On Saturday I volunteered at 2 booths for Maker Faire NY. I’ve been to the faire in California 3 or 4 times, but this was my first in New York! It was a ton of fun and I got to meet and work with great people.
First up was the Nerdy Derby. The idea was dreamed up and made into a reality by fellow ITP students and it was awesome. It’s basically a no-rules pinewood derby race. There were supplies provided for kids to make cars on the spot and then race them on our track. I had a lot of fun talking to makers, registering their cars and then helping run the races. Here’s a video that someone took with a camera attached to the car:
It was a blast! The part I loved seeing the most were parents encouraging their children to make things and not stepping in to do it for them. I loved seeing all the creative ideas for cars and parts and the thought that some of these kids put into their vehicles.
The next half of the day I volunteered at the Arduino booth. I did some small workshops showing how to make LEDs blink, but mostly talked to people about Arduino and all the possible uses. It was fun to talk to people with a wide range of experience with microcontrollers (I had questions from “what exactly is a microcomputer” to “Did you know the preprocessor is broken?”) I had a great time and enjoyed volunteering for a cause I believe in – helping people understand electronics using an open platform.