Dearborn Maker Faire invents new ways to have fun

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Drones buzzed above, robotics teams competed in a mini-arena under a tent and inside kids were being taught how to pick a lock.

Where is this fantasy land of invention, creativity and resourcefulness?

The Maker Faire came to Dearborn on Saturday at The Henry Ford Museum where hundreds of grown-up inventors played show and tell, but people of all ages came to partake in the fun.

It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning, including Fritz Grobe, co-founder of Eepy Birds.

Grobe spent Satuday afternoon creating a Coke and Mentos display that at 5 p.m. would resemble the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas but with 108 bottles of Coke Zero and 540 Mentos.

“It takes two and half hours to build the set and about two and half minutes to create a big mess,” Grobe said Saturday from the front lawn of The Henry Ford.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers, like Eddy Bullock who created a giant Scrubbing Bubble car out of an 1950s firetruck and Angie Hodgon of pot & box who offered a DIY terrarium bar out of a truck.

The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community, organizers said.

“It was a place where you can do things. I built a rocket. I already launched it, I made a satellite,” said 6-year-old Akeem E. Jones of Detroit who came with his mom Jill Marie Jones.. “It was fun.”

Teenager Jessica Clore of Carleton, Mich. was one of several robotics teams competing Saturday outdoors as part of the event.

As the 15-year-old watched her high school team’s robot attempt to scoop up a rubber ball and make a basket before the others, she took in the sites and sounds of her first Maker Faire.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s great to see all the different ideas and inventions,” she said.

Hundreds of makers bring their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions to the two-day festival offering everything from robots, flame shooters and animatronics to solar-powered mechanical sculptures.

The Henry Ford in Dearborn, is hosting the fair Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.