First Tampa Mini Maker Faire celebrates inventors on March 31

Inventors make the World go ’round, and without them we wouldn’t have most of the great gadgets we use and take for granted each day. When you remember that many of the greatest inventions of our lifetime began as a personal project in someone’s garage (ever hear of Apple Computer?), you realize how important it is to encourage those who epitomize the inventive spirit.

To do that and also have some fun and see some cool gadgets, you should check out the first Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire on March 31. Inspired by Make Magazine and Makerspace, the event will feature local “makers” who will be showing their inventions, DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, hand-made crafts and more.

The Mini Maker Faire will be held at the University Area Community Center Complex, 14013 N. 22nd Street in Tampa. Ticket information is in the press release below.

The inaugural Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire celebration of the inventive spirit will be held March 31, 2012, from 10 a.m, to 4 p.m, at the University Area Community Center Complex at 14013 N. 22nd Street in Tampa. Tickets are just $5 for ages 5+ prepaid online at Eventbrite via,  or $8 at the door.

Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly event featuring both established and emerging local “makers” showcasing everything from robots, to DIY (Do It Yourself) science and technology, alternative energy projects, fine arts and unique hand-made crafts, music and food galore. Make Magazine will have their Maker Shed on hand, and there will be speakers,  workshops and lots of hands on crafts and activities for all ages.

There will also be a Makerspace Unconference, where hosting organizations Learning is for Everyone and the University Area Community Development Corporation will be joined by Familab of Orlando, GWIZ Science Museum of Sarasota, Makerspace of Tampa Bay and others to share ideas and insights on bringing public makerspaces – community centers that put creativity, invention, capacity building and resource development into the hands of citizens – to Tampa Bay.

Commercial Makers joining us include:

  • Cybercraft Robot sculptures
  • Snapit Screw
  • OFC Rods and Plugs

Community Makers include:

  • King High School and Electrathon of Tampa Bay
  • MATE remotely operate underwater robots
  • University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group (RIG) with 3 lb. to 200 lb robots
  • FIRST elementary, middle and high school robotics teams
  • West Central Florida Amateur Radio
  • Tampa Bay Inventors Council
  • Prodigy Cultural Arts
  • Suitcases of Sound
  • Inanimate Reason robotics and RC education
  • Familab of Orlando
  • GWIZ Science Museum of Sarasota
  • Young Makers with their Netbot
  • Makerspace Tampa Bay
  • Muller Elementary School

And there will be plenty of good eats at the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire Food Truck Rally with Coconut Bo’s , Burger Culture, Michelle Faedo’s on the Go, Kona Ice, Unforgettable Cupcakes and Rick Daddys.

The Gadget Guy, also known as Jack Rowland, brings you the latest technology and gadget news including iPhone and Android apps, all types of personal electronics, geeky toys and gizmos and even simple doodads you can use in the kitchen and garage. His "how-to" instructions and videos bring a MacGyver-like sensibility to how you get things done with the magic of gadgets. Jack, a St. Petersburg Times photographer and writer for 26 years who now is an independent journalist, is a longtime gadget geek who loves to tell you about how things work. Welcome to his world.

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