Maker Faire is “the greatest show and tell on Earth” where hackers, tinkerers, crafters, artisans, and just plain nice people get together to share their knowledge and work with others. This type of sharing and collaboration attitude tugs at our little Cowork hearts. Therefore it was a no-brainer to make the drive to Columbia, SC to take part in the very first Maker Faire in South Carolina.
The event was hosted by Edventure, a large interactive children’s museum in Columbia. Edventure had the Maker Faire exhibitors to show off their wares in the main atrium while workshops and classes took place in various breakout spaces throughout the museum. There was a wide variety of displays to see and interactive areas to learn something new. Our friend Bryce Bigger was showing off his autonomous Nerf gun as well as letting people test out his Oculus Rift.
The Cowork MYR crew pretty much had a whole room to themselves as our fulltime member Mikkel Green presented on Arduino and Rasperry Pi in a morning session and then presented a second time on 3D printing with the MakerBot. Between the presentations, we had 3 tables set up. One table had various Raspberry Pi and Arduino project boards. The middle table had a soldering station set up where anyone could learn to solder. Finally we had the MakerBot cranking out South Carolina shaped “Make!” souvenirs. Todd Lewis of Palmetto Computer Labs checked in on us regularly to make sure the day went smoothly for all of the presenters and participants.
The Arduino/Raspberry Pi session was quickly filled to standing room only status. Since the MakerBot presentation was right at lunch time, it was a little more sparsely attended. But Mikkel took advantage of the smaller audience to let them get a little more hands on with the MakerBot. As the day started to close, it became more of a socializing space where we spread the good word about Cowork MYR and the progress of tech startup activity in the Myrtle Beach area.
Overall, the consensus was that this was an excellent first effort for Maker Faires in South Carolina. We look forward to many more popping up across the state over the coming months and years! (Want to fire up a Maker Faire in your town? Read more here.)