Faire helps young imaginations run wild

A science festival in Jerusalem shows kids and adults how new technologies, products and services are created

  • “Walking Bicycle” by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
    “Walking Bicycle” by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
  • DIY Drums by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
    DIY Drums by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
  • “The Ball Machine” by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
    “The Ball Machine” by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
  • “The Ball Machine” by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
    “The Ball Machine” by Didi Vardi (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
  • Kids play at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)
    Kids play at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)
  • A worker prepares the Maker Faire site (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)
    A worker prepares the Maker Faire site (Photo Credit: The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem)

The Makers of today are the high-tech inventors of tomorrow – so it’s appropriate that the Start-Up Nation will be hosting a Mini-Maker Faire, “a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.”

“Making” is the process of taking common household items, computers or other devices, musical instruments, cameras, printers, or even food and drink, and “upgrading” them into a new product or technology. It’s a type of hacking – not of computer code, but of the physical, with Makers trying to “mash up existing products and technologies to create something new. The Maker movement dates back to 1995, with the advent of Make magazine, which each month shows readers how to do things like build a 3D printer, how to build a rocket and launcher, how to make a guitar out of a guitar box and an amplifier out of a cracker box, and so on.

Make, which holds festivals in four cities in the US each year, and licenses its name to groups around the world that organize festivals, is a sponsor of the Israel event.

Inspired by the world Maker movement, Israel has its own Makers, with Israelis of all ages building and creating, making the new out of the existing. Like elsewhere in the world, Makers in Israel tend to be tech entrepreneurs and/or students of technology, and this week, as part of a Science Festival being held by the Israel Museum, the Bible Lands Museum, the Bloomfield Science Museum, Hebrew University, and the Jerusalem Botanical Garden. The Science Festival will include activities for adults as well as youth, such as informal presentations by Hebrew U professors on medical, scientific, and technological topics.

But the Mini-Maker Faire (the proper name for a self-organized Maker Faire, distinguishing it from the “official” Make Magazine events) is the centerpiece of the Science Festival, and dozens of projects by Israeli Makers will be on display.

The Makers will also run workshops for kids, showing them how to do cool things like build a mini-robot out of a coffee can, how to make a flute out of pipe cleaners, how to build a musical instrument out of a pencil, and more. And during the evening hours, more “adult” Maker workshops will take place (like a race between homemade tools built by Makers).

“There’s a lot going on and we hope this will open a window to creativity for Israelis,” said Tal Bar-Lev, a spokesperson for the event. “You never know when the next start-up entrepreneur is going to have their big inspiration. Maybe we will be a part of it.”

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