Monthly Archives: May 2013

New This Year: Speakers Series

By partnering with Washtenaw Community College this year, we have access to a broader range of spaces for our Makers. Those spaces include classrooms, computers labs, and (next year) an auditorium. This means we can offer a broader range of educational opportunities for participants this year.

We’ve invited five groups to speak more in depth about their work with time for questions and answers (twenty minute presentations). You can come in, take a look at their work, listen to what they have to say, and possibly learn a bit more about what they do than you might if you were just passing by their booth.

We’ll have signs up at the Faire directing you to these fine folks’ talks. Many of them also have booths so you can follow up if you are particularly interested in their work.

We hope you’ll enjoy this new feature of the Mini Maker Faire! For a full list of speakers and their talks, check below the jump.

  1. 12:00 pm: Tom Root: Why to Start–or Support–Your Local Makespace
  2. 12:40 pm – Matthew Shlian: Paper Engineering
  3. 1:20 pm – Bound Edition: A New Book Arts Maker Space
  4. 2:00 pm – ATC: Creating Sustainable Technologies for Low Income People Worldwide
  5. 2:40 pm – Jason Ferguson: Rudimentary Precision

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Calling all volunteers!

Want to do more than just attend the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire? Help us out by volunteering some of your time and energy to making the day a great success.

You don’t have to volunteer the entire day and we’ll make sure you get extra props for your support of this community-driven effort.

Fill out the volunteer form here and we’ll get you set up.

Maker Profile: John Bowditch’s Hero’s Aeolipile

Looking for something historical and fascinating? This year we’ve got a great exhibit from John Bowditch, former Curator of Industry at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.

He will demonstrate models of Hero’s Aeolipile (an ancient form of steam turbine), a modern impulse steam turbine, and a melodious steam whistle—all driven from live steam! This steam turbine was first described in 60 A.D.

John has showcased this work at other local events like the Ann Arbor ReSkilling Festival.

Deadline Extended for Makers: May 26

We have some great Makers who will be showing their inventions, ideas, projects, and work at the upcoming Mini Maker Faire.

But we still have room for more! Our deadline for Maker submissions has been extended to Sunday, May 26. Apply here to show your stuff!

Maker Profile: Michael Flynn’s CloudBean

This year Michael Flynn will bring us the CloudBean, a giant inflatable mirrored mylar dome. Michael brings a passion for interactive and engaging science lessons, often building displays that double as education and public art. Image

His CloudBean is a giant inflated balloon in which you can project images, or use as a shelter. You can check out a video from his Flint, MI installation earlier this month.

His installation will be outside on the Morris Lawrence lawn at the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire.

Stop by to experience it yourself!

We Have Great Sponsors

We’ve received some great financial support from the community to help make the fifth Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire a success. We’d like to thank the following awesome organizations who are not just helping us promote the event but also lending some cash to make things happen. Our goal is to continue to make this event as accessible to the community as possible. A big part of that means making it free. 

Huge thank you to all of the organizations that help us make this happen. We are pleased to have support from across the area, from academic programs at the University of Michigan to entrepreneurs and education groups. 

Diamond Sponsors 


Brain Monkeys

Carbide Sponsors 

Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan

Maker Works

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

Penny Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan

High Speed Steel Sponsors

Current Motor

Menlo Innovations

This year we added levels of sponsorship to allow organizations and individuals to have more choice in how they support Makers in southeast Michigan. If you or your organization would like to sponsor upcoming Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire events, please drop us a line! a2mfplanners[at]

Call for Makers Still Open

We’ve had some great applications from Makers across the southeast Michigan area so far. In fact, we’ll be profiling a few of these Makers to give you a sneak peak into the fifth annual Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire in June. 

We still have room for more Makers. If you’re interested, you can fill out our application on the main page of our website. 

Makers of any age can submit an application, as long as you follow general safety guidelines. So if you have a skill, craft, invention or project you’d like to show off to others, consider submitting your application today! If you want to get a sense of what we accept, look no further: 

  • Things Made From Recycled Items
  • Making Musical Instruments
  • 3D Printers and CNC Milling
  • Textile Arts
  • Home Automation
  • Rockets
  • Ham Radio
  • Puzzles, Games and Toys
  • Electric vehicles
  • Airplanes and Aeronautics (models, etc)
  • Biology/Biotech
  • Chemistry
  • Food Makers
  • Robotics
  • New inventions
  • Green Tech
  • Custom Kites
  • Temporary Structures (Tents, Domes, etc.)
  • Unusual Tools or Machines
  • How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, Washing Machines, etc.)

Big thanks to Sloe Gin Fizz

This year we’ve got a lot of changes in store for you. New venue, new date, and a new design for our poster. Did you see the poster? Did you print one out for your home? Look down and to the right on our site (under our sponsors) and you’ll notice an awesome robot riding a unicorn with wheels.

Nicole Ray, artist and owner of Sloe Gin Fizz, was kind enough to design and create this poster for the fifth Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire. The Faire is a celebration of the creativity, craft, and innovation in our community. We showcase this throughout our organization of the Faire and Nicole’s work is just one illustration of the passion and skill in southeast Michigan.

We’re really proud of this poster and grateful to Nicole for agreeing to work with us. Feel free to print out the poster, enjoy it at home, and help us spread the word!

We’re looking forward to seeing you on June 8.