San Diego Maker Faire

We headed to the San Diego Maker Faire Today, and though we were there most of the day… we didn’t even see half of what there was to see! We hit up the Northeast end of the park, and my little guys (7 and 3) had a blast. The youngest passed out in the car on the way home… and won’t wake up again until tomorrow.

The San Diego Maker Faire was in Balboa Park. We parked in the Inspiration Point Parking Lot, and took the Trolley up to the Mayor’s Maker Plaza. From there we went East, hitting up several of the exhibits. Each section is set up in one of the museums in Balboa Park. For Example, the “Families, Kids, and Fun” Section was in the NAT. There were other sections within other museums – so we got to check out both the museum exhibits AND the booths that were part of the San Diego Maker Faire. Which was awesome. As a newbie to San Diego, we got to check out several of the awesome museums that Balboa Park has to offer while getting the added bonus of the Maker Faire. All for the price of the Maker Faire. Which was pricey – $25 per adult and $15 per kiddo.

I didn’t have time to take pictures of everything… but here are some of the highlights.

When my oldest met R2D2… that made his day. We were less than 30 minutes into the event, and if we left right then, he was set. He has already asked that I print these photos for him.

meeting-r2d2

Of course there were several booths with the Lego Mindstorm robots. One of these days, we’ll need to get one of these for my tech-loving kiddos. We saw them earlier this year, and they combine Lego and programming… but they are not cheap!play-with-robots

My oldest and I hit up a presentation that Qualcomm was giving using their Dragon Boards. We used wires to link the board up to a motion sensor and a color sensor. It looks like this board is basically a smartphone backbone that you can use to create all kinds of devices.programming-with-dragon-boa

The boys also loved using smartphones to control cars. Here is my youngest operating a little smartphone car. He’s 3, y’all!! These kiddos can manipulate tech so easily… it is normal to them!robot-phone

And there were some less “tech” focused areas. Like this artwork made from pushpins.thumbtack-art

And digging through dirt at the NAT. Though… they showed how archaeologists scan the items they find, and then 3D print models so that they don’t handle the artifacts more than needed.

digging-at-the-NAT

Really, robots were the highlight of the day for my kiddos.controlling-robots

And robot cars.driving-robots

Even if they weren’t manipulating the robots… just watching the robots was pretty cool.  go-robot-go

They also liked making Marshmallow guns from PVC pipe. Which was also one of my favorites – all the pre-cut PVC pieces were right there for making the gun. It took seconds to make – instead of hours of mom’s time to source all the joints, cut all the PVC – and then seconds for the kiddos to assemble.

There was one thing that trumped robots… Legos. There was a booth where they were engraving lego bricks with each child’s name. Personalized Lego bricks? WINNING!

engraving-lego-block

Some links to cool stuff from today, in case you’re interested:

San Diego Maker Faire
Engraved Lego Bricks
Balboa Park
Robotics Competitions

Southwest Robotics

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