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April 18, 2008

Education Day at Maker Faire--Friday, May 2: Special Day for Students and Teachers

Maker Faire 2008
"When I started to read MAKE I got goose bumps. There's real hope for the next generation. Here's a publication that's not about rich people and not about buying; it's about making, figuring out, and understanding. I think it's really important to get that next generation of engineers going." —Dan Briklin
Sebastopol, CA—Friday, May 2nd, Maker Faire will host its first-ever Education Day, a special day of programming allowing students and teachers to meet and interact with some of this year's Makers. Celebrating things people create themselves—from electronic gizmos to renewable energy and homemade food and clothes, Maker Faire, put on by Make Magazine and Craft Magazine, is the world's premier event for DIY (Do It Yourself) creativity.

"With budget cuts hitting schools nationwide, classes like shop, art and home economics are sadly disappearing," lamented Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty. "As a result, today's students are less capable of working with their hands. These hands-on skills are absolutely vital to engineers, scientists, mechanics, chefs, and hundreds of other essential professions."

Makers on hand to inspire the students will include: Chris James from the Star Wars-inspired R2 Builders Club, motion control artist Bruce Shapiro, Mark Perez and his life-sized game of "Mousetrap," Mike Phillips and his self balancing scooter, Nate Ball—host of PBS' "Design Squad"—rappelling Spiderman-style on his ATLAS Powered Rope Ascender, Kristen Henry and her GalaxyGoo, The Paper Airplane Guy, Howtoons, many more.

"My students are very interested in science, but many of them don't know what type of future they can have in a science, math, and engineering," explained Michael Brayman, Earth Science teacher at the Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose. "I try to expose them to as many different career opportunities as possible so that they may find that subject that interests them. The Maker Faire is a wonderful place to gather ideas and concrete examples for my classroom."

Education Day participation is FREE to registered and approved school groups of ten or more. The program is designed for students in sixth grade and above. Registration forms can be found here: http://makerfaire.com/bayarea/2008/education/.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

  • Middle School: 10am — Noon, (arrive by 9:45am)
  • High School/College: 1pm — 4pm, (arrive by 12:45pm)
  • Open House preview for Bay Area teachers: 4pm — 6pm

Several Maker Faire sponsors will be creatively involved with Education Day. Microsoft will be offering introductory courses on programming, web design, and mashup (compositions of online services via Microsoft Popfly) creation. PBS' Peabody-award winning teen competition show, "Design Squad," in partnership with Intel, will also be on hand giving kids the opportunity to test out some of the hands-on engineering activities such a Pop Fly and Dance Pad that were inspired by the show.

Named "Best Special Event" at the 2007 FOLIO FAME Awards and "Best Series of Events" at the 2008 FOLIO FAME Awards, the 2008 Bay Area Maker Faire will take place May 3rd and 4th at The San Mateo County Event Center and Fairgrounds.

Event sponsors include Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Chronicle Books, Epilog Laser, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Lion Brand Yarn, Sakura, ShopBot Tools, Current TV, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Singer, SparkFun Electronics, Sun and Walt Disney Company.

Maker Faire -- Event Details:

  • When: "Education Day" Friday, May 2, 2008 (private)
    Saturday, May 3, 2008 (10am – 10pm)
    Sunday, May 4, 2008 (11am – 6pm)
  • Where: The San Mateo County Event Center and Fairgrounds
    2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA
  • Admission: Adults: $25/$20 in advance; Students (13-21): $15/$10 in advance; Youth (4-12): $10/$5 in advance; and children under 4 are free

*FREE Maker Faire tickets to the first 250 Bay Area teachers (deadline: April 25). Sign up here: http://makerfaire.com/bayarea/2008/education/

For the very latest information and updates, please visit: www.makerfaire.com

For press information and registration please contact Mark Ballard at 212-255-8455 or Mark@rosengrouppr.com.


About Maker Faire
Maker Faire is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. The event started in San Mateo, California in 2006 and expanded to Austin, Texas in 2007. Held annually in each of these locations, the event may expand elsewhere in the future. Maker Faire is supported by Make Magazine and Craft Magazine and O’Reilly Media the premier information source for leading-edge computer technologies. The company's books, conferences, and web sites bring to light the knowledge of technology innovators.

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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