NEW YORK About 75,000 people turned out for the Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science in Queens this past weekend for a two-day festival of tech exhibits, hands-on installations, robot boxing matches, and lots and lots of 3-D printing demonstrations. Maker Faire is put on by Make magazine, and it's the best place to sample what the magazine calls “the Maker Movement": a tech-focused D.I.Y. community of hobbyists and students who profess to be more concerned with creating than consuming.
The festival also enticed brands including Microsoft and Google, but their activations and demonstrations were more down-and-dirty than what they do at, say, C.E.S. or other tech industry shows. One of the highlights of the festival was a performance of choreographed fountains made from Mentos dropped into Coke Zero bottles. (The eruptions made when the two ingredients combine has been a YouTube phenomenon for years.)
With so many hands-on exhibits and installations—many of them geared more toward children than in years past, some people complained to The New York Times—Maker Faire had lots of ideas that could be tweaked for other kinds of events. Here's a look at some of the interactive activities on display.