More ‘makers’, more fun, at this year’s OMSI ‘faire’

Here’s why thousands of folks made the trip to two OMSI parking lots to experience the ‘maker revolution’ …

This kid powered “Pedal-Go-Round” in the foreground, and the Ferris Wheel behind it, are part of the CYCLECIDE Heavy Metal Pedal Bike Carnival attraction at the 2015 OMSI Mini Maker Faire.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Partially eclipsed by the grand opening of the TriMet MAX Light Rail Orange Line on September 12, this year’s version of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) two-day Mini Maker Faire still managed to attract more participants, and about 8,000 visitors – both events attracting all-time high attendance.

New this year, in OMSI’s unimproved southernmost parking lot, was the the CYCLECIDE Heavy Metal Pedal Bike Carnival from the San Francisco Bay Area, providing human-powered rides on hand-made Ferris wheels, carousels, and other unique contraptions.

The “midway” at this year’s OMSI Mini Maker Faire fills with visitors, checking out the offerings of the many “makers”.

Meantime, the north OMSI parking lot was filled to capacity with “makers” of all kinds, demonstrating their unique skills, crafts and products.

“This is our fourth annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, and it just keeps getting more successful every year,” beamed OMSI Events Director Andrea Edgecombe.

This is their most successful Mini Maker Faire ever, says OMSI Events Director Andrea Edgecombe.

“It’s my favorite event of the year!” exclaimed Edgecombe. “That’s because it is so much fun. People come and show how they do so many cool things.

“And, it’s great to see kids, eyes wide in wonder, being inspired by what they’re seeing and doing,” Edgecombe told East Portland News.

ameron Rutis gets involved in a project with his son, Finn, at the Intel exhibit.

The Metal Beavers FIRST Robotics Team 1432, based in the Lents neighborhood was present, and Captain Ian Mittelstaedt and Maurice Couchot showed off their ’bot.

The Co-Founder of SE Portland’s Yellow Scope, Marcie Colledge, and VP of Marketing Amy Compton, show off their science kits, designed to appeal to girls.

From all over the west coast, but primarily from the greater Portland area, 140 “makers” assembled for this year’s celebration of ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness.

“This fair helps us meet our mission at OMSI, to ‘inspire wonder and teach science’,” Edgecombe explained. “If we can inspire the next scientist, the next creative maker, or the next engineer, then we’ve done our job.”

On our front page: Ice sculptor Portland’s James Stugart, of Ice Ovation, shows off his chilly skill at the Mini Maker Faire.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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