Over this past weekend 40 makers and a handful of volunteers gathered together in the nation’s capital, laden with gadgets and moded parts, cloth and paper, Arduino boards and LEDs, and brought the first Maker Faire to Canada. The makers came from all over Canada and the U.S.- some as far as 8 hours away to participate in the faire.
For some context, a Maker Faire is an event created by Make Magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects, and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset” and has been held in various locations in the U.S. since 2006. The Ottawa Maker Faire was part of the Electric Fields Festival hosted by Artengine; a non-profit, artist-run center that provides community resources to foster democratic and innovative approaches to electronic art and media.
Our event drew over 500 attendees over the course of the weekend and kept the makers on their feet answering questions and explaining their work. From delicate papercraft to hardy aquatic robotics, the projects ran the gamut of inventive and playful exploration into the workings of things. As varied as the projects and people are, it is the underlying threads of idea sharing and collaborative doing within these makers that unites and bonds them together; a drive that continually renews itself by friendly competition and the satisfaction of creation.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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