• Reflections on the MIT Mini Maker Faire

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    I had so much fun at the MIT Mini Maker Faire at the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA on Saturday, October 4th.

    SP table and banner at the mit mini maker faire

    Don’t you love the banner?

    Some of my favorite moments:

    • Everyone loved the Shrinky Dinks made from recycled take-out containers! It was a constant stream of “Oooh!”s and “Aaaah!”s and “That’s so cool!”s. I actually had a hard time cutting up enough plastic to keep up with the demand. (Thank you so much to the most fabulous table neighbor, Kimberly Huestis. While she was manning her own table and dealing with her own visitors, Kim helped me out by cutting up containers with me. She makes and sells stunning porcelain and stone jewelry. You should visit her website here and her etsy store here.)
    • All the people who were walking by, looked at my table, got a puzzled expression on their face, then came back and asked, “What is Sumo Peanut?” When I created my business, I realized that I was choosing a name that provided no explanation as to my business. I rely on people becoming intrigued and wanting to learn more, so I appreciate everyone who stopped by and asked questions!
    • The women from Japan who wanted to know why I had Sumo as part of my business name. When I told them the story, they laughed with such delight.
    • Being surrounded by Makers. There were things for adults. There were things for children. There were artists. There were high level technology projects. There were artisans. We were all brought together by our desire to make things. What an amazing and inspiring day.

    A mixed bag:

    • I put so much time and effort into preparing my talk, Encouraging More Women to Become Makers: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers. It was disappointing to only have 2 attendees; however, the attendees were fabulous participants! There are lots of possible reasons for the poor attendance: people might not have realized talks were happening; it might have been too early (mine was the first one at 10am – which I had requested); people didn’t want to leave their tables; the topic might not have been of interest – who knows. What I do know is that my preparation for the talk and the talk itself left me with a lot to say on this topic, and I’ll be exploring some other avenues to share the results.

    I am grateful to all the sponsors and participants for their contributions that went into making this such an incredible event.

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