We're back from the Halifax Mini Maker Faire 2015, handily sited just down the road at the national children's museum Eureka, and we had an absolute blast. As always, it's thrilling to meet up with friends new and old, and to chat to our customers about the things they're building with our kits and creations - and this time around, as an added bonus, we had tame journalist Gareth Halfacree along for the ride.
For those who didn't make it along, Halifax Mini Maker Faire combines the attractions of Eureka with the usual Maker Faire fare, and as a result brings in a variety of people who are new to the maker scene. "We've brought my son and my daughter," explained Nick from Hebden Bridge, who was taking advantage of the free entry offered to Eureka annual pass holders. "She's into arts and crafts so we thought it would be a good experience. We've not actually been before, this is the first time we've combined the [Eureka] experience with such a fair, you know, and it has been good," personal highlights being daughter Annabelle learning to create giant bubbles and candy-floss.
Although some of the exhibits had more to offer the younger audience than others, the spectrum was broad: from learning to make paper hats and customised slime in the kitchen area to picking up a soldering iron and making an electronic badge, all ages were well catered for. "This is the first thing he's has actually wanted a go on, which I think says something because it's a bit more dangerous," laughed local Francesca, whose five-year-old son Finlay was being taught the art of soldering by Torben Steeg in the old station-house building.
As you might expect from a Maker Faire, local hackspaces and maker spaces were well represented: exhibitors from Leeds Hackspace, York Hackspace, and Sheffield Hardware Hackers & Makers were all showing off things their members had made from an extremely wobbly yet strangely hypnotic LED cube to a Deek Chair - "a deck chair for geeks," Sheffield Hardware Hacker & Maker representative Janine Kirby explained - most, but not all, of which were fully operational by the time the doors opened to guests at 10:00 on Saturday.
Over the coming weeks, we'll be running a series of Focus On articles which highlight our personal favourite exhibits and exhibitors from the event, but for now we'd just like to thank the staff at Eureka for organising the event, all the other exhibitors for their enthusiasm, and all the guests for their time and for joining in with our games - including the traditional Maker Faire classic of guessing the number of LEDs we crammed into an acrylic cube, the winner of which can expect something special in the post in due course. If you want to see more about what we did and saw at the event, feel free to browse our photos on Flickr - they're Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licensed for distribution and re-use, if you feel so inclined.