The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth



Harnessing the power of collaborative learning and DIY science, California’s Maker Faire aims to combat throwaway culture by giving young people the tools and inspiration to invent.   

This article originally appeared at Shareable.  

Since 2006, Maker Faire has provided a space for inventors, tinkerers, builders, crafters, and wannabe-scientists to showcase their creations with the intent of encouraging others to dabble in inventing something themselves. With large-scale kinetic sculptures racing and roaming the grounds, science experiments with electronics and activities like clothing and apparel re-purposing stations on site, participants are encouraged to touch, ask questions, and take what they learn into their own workshops for some fun experimentation outside of the Maker Faires' big top.

Sherry Huss, vice president of Maker Media, doesn't look the role of a lab-coat wearing mad scientist that one might expect to be a Maker Faire organizer. There are no beakers popping up and bubbling over in her office. She wears no tool belt as she navigates the work spaces of Maker Media's headquarters in Sonoma County, California. Yet, as anyone who has attended a Maker Faire may believe, Huss has the stuff that genius is made of. Every year, she meets with her small planning team and formulates the clever uses of time and space for what is referred to in their tag line as “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth.”

“We do it the old fashioned way, with post-it notes and lay them out. And it somehow always magically works out,” says Huss. “You have to get your head into it because everything that is happening on site is intentional. There are very few things that just come together,” she added.

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