Deadline coming up for Maker Faire signup

What do beehives, blacksmithing, glassmaking, robots and a human-sized hamster wheel have in common?

They are among the area makers signed up to be part of The Big Muddy Mini Maker Faire in Northwest Missouri.

Makers are creative folks, entrepreneurs, tinkerers, inventors, hobbyists, crafters, educators and homespun engineers. And Maker Faire is a place where all these makers show what they have made and share what they have learned.

The deadline for makers to apply for the Faire is Feb. 12, and spaces are limited.

Among those makers already signed up is the Kansas Bee Company. It will bring an observation hive of bees to give the public an up-close and inside view of a bee colony. They also will provide education on things people can do to help conserve bees.

The 2-year-old Missouri School of Blacksmithing will introduce Faire visitors to the ancient art of forging metal and using tools to hammer, bend and cut. The school’s founder, Matthew Burnett, says, “I try to approach my classes and teaching from the perspective of what I would like to learn as a student.”

Tobiason Studios of St. Joseph will give visitors a chance to try cutting glass while they check out different types of glass, projects and tools used in glassmaking.

Maker Faire guests will also get hands-on with three different 4-H projects provided by the Oh My, The Robots are Here! team. One of their projects, “junk drawer robotics,” will give participants a chance to build a simple robot using common materials available around the house.

The hamster wheel maker is unique among the unusual and extraordinary. It’s the only 7-foot human-powered hamster wheel that allows participants to craft their own custom frozen beverage with no electricity.

Other makers include the U.S. Patent Office; Rolling Hills Library CREATESPACE; 3D Print Everything; St. Joseph Writers Guild; 3D Printer Build; You Dream It, You Can Make It; Plasma Cutting; Portable Computer Lab; and an LT-1000 Trainer Simulator.

The Big Muddy Mini Maker Faire will debut March 3 at the Restoration Natatorium on North Second and Francis Streets.

The faire is presented by Heartland Foundation.  Sponsors include Creal, Clark and Seifert Engineers/Architects, Commerce Bank, N. Belt Walmart, Missouri Western’s Craig School of Business, Nodaway Valley Bank, Gray Manufacturing, and Ellison-Auxier Architects. If your company would like to become a sponsor, please let the faire leadership team know (contact information is provided below).

The Faire is also inviting food vendors, presenters and entertainers to become part of this great show (and tell).

For more information, contact Sandra Pettit Weber at 816-271-7571 or go online to the The Big Muddy Mini Maker Faire website at

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