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The Maker Faire Returns to the Bay Area This Weekend!

The Maker Faire comes back to the San Mateo Event Center in San Mateo, CA this May 19th and 20th for another year of invention, creativity and innovation. After 6 previously successful fairs, including 2011's fair which drew around 100,000 guests, the 2012 Maker Faire has a lot to live up to. Their 2011 event even introduced Zombie bats, (in case of zombie apocalypse,of course) and a working R2D2 to Bay Area visitors. This is a great event for anyone planning to visit the Academy of Sciences or the Exploratorium with their Go San Francisco Card. This year, the fair is offering up a seemingly never-ending list of programs and events which include sing-alongs, DIY task-solvers, and even a Light, Lasers, & Illusions show put on by Tom Ward. Here's a look at what else you can expect from the Maker's Faire this weekend:

"A Celebration of the Maker Movement"

When I first read about the Maker movement, I thought it sounded like a combination of the popular craft site Etsy and the magazine Popular Mechanics - Maker faires bring together those who've produced valuable arts, crafts, and designs with those interested in purchasing or simply learning something new. MakerFaire.com, owned by MAKE Magazine, describes the Maker movement in better detail:

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these "makers" come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

Today, Maker Faires are happening all over the U.S., with events springing up in places like Detroit, New York City, and the United Kingdom. The Maker Faire always brings out their best for the hometown fair, which makes this weekend's upcoming event a must-see San Francisco attraction.

Lightning, Compression Rockets, & Food Demonstrations - Something For Everyone

Over the course of two days, San Mateo's Maker Faire will be hosting over 300 makers - with live presentations, demos, performances and music - at 12 different stages throughout the San Mateo County Event Center and surrounding area. With so many makers, there's no end to what you can see when you visit. Whether you're looking for something to spark the kids' interest, a gift for your DIY Dad for Father's Day, or something new and exciting to see for yourself, this is the right place to go. Here's a quick look at four of the makers you'll see at this weekend's Maker Faire:

Image of Brush, Device,

Build Your Own Compressed Air Rockets: As seen in MAKE magazine, these compressed air rockets are super fun to make at home, and only cost 25 cents! Test it out at the Fly Kits for Kids on Saturday at 10:30am, then pick up a kit and try it at home. Perfect for younger children, though some supervision is required for safety.

Image of Food, Mashed Potato, Butter,

Make Your Own Butter Thanks to HOMEGROWN.org's Cornelia Homegrown, visitors to the Homegrown Village Workshops on Saturday and Sunday will be able to make and taste their own homegrown butter. Right before your eyes, Cornelia will transform cream into organic butter in just minutes - samples definitely included.

Image of Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Male, Man,

Learn How to Craft Your Own Halloween Props Presented by CalHaunts NorCal Haunters Club, this presentation will introduce you to the concept of building your own Halloween decorations with common materials and some DIY know-how. Visitors may walk through different scenes while getting a hands-on look at example props made by the Club.

Image of Balloon,

Create Easy and Cheap Light & Laser Gadgets On Saturday at 11:30am, Tom Ward will be introducing visitors to the Innovation Stag to some unique and fun gadgets all made from cheap lasers and ultraviolet light. Adults and children can test their eyesight, see how well they're really washing their hands, and even learn how to pop a balloon using only light. For a full list of makers, visit the Maker Faire's website. Tickets are anywhere from $12-$50, and are available for a discounted price at local Bay Area outlets, or may be purchased via the web. Either way, make sure to add the Maker's Faire to your weekend plans, and have fun!

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