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Last Sunday’s 3rd Annual Maker Faire Silver Spring featured over 80 inventors and innovators from around the region. Makers showcased their creations and gave the community the chance to interact with their exhibits. The Faire took place at the Veterans Plaza and Civic Building, right in heart of Silver Spring; set to a beautiful end-of-summer day and lively musical performances, Maker Faire Silver Spring attracted 15,000 visitors, making it KID Museum’s largest Maker Faire yet.  See our highlights video.

Exhibits ranged from woodcrafters and mapmakers to high-tech developers and NASA specialists. Kids and families tried their hands at 3-D printers, circuit boards, robots, virtual reality, woodworking, and wide variety of arts and crafts. KID Museum ran workshops on soldering, DIY Pachinko/woodshop, coding, wind tubes, hula-hoop weaving, and Pi-Bots. Participants were encouraged to interact and play with the exhibits, with the intention of inspiring the next generation of makers.

This year’s Featured Young Maker was 17-year old Sophia Sanchez-Maes, whose work with algae-biofuel has been recognized by the international science community and won numerous awards. Sophia beautifully summarized the goal of the event during her speech: “At today’s Maker Faire we’re making the makers of tomorrow.” See a clip of Sophia’s speech.

KID Museum, along with PDK International, hosted the first-ever Educators’ Roundtable on Expanding Opportunities for Learning through Making. Presenters included Pam Moran, Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia, a leader in integrating learning through making in public schools, and Stephanie Santoso, the Senior Advisor on Making at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. See Albemarle County Public Schools’ inspirational video.

Another highlight of this year’s Faire was the Toy 2.0 Challenge. Back in April, KID Museum and the makers of HEXBUGS asked kids ages 10 to 18 to design the “next hot toy.” The kid inventors of the top ten designs spent the past five months creating prototypes of their designs, guided by KID Museum mentors. These prototypes were on display at Maker Faire Silver Spring, and were presented by the designers on-stage. Faire-goers were able to vote for their favorites, while official judges made their selections for the finalists. Congratulations to first-place winners, Stephanie (13) & Elizabeth (15) Vicarte, second place winner, Chandler Wimmer (11), and third place, Sebastien Sviatyi (10). Miranda McMillen (17) won the popular vote. For more about Toy 2.0, click here.

Thank you to all who came out to this year’s Maker Faire Silver Spring and a special thank you to all of the organizations and Young Makers who helped make this our most successful Maker Faire yet: WHS Competition Robots, STEM Afterschool Academy, We the Builders Sculptures & 3D Jewelry, eCYBERMISSION, Rockville Science Center, Chaotron Kinetic Sculptures, Gearbox 4H Club Robotics, Catylator Makerspace, Science Naturally, Glenelg Country School Makers, The Pi-Bot, Cutey, FutureMakers, Team America Rocketry Challenge, Strikey Sensors, Little Code Ninja, Arduino Quiz Game & Bluetooth Car, Robots and Music with Woods Academy, RM Environmental Club, Robots with St. Elizabeth’s School, FTC 5421 RM’d and Dangerous, RMageddon, Mindstorm Masterminds, Rockville Robotics, RM Robotics, VEX, Recycled Boat and more!