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.

  • AP

    I would love to take my 11 year old son, Ben! From a very young age he wanted to “take things apart” to see how they worked. I would give him old electronics to destroy. He is my little “maker”. Working in a manufacturing environment, I know the importance of being an innovator….and how our young minds can be the key to our future!

  • VH

    I took my daughters there a few years ago and they LOVED IT. I’d love to take them again now that they’re a little older! We love the Maker Faire!

  • Cathy W

    I’d love to go with my family – we’ve gone before and my daughter got a thrill out of all the hands-on instruction, and just the thrill of watching all the awesome things people have made!

  • Cyberrod

    My Kids love this stuff. Whenever, the see this kind of stuff, they are motivated to build things.

  • Diane C23

    I would go with my husband and 10-year old daughter. We went several years ago and it was wonderful. My husband is a Maker and has a 3D printer; he also taught our daughter how to solder, and she loves electronics. She’d like to learn robotics for a Girl Scout project. How cool is that?!

  • Naldarn

    I would take my family to celebrate my birthday with fellow geeks. We have been going for several years, but missed last year, so I need to see what new things have been invented over the last 2 years.

  • jaunvie

    I would love to take my mother. The Henry Ford is always so wonderful. I can’t wait to see all of the really cool stuff. Maybe it will inspire me to make something myself.

  • Randi Goodies

    I would take my boyfriend. We’d like to see all these great inventions! Plus its been forever since we’ve been there!

  • Sue Garcia

    I would love to attend the Maker Faire. I first heard about the Maker Faire on the Craftster website. It looks very fun and interesting. I would take my granddaughters. They love to “tinker” and build things, so I am sure this would be both fun and inspiring for them!

  • Jen Sumarta

    Can’t wait to take my teens to the event. thanks for the info Maddie!