Maker Faire Detroit 2014 Keeps Makers in Michigan (CLOSED: Plus a Giveaway!)

Tinker, hack and mingle with over 400 makers during the ultimate festival of invention and creativity at the world’s original Maker mecca. Maker Faire Detroit returns to The Henry Ford July 26-27, 2014! Today, guest blogger Maddie Rich fills us in on what you can expect from young inventors at the popular event this year.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Celebrating our fifth year, Maker Faire Detroit 2014 will welcome back more than 400 makers with everything from robots and knitters, to flame shooters and power tools drag racing later this month. Maker Faire Detroit is a great opportunity to see makers of all ages, from kids to makers in their 80s. As an intern here at The Henry Ford, eager to attend my first Maker Faire, I am particularly interested in seeing the young adult makers and what new innovations and ideas are coming from them. Each year, local college graduates leave Michigan to find jobs and opportunities elsewhere. This hurts the state’s economy and makes it near impossible to grow and flourish. Maker Faire Detroit showcases the talent in Michigan and other areas and gives creative, innovative minds a place to interact and share ideas.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

One participant in particular that proved to be full of talented innovators and is passionate about keeping bright, young minds in Michigan is Central Michigan University. CMU will be bringing student-made projects that showcase the skills and talents of their students. The main attraction will be their small, one-person off-road vehicle that was built completely from the ground up by students in CMU’s Automotive Engineering program. This car competes nationally in the Baja SAE Design Series. Central is also showcasing a movie created by students in the Broadcast and Cinematic Arts department and a student’s photo journalism project that was awarded second place from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, a prestigious national competition.

I got the chance to talk with the Director of Student Life in the College of Science and Technology at CMU, Heidi Mahon, about their booth and what they do at Central to keep the obviously talented students they have in Michigan.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

“CMU students stay in Michigan. They do,” says Mahon. She explained that the university is proactive in helping their students create a network with Michigan based companies so many of their alumni end up working with these companies. Mahon, not a native to Michigan herself, sees all the opportunities the state presents for her students. “Michigan is home to so many large, global companies. Dow, Ford, GM, Steelcase, just to name a few. We make sure our students make connections with these companies.” In addition to making sure their students are exposed to job opportunities with Michigan-based companies, they encourage students to pursue creativity and entrepreneurship through their annual New Venture Competition. At Maker Faire Detroit, CMU will be showing possible future students what they can do at Central and how their students are putting their skills to work to help make Michigan better.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Central is not the only university that will be present at Maker Faire Detroit this year. Kettering University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn will have booths that will showcase young talent in Michigan. There will also be booths geared towards even younger makers, such as the HYPE program at the Detroit Public Library, to inspire future entrepreneurs and innovators.

Big things are happening in Michigan and Maker Faire Detroit at The Henry Ford is the place to see them in action.

Do you want to score free tickets to Maker Faire at The Henry Ford? Simply tell us in the comments section below why you want to go to Maker Faire Detroit 2014 and who you would take with you. We’ll then select two lucky winners at random to win four tickets to the event. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by this Thursday, July 17that 11:59 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winner Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).  UPDATE: This contest has ended. The winner has been selected and contacted via email with their prize. Thank you everyone for the comments! 

Maddie Rich is a junior at Grand Valley State University, studying Marketing and Public Relations. She is a Marketing Intern at The Henry Ford this summer and cannot wait to attend her first ever Maker Faire Detroit. She loves living in the mitten and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her.

Life’s A Beach: Announcing Pure Michigan’s 10-Day Instagram #BeachChallenge

Photo by Instagram user @jmwuokko

Photo by Instagram user @jmwuokko

UPDATE: Congratulations to Gina Ferwerda, winner of our Pure Michigan Instagram #BeachChallenge! Read about Gina’s winning entry and see 14 other photos that will get you dreaming of a perfect Pure Michigan beach day here.

From sparkling blue waters to the chance to reconnect with friends and family, Michigan’s beaches are as as diverse as they are beautiful!

As the summer beach season kicks into high gear, we, along with our partners at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), are excited to announce the launch of our 10-day Instagram #BeachChallenge!

We’re challenging our fans to share photos of their favorite Michigan beaches on Instagram to showcase the great variety of activities that travelers and residents can enjoy during a day at the beach in Pure Michigan. For each day of the 10-day challenge, fans will be asked to share photos that represent that day’s challenge topic.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow @PureMichigan on Instagram. If you don’t have an Instagram account, get started here.
  2. Take a photo of your favorite Michigan beach. Share your photo with us @PureMichigan using hashtags #PureMichigan #BeachChallege. Post your photo using Instagram, Twitter or our Pure Michigan Beaches gallery, and tell us the location of your photo in the caption! (On Instagram, be sure to include the hashtags in the photo description and not the comments section).
  3. Follow the link provided in the auto response.
  4. Complete the entry form and view your photo in the gallery.
  5. Check the challenge topic schedule below and get ready to share your next #PureMichigan #BeachChallenge photo.
  • June 20 – Favorite Beach to Catch a Sunrise or Sunset
  • June 21 – Favorite Dog-Friendly Beach
  • June 22 – Favorite State Park Beach
  • June 23 – Favorite Beach to Fly a Kite
  • June 24 – Favorite Beach for Watersports
  • June 25 – Favorite Beach for Fishing from a Shore or Dock
  • June 26 – Favorite Beach to Experience Clear Waters
  • June 27 – Favorite Beach to Take a Long Walk
  • June 28 – Favorite Beach to Hang Out with Family and Friends
  • June 29 – Favorite Beach to Watch Fireworks
Photo by Facebook Fan John McCormick

Photo by Facebook Fan John McCormick

All entries tagged with #puremichigan and #beachchallenge will be populated into the gallery on michigan.org. For each challenge topic, we’ll choose one daily winner to be featured on our Pure Michigan Instagram page and receive a Personal Sun Care Kit from the Pure Michigan Store.

At the end of the challenge, we’ll choose one grand prize photo from all entries received. The grand prize winner will have their photo featured across Pure Michigan social channels and receive an “Ultimate Pure Michigan Beach Day” prize package that includes a 24 oz Pure Michigan Water Bottle Beach Towel Tote BagFire Pit Tackle BoxFishing Lure Kit,  Ice Berg Cooler Fun Bucket with Shovel and Personal Sun Care Kit.

The grand prize winner will be announced during the week of July 1, 2014.

View the official contest rules here.

Happy Instagramming! We’re so excited to see our fans’ spectacular photo submissions!

Where is your favorite Pure Michigan beach? 

Ten Unforgettable Love Letters to Michigan From Our Fans

Our “A Love So Grand” love letters contest recently came to a close. We had a fantastic turnout with more than 300 letters submitted. Thank you to all who participated!  It was a joy to read your love letters to Michigan. Since there were so many letters that truly expressed all that is grand about the state of Michigan, we put together this roundup of love letters to Michigan from our fans.

403x403_MILoveletter1“A Michigander’s Ode to the Mitten” by Missy Langdon

My Great Lake State with waters blue, to you belongs my love most true
Each season has beauty for us to behold, even in winter – so bitter and cold
From the fluffy white snow that blankets the ground to the ice covered piers and caves all around
Then you ‘spring’ into beauty to which none can compare, with tulips and cherry blossoms blooming with flair
And summer – what joy the thought brings to mind, a more perfect vacation spot no one could find
We can see Pictured Rocks while taking a cruise, with picturesque sunsets in breathtaking hues
Your fresh water lakes give an ocean-like view on Mackinac Island riding bikes built for two
There are mountainous dunes rolling down to the shore, and cherries, melons and berries galore
When the air turns crisp and the apples all grow you prepare for a final, most beautiful show!
Your trees and forests display overhead a canopy of leaves orange, yellow and red
Michigan, your grandness is second to none, with you shall I live till my days are done!

“My beloved Michigan – Fresh Water, Fresh Michigan” by Sunisa Roidoung

I’m originally from Thailand, and Michigan is the first state ever of my life in US. The lakes in Michigan are beyond my expectation. The nature is amazing. I used to understand that lakes were small, might not be deep, and might be narrow like canals, ponds but NO, Michigan enlightens me that lakes are so big and wide. I had a chance riding speed boat with my friends on Lake Michigan 2 years ago. The color was green just like the sea.I never like cruising on the sea because I hate salt water, I feel sticky on my skin. But my experience with the lake is completely different.I opened my mouth so wide to bypass fresh air into my lung faster,I feel like the fresh air brings the highest ozone level into my body! I spent 2 hrs on the Lake. At that time, everything went out just perfectly, I love the lake, I love fresh water.I’m lovin it!
Overall, I love the nature in Michigan; blue sky, big trees, fresh air, fresh water. The name “Pure Michigan” absolutely represents the way I love Michigan.

“Oh, Michigan” by Alicia Tasvibi

Oh, Michigan, Oh, Michigan – you’re pure as you are true;
Your lakes so wide, your trees so green, your skies so bright and blue.
Oh, Michigan, Oh, Michigan – the place I call my home;
Your mitten shape, the goods you make, and towns with garden gnomes.
Oh, Michigan, Oh, Michigan – I never should have fled;
Your seasons change, your strength remains, with more proud years ahead.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @cassie_smith

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @cassie_smith

“Yooper to the Core” by Stephanie Milbourn

Dear Michigan,
I love you when you’re hot
I love you when you’re cold
I love you when you rain and storm
It never does get old.

I love that you make rainbows
Across a gray blue sky
I love those pudgy, puffy clouds
That don’t look all that high

Spring brings everything to life,
Green grass everywhere
I can watch my daffodils bloom
or relax in my lawn chair

Summer comes with sunshine
The beach calls my name
I’ll enjoy it while it lasts
’cause changing weather is a game

Your fresh fall air comes whipping in
Gitche Gumee waves with all its might
Tree leaves look like Skittle bags
what a beautiful sight!

Then those big, white snowflakes
soon begin to fall
We’ll be breaking records
Because the snow banks are so tall

I love when it gets dark
And the stars are still so bright
The nature of Pure Michigan
Sure beats those city lights.

“My Love” by Kimberly Mannix

My Love,
Oh, how I long for you. Your beauty is beyond compare.
The first time that I laid eyes on you, I knew you had stolen my heart.
From your wide, sweeping porches, to your serene water vistas, nothing holds a candle to you.
I dream of you every night and long to be embraced by your warm breezes and rocking chairs.
With glorious flags and beautiful flowers adorning your doors, you welcome me into your heart.
Being with you on the island takes me back, somewhere in time, where everything moved slowly, love was grand, and
life was sweet.
Until we meet again…
With all my heart and soul, Kim

“To Michigan:” by Vanessa Gutierrez

Five was love at first sight as your beautiful beach sand tickled my eyes. As a child I visited your fields, where my family would work, and squeeze you tight while blueberry juice would drip down my lips. You gave me a kiss on the knee when my bicycle tire slipped on your rural road. Unpredictable snowflakes where the highlight of my day on April 14 when this love letter contest began. You blessed me with sudden rain on my September wedding day. I have felt your bumps along the highway as I weave through traffic on my motorcycle. I have trusted in you as I’ve walked onto your frozen paradise on Lake Michigan. Your heights left me in awe when I encountered Sleeping Bear Dunes. Your grand rivers show off the reflection of the sky as I’ve kayaked within you. You’ve hosted the colorful tulips in my hometown of Holland each spring. My wish is to rest on the beds of the Grand Hotel on the island. I love you my dearest Michigan, you are my refuge, my success, and my future.

1907288_10152811926173289_4591780164611936831_n“My dear Michigan How I Love Thee” by Jodi Schwarzenbach

I’m not sure if it was the way the air smelled on bright, spring mornings or how the lake roared with the onset of summer’s storms.  It may have happened while I felt the clear, cold water touch my skin as I swam or maybe it was the way the lilac’s scents made their mark on my heart.  It could have been the beautiful fall colors and the crunch of the leaves as I’d jump in the piles as a child.  It might have happened on long family boat trips to the beautiful Mackinac Island, viewing the Grand Hotel as if it were a king, welcoming us back each summer.  Or maybe it was while having amazing dinners at the famed Bronner’s in Frankenmuth.  Perhaps it was while sliding down Sleeping Bear Dunes and wondering if I’d ever see any prettier land again in my lifetime.  Maybe it was while having countless picnics with my family at Lumberman’s Monument or Ojibway Island.
I’m not sure of the exact moment I fell in love with Michigan, but she has always had my heart.  We will always be one.

“Come Back to Me” by Norma Allex

One of the hardest things in being apart, is that I miss your grandeur, but it is your warmth, sight,smells, fond memories and love that exudes from Lady Grand and the true love of Elise and Richard that whispers ever so gently “Come back to me”.
You know how to comfort me when I feel low or need to feel great love. No other place in this world makes me feel this way and so connected, especially to times past like 1912. You know how to take hold of me and put me in the arms of Somewhere in Time, year after year. My heart beats faster just thinking of you. You are ingrained into my soul with passion and peace.
I miss everything about you, so much so, that I dream of my return and be in awe of what is to come on that Grand porch with a louder whisper “Come back to me”.
You are the reason I wait patiently and take everything in stride, until my return in October. I can’t wait until the day I am in your arms again and am shouting out in joy,  “I have come back to you and I love you!”

“Mr. Michigan” by Stephanie Conlin Almaguer

I know that I must leave you often, but please understand, the Navy calls me & I must go. I will be back soon though! Walking along your magnificent body of water, laying on top of your golden beaches & wandering aimlessly deep in your trails. Maybe go camping & fishing or visit a town more filled with action! You have so much to offer. Tourists from all over will come to see how magnificent you are soon & you won’t be so lonely while I’m away. Want to enjoy some quality time together? We can plan a romantic getaway to Mackinac Island. Oh how I have always wanted to visit that beautiful island! Maybe we can share a carriage ride together & enjoy some of their famous fudge. We could even enjoy a round of golf at one of your many stunning golf courses. And while your winters are harsh & cold, I do enjoy tubing, skiing & snowmobiling. Don’t be jealous of the world I travel. I love you much more than any place I have ever been. And remember, I always come back home to you, my Mr. Michigan.

“To Michigan” by Sarah Hirsch

Great state, you have it all.  My feet can dip into glittery blue waters, climb sandy dunes, ski down powdery mountainsides, or walk your city streets between casinos, theaters and the finest restaurants.  My ears can hear the cheers from your stadiums, the music and melodies from amphitheaters, the calls of birds swooping over lakes and trees.  My tongue can taste your fresh cherries and apples, Mackinac Island fudge, pasties and packzis, Vernor’s and Faygo.  My eyes can focus on the vivid works of art at your museums, spectacular sunsets over stunning landscapes, or the grandeur of the grandest hotels.  Great state, you possess a wealth of experiences for the senses, and I am richer for knowing you.

 What do you love about Michigan? Tell us in the comments!