Join Us on September 20th for Maker Faire Silver Spring. It’s Free!

The popular Maker Faire Silver Spring was the first Maker Faire in the DC area, and  it continues to grow each year! With over 14,000 people attending, Maker Faire Silver Spring has become the DC community’s home-town Maker Faire and includes a wide range of exhibitors, including federal agencies that deploy making everyday to advance their missions alongside local robotics teams, hobbyists and makers of all stripes.

KID Museum is a local 501(c)3 that organized the first fair as part of its mission to engage youth in STEM learning through hands-on maker experiences and inspiration from “real-life” inventors.  That first fair was such a phenomenon that it helped inspire the DC area to get involved in the Maker movement!

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The Silver Spring Maker Faire offers adults and children the opportunity to be inspired by what a Maker can invent and create with just a little ingenuity. KID Museum is committed to promoting that curiosity and ingenuity in school-aged youth by providing access to maker experiences, promoting engagement in STEM learning and diversify the populations attracted to STEM fields.

As one of the few Maker Faires nationally and internationally that is free to attend, we attract an exceptionally diverse audience and work closely with our partner groups to conduct extensive outreach to ensure under served populations participate in the event.   Our partners include the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Collaboration Council, Excel Beyond the Bell, MOST, Rockville Science Center and other non-profit educational groups.

See the video of last year’s Silver Spring ” Maker Faire : 


Win a 3D Printer at Maker Faire!


Thanks to Make Magazine, you can win a 3D Printer at Maker Faire Silver Spring! It’s a Metal Printrbot Simple, valued at $599.99.  See the flyer here: 3D Printer giveaway

Sign up to win here!Eventbrite - Raffle Drawing for Maker Faire Silver Spring 2015

The Art and Science of Felting with Wool

Wet felting is an ancient textile technique in which natural fibers such as wool are matted, condensed and pressed together through friction and soapy water to create a piece of fabric. The fabric can be made thick or thin, and is used to make garments, hats, handbags, blankets, rugs, home decor items, and even jewelry. Felt is used in the parts of many musical instruments, such as the piano, and has many uses in manufacturing.

Artist and Maker Barbara Liedahl will be returning for her third year to teach the Silver Spring Maker Faire participants how to felt.

Anyone who visits her booth will be invited to make their own felt sample and learn about the different processes used to make felt today and throughout history. Everyone will have an opportunity to create a simple piece of felt to keep.  The simplified process involves layering small amounts of wool roving inside a plastic sandwich bag, adding some soapy water, sealing the bag and massaging the bag for about five minutes to compress and entangle the fibers. A quick rinse in cool water and flattening under a rolling pin will produce a 4″ x 4″ piece of felted fabric that can be used as the base for an illuminated LED pin or book light or simply as a coaster, framed as an art piece, or used to embellish a handmade greeting card.

Make a Flashlight with Rustom Meyer

Rustom Meyer, creator of Yeti Solar, first became interested in solar energy while researching improved solar box cooker designs as an undergraduate at Cornell University. He graduated Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science Cum Laude, and a Masters of Engineering in Biological and Environmental Engineering. He holds a Professional Engineer’s license in Environmental Engineering. Rustom has been researching, designing, prototyping, and directing manufacture of high efficiency, well designed indoor solar lighting and LED systems since 2009. His driving passion is to make these systems so affordable, adaptable, reliable, and user friendly that solar lighting becomes the obvious choice for everyone.

Yeti Solar recently donated a solar lighting system to a clinic in Nepal, which they are using as emergency lighting for their Operating Room. Although the clinic has access to grid power, it’s quite unreliable, and sometimes cuts out in the middle of surgeries. Prior to installing solar powered backup, their Plan B for lighting in the Operating Room was hand held flashlights

Not that Yeti Solar has anything against flashlights.  Yeti Solar has designed a simple DIY flashlight project that makes it easy to build a unique and powerful flashlight. At the Maker Faire Rustom Meyer will have a dozen or so of these flashlights on display and interested audience members can purchase a kit to make one. Walk-up participants can easily build and decorate one in about 15 minutes with supervision.

His flashlight project teaches participants about circuits and LEDs, as well as how to solder and some basic assembly techniques. The participant gets to choose their LED color, the light diffusing texture of the lense, and also how they want to decorate the flashlight body. The switch mechanism is a socket screw; tighten it to complete the circuit and loosen it to break the circuit. After the flashlight is complete, Rustom seals all the decorations in place with heavy duty adhesive lined clear heatshrink. This also gives the flashlight a ergonomic, ‘grippy’ surface, and diffuses the LED light such that the whole head of the flashlight glows when it is on.

Check out this blog by Rustom Meyer, which describes how to make his flashlight project!


Kid Maker Challenge: Water Purification

Water purification is the process of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids and gases from contaminated water. 

Your challenge is to take muddy water and build a water purification system to clean it.  When you are finished, post about your results!


KID Maker Challenge: Kinetic Art

Over the next few months leading up to the Silver Spring Maker Faire we will be challenging all young makers to stretch their minds.  These challenges give kids who operate under a “maker” mindset the chance to create new projects by applying scientific, technological, math, artistic and engineering design concepts.

Kinetic Art Challenge:

Kinetic art is art that moves. The most common examples are three-dimensional sculptures and figures such as mobiles that move naturally or are machine operated. The moving parts are generally powered by wind, a motor or the observer.

Your challenge is to make a piece of artwork that incorporates movement to make the piece visually interesting.  When you are finished, post about your results on our Facebook page!

Why Encourage Your Kids To Make?

– Guest blog by Activity Rocket –

Ask any kid if they love “show and tell” and a big smile will emerge on their faces. The maker community unites DIYers, tinkerers, hobbyists, scientists, artists, crafters and anyone who is curious, who loves learning, and who enjoys sharing in a big show and tell! We encourage our kids to participate in team sports, play an instrument, and learn a second language. In today’s society, we should be encouraging them to MAKE. Here’s why:

Making, creating and inventing is a great way to release an inner scientist, encourage a closet artist, or just explore a new hobby. With so many over-scheduled kids participating in highly structured activities, making is an opportunity to freely explore interests and passions at a self-directed pace.

The maker community is open to all. Makers can range in age from young children to older adults and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. What unites them is their passion for their creative pursuits and their drive to celebrate individuality and resourcefulness.

Sunday’s Maker Faire is a great opportunity to introduce the kids in your life to the joy of “making.” By making something they are passionate about and then sharing it with others, young people are building life-long communication skills and gaining self-confidence. Makers are our future scientists, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs – come out on Sunday to engage your kids in becoming the makers of tomorrow!

Looking for metro-DC’s best maker activities and events? Look no further then with more then 260 categories of activities to choose from, including STEMrobotics, arts & crafts, book & paper arts, jewelry, puppetry, woodworking, and much more! Start searching now!

KID Challenge! Boat Building

Make a boat with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) at Maker Faire Silver Spring on September 14th. The nation’s ocean explorers invite you to try out a special Boat Building Challenge where kids use aluminum foil to make “boats” and then test their design by seeing how many pennies or paperclips they can hold. See what you can learn about gravity, buoyancy and friction as you try your hand at making a boat strong enough to transport heavy cargo across the ocean.

Want to try it at home? Check out this link for instructions and materials.

And check out these cool NOAA Research Ships that show where boat-building can lead:

Houston! We Have a Maker Faire.

NASA is coming back to the DC area’s largest Maker Faire in downtown Silver Spring on September 14th and bringing a variety of interesting space technology, including its Infrared camera, for you to try out.

What is infrared light? Infrared light is commonly referred to as heat rays. With NASA’s James Webb space telescope Infrared Camera, you are able to view the invisible heat rays on your body. Come visit the Webb telescope booth and learn about how the telescope can reveal the hidden stars and solar system forming with the cocoons of dust.

Stop by the NASA booth at the Faire and try out astronaut tools and gloves, see NASA’s First Robotics Team, learn about space communications, and much more!