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Stay tuned for news of a bigger and better Maker Faire in 2015!

Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2013

We had a blast with more than 1,800 faire-goers at the third annual Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire in 2013!

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Photos by Larry Rippel and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Please take a few minutes to fill out a survey if you attended or participated in the 2013 Faire:
For Attendees:
For Makers:

We would like to thank:

  • Co-Presenters  Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and HackPittsburgh (whose year-round maker programs will keep you  making until next year’s Faire!)
  • All the makers who engaged, intrigued and wowed us
  • The Faire’s key planners Tamara Goldbogen, Angie Jasper, Doug Philips and Robert Blackwell
  • Our 2013 Sponsors:   PA Cyber School, Spark, a program of the Sprout Fund, Pepsi, Agora Cyber Charter School, Autodesk, Inc. and pairNetworks

Meet the Makers

Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire is proud to announce this year’s makers, who will exhibit, demonstrate, and teach at the 3rd annual faire on August 18, 2013 from 10am-4pm at Buhl Community Park and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

A co-presentation of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and HackPittsburgh, and primary event sponsor MAKE magazine, Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2013 is made possible with the support of The Spark Fund, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, Pepsi, Agora Cyber Charter School, and pairNetworks.

Proposals from a broad spectrum of 65 regional makers were received for the 2013 Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire ranging from local roboticists to hackers to kid inventors were accepted May 1 through July 31, and selected by Faire planners based on the following criteria:

  • Handmade or homemade projects made by individuals, clubs or start-up companies
  • Made projects or making processes that use new technologies or old technologies in new ways
  • Interactivity for adults, as well as kids – teach, share and demonstrate!
  • Innovation, Creativity and Inventiveness
  • WOW factor                           

Click here to tour the makers, including projects in 3D Technology, Robots, Rideables, Electronics, Hackers, Indie Crafts, Sustainable Living, Water, and Spectacle. Each slide includes website links and more to learn about each exhibiting project of the 2013 Faire.

Highlights include:

  • HackPittsburgh: Faire co-presenters HackPittsburgh will inspire YOU to be a maker with their inventive, sometimes-wacky, always impressive project showcase.  Whether it is a bot, turbine or solar panel this is a showcase that should not be missed!
  • PowerWheels Car Races: Cheer as the Power Wheels Racers take on the M3Bot-2
  • Robot Takeover: FIRST Robotics Teams take over the Faire—Girls of Steel Robotics Program will show off their Frisbee shooting, pyramid climbing robot, EVE. The Sarah Heinz Advanced Robotics Program’s robot can play Ultimate Assent. FIRST Robotics offers Fairegoers a chance to drive robots in the competition field using hand-held controllers.
  • Game of Drones: Kind of like basketball except with a Personal Unmanned Air Vehicle (drone) and ping pong balls.
  • Handmade Arcade: the people from Pittsburgh’s largest indie craft faire teach participants how to make their own buttons, and learn some embroidery.
  • Learn to Solder: This Faire favorite is back! HackPittsburgh and the MAKESHOP team up to help you learning everything there is to know about soldering.
  • Blacksmithing Demonstration: Touchstone Center for Crafts will cover the history and fundamentals of blacksmithing.
  • Rookie of the Gear Pitching Machine: See the first trial run of the Pitching Machine that has been created at MAKESHOP. Teaching artists and kids visiting the Children’s Museum have built a large-scale catapult that will make its debut pitch at PNC Park at the end of the summer.
  • Whimsy Engineering: Witness a bike mounted bubble blowing apparatus coasting through the faire, a large vortex cannon shooting smoke rings and color smoke filled bubbles into the air.
  • SparkTruck: This educational build-mobile from Stanford is traveling across the USA this summer to incite creativity and invigorate STEM skills of children by providing free workshops where they learn to use 3D printers, laser cutters and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics toolkits.
  • Emergency Tetherball Kit: Play Your City is a challenge to make the city better by making it more playful with a tetherball game that can be attached to a streetlamp or pole to create play anywhere, anytime.

Plus 3D Workshops, LED Wearables, DrawBots, Cuddly Circuits, Floating Origami, and more!

For Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2013 tickets, directions and more information visit



2013 Call for Makers Is Extended to July 31!

Hey local makers, DIYers, tinkerers, craftspeople, inventors, – we have extended the deadline to be an exhibiting Maker at Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire on August 18!  It’s hot outside, so go indoors, work on  your application and send it our way.  We want you to show off your cool stuff at this unique festival of science, art, music, technology and all around ingenuity.  This is the third Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire and shaping up to be the best Faire ever.

Individuals, groups, schools and organizations are welcome to apply.  We encourage both kid and adult makers.  Commercial makers who would like to demonstrate, as well as sell, their products at the Faire pay a nominal fee.

Call for Makers deadline is Wednesday, July 31.

Blacksmith from Touchstone Center for Crafts;    Photo by Larry Rippel

Blacksmith from Touchstone Center for Crafts at Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2012. Photo by Larry Rippel

The Call for Makers is Open!

We encourage you to join the fun and enter a project to exhibit at this newfangled fair that brings together science, art, craft, engineering and music in a fun, energized and exciting public forum.  The aim is to inspire people of all ages to roll up their sleeves and become makers.

The 2013 Call for Makers is now open!

Early Bird Call for Makers Deadline:  June 1
Call for Makers Deadline:  July 4

What We’re Looking For:

  • Handmade or homemade projects made by individuals, clubs or start-up companies
  • Made projects or making processes that use new technologies or old technologies  in new ways
  • Interactivity for adults as well as kids – teach, share and demonstrate!
  • Innovation, Creativity and Inventiveness
  • WOW factor

*New Makers who submit an application by June 1 can receive feedback on ideas from Seasoned Makers and have the opportunity to resubmit if desired.

Thank you! + Share Your Thoughts

We had a blast with 1,800 faire-goers at the second Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire on September 22nd! Tell us what YOU think of this year’s faire:

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We would like to thank:

For ongoing maker-related programs, as well as news of next year’s Faire, please stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook. Watch for the Call for Makers early next summer to showcase your own talent in the next Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire.  See you in 2013, Pittsburgh!

Tips for Attending Maker Faire

Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2011

Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire is tomorrow, so here’s some basic information to help orient you to the event. Get ready for an exciting day!


Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire is a fun, casual day of exploration, learning and spectacle.  Dress comfortably – makers will be located both inside the Museum and in Buhl Community Park; to see them all will require a bit of walking. Also, you may encounter and make things using robots, balloons, soldering irons, LED lights, knitting, horns and more!

Your admission to the Maker Faire includes admission to Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  Save a little time to check out the interactive exhibits and artwork throughout this award-winning museum if you’ve never been here.

Parking & Transportation

Parking is available in the Children’s Museum’s parking lots next to the Museum for $3 for members and $5 for nonmembers.  Metered parking is available around Allegheny Square.  Bike parking is available at several locations around the Faire.

PAT bus route 54C stops right on Children’s Way, beside the Faire.

The Faire is a short walk from the North Side Station of the new North Shore Connector via Port Authority’s light rail system, the T.   See the map for directions.  Call  Port Authority of Allegheny County at (412) 442-2000 or visit for more information.

Food & Drink

The Children’s Museum Big Red Room Cafe is open  from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Food trucks will be parked on Children’s Way next to the Faire.  Water fountains are available in the Children’s Museum and in Buhl Community Park.



Bathrooms are available on all levels of the Museum.

Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire will take place rain or shine!  Makers will be located outdoors as well as inside, so dress for outdoor temperatures.

2012 Meet the Makers: Hackers


Get a sneak preview of Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire by category each day until the big day, Sept. 22nd! Today’s featured category is Hackers. In maker culture, “hackers” are people who seize the reigns of an existing technology and repurpose it to their own ends. They are tech-savvy, inventive, resourceful and often have great senses of humor! Here in Pittsburgh, hackers are a the unsung geniuses of maker culture – until Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire.

Come to the Faire to experience over 1,000 sq. ft. of hacker projects by HackPittsburgh, co-presenter of the Faire. (All of their projects are noted by an asterisk below). Meet their hacker friends from Columbus, Ohio, the Central Ohio RepRap and MakerBot Operators User Group, who will demonstrate 3D printing all day. Learn more about HackPittsburgh and how to get involved in their club throughout the year at

Don’t miss the Faire races, where HackPittsburgh’s fastest projects will burn rubber to the finish line! Races will be held at 11:00, 12:45 and 3:00 pm, weather permitting.

Bottle Nose & Thinking Cap*
Bottle Nose converrts range finder data to electromagnetic pulses; Thinking Cap electrostimulates the prefrontal cortex to induce a flow state

Button Making with HackPittsburgh*
Make 1″ buttons using artwork samples or create your own button to wear!

Central Ohio RepRap and MakerBot Operators User Group
See demonstrations of 3D Printing by visiting makers from Ohio.

E-bike Dashboard*
System to display battery condition and other data.

Electric Ï€ 3.14159…*
An electric bicycle setup with a high power electric hub. See event listing for race times.

Find the Buzz*
A mesh network that takes decibel readings throughout the Faire, to see who’s projects are generating the most buzz!

Get 3D Scanned*
Have you ever wanted a 3D model of yourself? Stop by our booth to get scanned by the world’s first consumer 3D depth camera – the Xbox Kinect.

Jane “Cyber” Doe*
Explore the Uncanny Valley through multimedia art of the HackPittsburgh centaur Jane “Cyber” Doe.

LED Pong board*
A 7×10 grid of RGB LEDs for prototyping programs for controlling the LEDs in our shop window.

A somewhat large semi-autonomous robot for utility. See event listing for race times.

Matt’s Maniacal Menagerie of Marvelous Machines*
Matt makes things, communities, machines, events, and gadgets!

Morse Code Wearable Alarm Clock*
A small bandolier with an arduino, switch, buzzer and LED for setting and announcing timers.

Musical Images*
Images are scanned pixel by pixel and the resulting colors are used to generate musical notes.

Paint Chip Pixelization*
Famous paintings are reduced to 10 colors and composed entirely of 1.25″ paint chip squares.

Eli Richter will race HackPittsburgh’s PowerWheels racer during the Faire.

Spray paint can shaker*
A small table top drill-motor powered device for shaking up cans of spray paint.

Utility Top Hat*
A crocheted top hat that holds several dram vials and other electronics

Vertical Wind Machine model*
A vertical axis wind turbine

Wind Turbine*
A 6 foot wind turbine made from found items and simple construction. Suitable for charging 12volt batteries for offgrid power or emergency

006 PowerWheels Car*
006 is our PowerWheels car that took 1st in the drag race and 1st in the Moxie race at this year’s Detroit Maker Faire.  See it race at 11:00 am, 12:45 and 3:00 pm during the Faire, weather permitting.


2012 Meet the Makers: Electronics


Get a sneak preview of Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire by category each day until the big day, Sept. 22nd! Today’s featured category is Electronics.

The Electronics Area of the Faire will MAKE you see everyday household electronics with new eyes. Learn the basics of circuitry by hacking electrical toys with the knowledgeable young makers of the Children’s Innovation Project. At Makey Makey’s tent, you’ll discover how to turn everyday objects into touchpads for a banana piano or an alphabet soup keyboard.  Talk to your coffee machine through the internet with iOTOS and years from now, you’ll remember how you first experienced the “Internet of Things” during Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2012. Learn more about all 3  below and experience them live on Saturday!

Children’s Innovation Project
Children from Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5 will teach YOU how to set up various circuits, read and write schematics and hack electrical toys for new inventions.

iOTOS – An Internet of Things Operating System
Our platform allows things to easily talk to the internet that don’t normally talk to the internet. Then we talk to those things.

Makey Makey
MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering and everything in between.