You’re invited to B&N’s 2nd Annual Mini Maker Faire, coming to your local Barnes & Noble November 5th and 6th! This event offers the chance chance for you and your family to meet up with fellow techies, creative crafters, the cool kids from the science club, and makers of all kinds. Whether you’re an experienced inventor or a newbie to the maker world, this is a chance to let your passion shine, and bring the maker spirit we all share out of our garages, kitchens, and workshops—and into our communities. Everyone’s invited to learn from each other, get ideas for their next craft or science fair, hear from experts, and work on projects side by side. Maybe you’ve figured out a cool new way to hack a Arduino. Or you’ve drawn up plans for 3D printing a glow-in-the-dark tiara. Whatever you’ve been working on, we hope you’ll share it with us! In the meantime, here are a few gizmos and gadgets to inspire your next project.
AirHogs Connect Mission Drone
Augmented reality is here, and it’s frickin’ awesome! This isn’t just a drool-worthy drone, it’s the real-life extension of the augmented reality game that comes with it. Using your smart phone or tablet, you can combine physical and digital play to turn the real world into your own personal video game. Fly your drone in this interactive digital universe to save the world from aliens for an experience that’s as nerdy as it is exciting.
The Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro
Why did this not exist in the 80s (when I was a kid)? Future product designers and creative entrepreneurs will love playing this game. Players get creative briefs, tackle client requests, and design everything from a sustainable water bottle to a remote control. Using the classic design process of problem solving and iteration, players reimagine clothing, gadgets, and even buildings. With over 720 challenges, the opportunities to make your world a better place are rich.
Brackitz Inventor Set
This starter set includes plastic planks and rotating pieces to give your creations realistic curves. You can attach pieces from gravity-defying angles, which makes the possibilities endless. Build in all three dimensions to create a skyscraper, dinosaur, double-helix, or anything else you can dream up!
XYZ da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer
It may look like a colorful toaster oven, but this baby is going to change the world. The da Vinci Jr. is the perfect introduction to 3D printing at home. You can also send designs directly from your computer to the printer. Online video tutorials make it simple to learn how to master each step. And rest easy, the filament is biodegradable. Now the only question is, what are you going to make? Might I suggest your own Mona Lisa?
A one-eyed blue robot? Finally, an imaginary friend you can actually see. Kids 8 and up can use their imaginations to program Dash to bleep, bloop, and bop around. With a little coding, he’ll learn how to avoid obstacles and respond to your kids’ voices. The corresponding smart-phone app includes 600 tutorials, challenges, and projects to get kids started. The fun part is adding your own imagination!
LEGO US Capitol
Building a model is a great way to get into the engineering mindset. LEGO’s model of the US capitol includes over 1,000 pieces that capture the 1.5 million square feet of neoclassical architecture that make up our capitol. But there’s more than just that famous lawn, steps, and white columns we all ooh and ahh over. The interior of the building reveals the famous tiles and statues Americans know and love.
Highly advanced, but simple to use, this 3-in-1 robot kit is about as STEMy as you can get. Kids 12 and up can build a robot tank, a self-balanced car, or a 3-wheel racer. Users tap into an app and use graphical programming to get their bot moving. If you have questions along the way, there are online courses to help you take the next step. And when it’s time to head outside, you can put your bot in land-rover mode to send it turbo charging over rocky terrain!
If aliens invade Earth, they might look less like ALF and more like Spheros. Like a bubble with brains, these plastic bots can dance, solve a maze, and even swim across the water. Simple instructions help kids as young as 8 learn basic programming and see their imaginations turned into glowing lights and robot adventures.
Squigz Starter Set
Squigz are low-tech toys that are as fun to play with as they are to mention in conversation! (Go ahead, try saying Squigz. I bet you’ll smile.) Bend them in circles. Stick them to your desk. Push them together to build colorful structures. Then pull them apart to hear that satisfying pop—and begin again! Design a kooky necklace or a squishy squeezy plastic octopus. Whatever you make, pulling your creation apart is half the fun.
Bare Conductive: Touch Board Starter Kit
Electric Paint + Touch Board = Digi Magic! Everything you need to add sound effects to your book, freak out your cat, or add sensible hidden sensors to your suburban home is in this kit. (Although to be fair, you supply the human touch and imagination.) With no programming required, new makers can immediately make their vision a delightful reality.
VEX Robotics Pick & Drop
Gears, knobs, and balls may not seem that exciting until you put them together and see what they can do. This kit includes all the pieces you need to create a ray gun, space craft, and pick-and-drop machine, which will make you feel like a powerful factory owner after a long day hoisting, pushing, and pulling on the assembly line. Relying on the principles of kinetics and your brain power, this set will engage engineers ages 8 and up.
VEX® Robotics Motor Kit
If you’ve already built the VEX hexcalator, robotic arm, catapult, and crossbow (!), it might be time to invest in the Robotics Motor Kit. The kit includes a battery box, bidirectional motor, control switch, and extension-cord plugs—everything you need to power up and bring your machines to life. Let the catapulting begin!
Solar cars aren’t quite road ready yet, although engineers are hard at work on making them a reality. But the Volta Racer is totally real and totally cool. It uses solar energy and a remote control to power its adventures. There are two gears for twice the fun. With bamboo wheels and a chassis made of recycled materials, this toy might inspire more than play!
Join us at your local store November 5th and 6th to hang out in our Make Workshop and meet some of the country’s most creative makers. Sign up and read more details here, or check out #BNMake2016 to get a sneak peek of all the action!