An invitation to Makers

Last year we held the first “Mini Maker Faire” in the Valley.

Hardly anyone knew what a Maker Faire was exactly, maybe one or two people had been to one and a few more had read about them online, but by and large it was a new experience for all of us.

The event was a great success, and during it we worked out what a Maker Faire was all about. As a Maker from New York said, “It’s kind of like a state fair but with the pigs replaced with robots. You don’t come because you want to learn, you come because you want to have fun and make stuff.”

This year, we want even more makers to attend. Sure – it’s a fun day for the public who come to see what folks are making, but it’s even more fun for the exhibitors who are making things on the spot or giving demos of what they made during the year.

We’ll advertise to members of the public later, but right now we want to get the word out to the maker community, and that’s where you come in.

You probably found this page because someone gave you a business card with a link to this page on it. We have more of these cards available or you could even make some yourself from this artwork. Pass them round to friends and colleagues, and anyone you meet who has that ‘maker’ gene who would be a great person to have come to the 2014 McAllen Mini Maker Faire. If you know someone who reaches a lot of people, such a teacher who runs a shop class, give them some extras to hand out.

Here’s what we want from people, and this is basically the message we want you to pass on… (of course, spread the message in your own words! Talk to your friends about things that interest them – these are just examples…)

Show us how you make something. For instance if you make home-made jewelry, don’t come to the Faire just to sell it – you _can_ sell it but what we want you to do is set up your equipment and show people how you make it. Even better, give people a chance to make something themselves – show them how it’s done and let them make one. If your project is something that’s too complex to make on the day, then is it something that people could play with? – for example if you made a quadrocopter, would you let people fly it a little?

We have enough time this year to prepare events in advance, so if a bunch of friends are in a club such as a model car club – or maybe your school competed in a robotics event at Hestec and you still have the robots – then get your friends together and suggest a model car race, or a fighting robot competition… we’ll help with the organization and we might even be able to rustle up some prizes. (Even if the prizes are just buttons – we have a button press, and we plan to hand out a lot of buttons at the Faire for participating in various events)

If you’re enthusiastic about what you want to show everyone, we’ll find a place for you. Don’t worry that you need to set up any kind of display, or stand up and give a talk – you’ll find that if you just put the thing you made on a table, pretty soon people will come up to you and ask you what it’s about, and then you’re just chatting with someone who is interested in the thing you’re interested in – and it’s really easy to talk with people about stuff you’re interested in.

One last comment – for some reason, we found that the messier the project, the more fun it was, especially for the younger kids. Don’t be shy of projects with paint or clay or water or gloopy stuff of any description. We’ll find a way to give you a safe environment to play in.

Call for Volunteers for the 2014 McAllen Mini Maker Faire

McAllen, TX — McAllen Mini Maker Faire is looking for volunteers to prepare the 2014 McAllen Mini Maker Faire. The event is presented by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and Make Magazine.

Volunteers will help in the following areas: registration, fundraising, marketing, stage, makers and other aspects of the event. This is a great opportunity to support the maker community in the Rio Grande Valley and learn about the process of producing a Mini Maker Faire. McAllen Mini Maker Faire is free to all attendees. It remains free due to the active participation of a dedicated group of volunteers.

Maker Faire began in 2005 in San Mateo, CA by the people behind MAKE and CRAFT magazines. The McAllen Mini Maker Faire takes after its parent event, Maker Faire, which hosts 90,000 visitors in San Mateo in May. The McAllen Mini Maker Faire will be a smaller, community-focused event, but will follow the Maker Faire model of celebrating do-it-yourself creativity and tinkering.

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the McAllen Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration featuring robots, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music, workshops and installations.

If you would like to volunteer or want more information, please contact Eduardo Millet at or visit McAllen

Canstruction to be Unveiled at McAllen Mini Maker Faire

The Food Bank RGV will be partnering with the McAllen Mini Maker Faire and Ruben R. Escobar, Diseño, Inc. a member of the American Institute of Architects, to bring the first-ever Canstruction to the Rio Grande Valley. The surprise sculpture made entirely of canned food will be unveiled at the McAllen Mini Maker Faire, Saturday, June 22, 2013, at the new McAllen Creative Incubator located at the old McAllen Memorial Public Library.

Canstruction is a national organization that promotes charitable giving through creative building projects. A business, student or architectural group will purchase canned foods, create a design and then build a themed sculpture using cans. Once the sculpture has been constructed and documented, the work is submitted for prize consideration and the food is generously donated to the local food bank. Volunteers may be asked to help in construction. The sky is the limit with designs. This is the first time a Canstruction project has been done with the Food Bank RGV.

“We are very excited to have Canstruction here in the Valley,” Terri Drefke, Food Bank RGV CEO, said. “We think local groups and businesses will see this sculpture and want to take up the challenge to try and win the national competition for best sculpture. Thanks to Ruben Escobar and Eduardo Millet for making this happen!”

For more information contact Omar I. Rodriguez, Manager of Communications & Advocacy, at (956) 904-4514 or by email at Also, visit at any time for information regarding other programs and events.