The first visit to Maker Faire NY, if you are a makerspace supervisor can be quite overwhelming. Trust me OVERWHELMING INDEED. Everything strikes your attention and becomes a must-have. In time, your heartbeat becomes normal again and you can start to focus again. Hopefully, you will be able to keep focused and make the most strategic decisions for your space. MFNY’18 offered a world of options, activities and special experiential workshops. So, here we listed a few suggestions to help you rise to the challenge.
Have a Plan
Set your main areas of interest and focus on them, but ALWAYS keep your community in mind. What worked well for us this weekend was checking the innovative fast prototyping machines (3D, CNC, and laser). Visiting the Solidworks booth we learned about their new app for kids and how to set a classroom environment.
Get inspired by the drop-in stations
We are often involved in delivering maker activities to large groups at the entrance level. Make sure you take a lot of photos, get your hands dirty, and talk to organizers to learn from them the subtle tricks to make the experience just right for your audience. These stations are simple but can add value to your library activities or even more complex practices.
Think carefully about what you will take home
Buying maker kits at the fair is a unique opportunity. There is a great variety and very often the prices are inviting. That is precisely why you should think of how you will use the kits. Consider using them in stations/groups that help students better understand a concept and make sure you get kits that are both reliable and robust.