Imagine a hands on science museum like the Exploratorium in San Francisco crossed with a craft fair crossed with a computer hacker conference and you'll just barely scratch the surface of what a Maker Faire is all about.
Make Magazine, the originators of Maker Faire, describe it as "the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement." I could keep throwing words at you, but let me just show you some of what we saw at Maker Faire Atlanta 2014.
These are human powered submarines. This red one has a tail that sweeps back and forth like a fish. The wooden one propels itself with wings similar to a manta ray.
There were several opportunities to see 3D printers in action. Unfortunately barking "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" at them did not produce a tasty beverage. Maybe next year.
Of course there was at least one drone buzzing the crowd from time to time.
Performance art? You betcha! Here's TV Head Guy, as he puts it: "Communicating thru circuitbent devices that seemingly only emit abstract sounds, TVHeadGuy tells epic stories. With these stories he controls reality!"
A few different folks were showing off art bikes, some you could take out for a spin!
ACE Hackware's Kevin Miller visiting the LibraryBox booth. If you ever need to share files with people easily without internet access, you should check it out.
Crusty old guy with a wood lathe? Sure, he was there!
Who doesn't love a race? Especially when it's grown people on modified Power Wheels chasing each other around a track. Way better than NASCAR.
This doesn't even begin to show all the fun to be had. Not pictured: fighting robots, glass blowing, tesla coil attached to a keyboard, mushroom growers, costumed Star Wars characters and on and on and on. So if you see that a Maker Faire is coming to your town, you should definitely go!