Wondering what Maker Faire is all about?

Experience the magic of Maker Faire in this video recap from the 2016 event, and mark your calendar for Monday, September 4, 2017.

Plus, exhibitor applications are now open for the 2017 Maker Faire: http://desmoines.makerfaire.com/call-for-makers/application-2/

Whether you’re a crafter, tinkerer, artist or fashion designer (and more), Maker Faire invites you to share your innovative spirit with the community!

The 2017 Des Moines Mini Maker Faire is coming up Monday, September 4, and applications will be available starting Monday, May 15!

Stay tuned for the application link and more details on this family-friendly festival of innovation and creativity at the Science Center of Iowa.

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The Des Moines Mini Maker Faire is now accepting exhibitor applications for 2016!

Whether you’re a first-time tinkerer or an experienced inventor, Maker Faire welcomes a variety of creative projects, including…

  • Crafts and textiles
  • Robotics
  • Gaming
  • Fashion design
  • Art and sculpture
  • 3-D printing
  • LEGOs
  • And more!

Submit your application for the 2016 Des Moines Mini Maker Faire on Monday, September 5! Applications are due Friday, August 5.

Make innovation a Labor Day tradition at the Des Moines Mini Maker Faire! This family-friendly showcase is part science fair, part county fair, part food-truck festival, part something entirely new.

Join us on Monday, September 7, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm for an inspiring day featuring:

  • Exhibitors from across the state
  • Local food trucks
  • Live music
  • Hands-on workshops for all ages


From bicycle-mounted bottle openers and fashion designs to robots that can throw a ball and mine real Moon dirt, the Des Moines Mini Maker Faire showcases a variety of Iowa innovations. Though our exhibitors’ interests and skills vary dramatically, they’re all committed to developing Iowa’s innovation ecosystem:

  • Area 515: See electric cars, 3-D printed objects and a DIY piano, presented by Des Moines’ non-profit community of Makers, tinkerers, artists and hobbyists.
  • CLenz Designs: Learn about the fashion-design process from sketches to the runway with local designer Cody Ritz. See a variety of patterns, fabrics and finished designs.
  • Cloud9 Robotics: You’ll have the chance to control a robot with Roosevelt High School’s competition robotics team.
  • Code Iowa: This innovative program teaches children how to code through mentorship and hands-on learning.
  • Delta Cartesian Hybrid Printer: This homemade 3-D printer is built from scrap parts using a unique motion system. Learn how to build one yourself for under $50.
  • Des Moines Drone User Group: See DM DUG’s drones zip and zoom through the air in live flight demos, and learn about the important role aerial robotics plays in agriculture, entrepreneurship and recreation.
  • DICE Robotics: Bring LEGO to life with Ankeny High School’s competition robotics team. Discover engineering, programming and teamwork with LEGO Mindstorms robots.
  • DMACC STEM: Learn about the science, technology, engineering and math programs offered at Des Moines Area Community College.
  • Dog Hat Lab: Meet a local artist who creates custom hats for your furry friends. See a cute dog modeling a homemade spacesuit and more.
  • Dream Studios: Experience the galactic side of graffiti. This local artist creates space-inspired pieces using spray paint and other household materials.
  • Electric Dream Machine: Transform almost any car into an eco-friendly ride with Electric Dream Machine.
  • Elevate Iowa and Vermeer: See welders in action from Elevate Iowa and Vermeer, and learn how you can get involved with this growing STEM field.
  • Fontenelle Supply Co.: See handcrafted leather goods and fashions, including wallets, belts and more.
  • FRC Team 4646 ASAP: Meet The Duke, the 2015 robot created by Des Moines high school students. See The Duke stack cans, pool noodles and more.
  • FRC Team Neutrino: Play catch with a robot, thanks to Team Neutrino from Ames. These competition bots can toss a giant ball across SCI’s Founders Hall, and they’ll even throw it right to you. Learn more about First Robotics League and Team Neutrino’s competition bots in three presentations at 9:30 am, 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm.
  • Geodesic Balloon Dome: Help local balloon artist Brian Becicka build a giant geodesic balloon dome throughout the day, and see him assemble a 10-foot-tall balloon bucky ball.
  • Henna Tattoos: It’s the ultimate innovative accessory. Get a custom Henna tattoo from a local artist.
  • Home Automation: Learn how you can switch lights on and off with your iPhone or Android device.
  • Human Foosball: Take the beloved game to the next level with Human Foosball YOU can play! Grab a group of friends, and work together to win the big match. The Des Moines Velociraptors, a local co-ed soccer team, will show off their skills and demonstrate this fast-paced exhibit.
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources: These “stained-glass” displays catch light in an eco-friendly way! Made entirely from recycled bottles, each piece features a vibrant natural scene.
  • Iowa LEGO Users Group: Build iconic Iowa landmarks, and add them to an outline of the state built entirely with LEGOs.
  • ISU FLEx: Experience virtual-reality devices, 3-D printing, circuit bending and more at this interactive station. Rethink your world as you test head-mounted virtual-reality devices, see a 3-D printer in action, experiment with Little-Bits robotics kits and more.
  • ISU Lunabotics: Meet a real-life space rover! This robot was designed to mine Moon dirt, and a majority of its components were machined and manufactured by the ISU Lunabotics team.
  • Kemin: Learn how this biotechnology company isolates useful molecules from plants.
  • Laser Lightsabers: See master replicas of high-powered laser lightsabers from your favorite movies, and learn how they work.
  • Lead Resident Maker Laura Funk: Meet Laura, and see the wide variety of projects she’s made this summer at SCI, including sewable circuits and upcycled devices.
  • LT-1000 Trainer Board: Discover micro-controller programming with this circuit board and companion books developed by Maker Michael Landon. Use Raspberry Pi technology to light up eight LEDs.
  • Make to Innovate: Explore Making through hands-on projects and real-world challenges with Iowa State University’s Aerospace Engineering Department.
  • New World Steam: Meet a metal artist at this innnovative exhibit. Learn how basic welding techniques transform ordinary metal into whimsical sculptures.
  • NubNub: This local startup is reinventing riding with bicycle-mounted gadgets. Pop the top off a cold drink with the Pub-Nub bicycle-mounted bottle opener. Make a quick fix with the Tul-Nub bike-mounted multi-tool.
  • Portrait Studio: Have a custom portrait painted in just a few minutes at this exhibit. Gather your family or friends for a keepsake inspired by the Maker mindset. The artists will provide drawing supplies for participants to join the fun.
  • R2-D2: See a life-size, working replica of the beloved “Star Wars” robot.
  • String Revolution: Make your own string from almost anything. Watch local textile artist Laura Poresky spin everything from plastic bags to grass stems into a DIY cord at this roaming exhibit.
  • Team PrISUm: See a working solar car presented by Iowa State University’s Solar Car Team.
  • That Dragon, Cancer: This immersive video game about one man’s battle with cancer is part tribute and part spectacle of 3-D impressionism.

Food Trucks

Enjoy local fare from five food trucks:

  • Kona Ice
  • Pyro’s Pizza
  • Roadside Tacos
  • Say Cheese

IMAX Booth Tours

Experience the Blank IMAX Dome Theater in a whole new way with a behind-the-scenes tour led by SCI IMAX Projectionists. See the reels of film that bring your favorite movie to life, and get a glimpse of the high-tech systems that keep our state-of-the-art projectors running smoothly.

Live Music

See a variety of local bands, and experience flaming karaoke (literally!) around the SCI grounds:

Fire Karaoke: Visualize sound with this musical and pyrotechnic spectacle. Part science experiment and part one-of-a-kind performance, a singer’s voice is transformed into visible, flaming sound waves with a Rubens’ Tube built by a member of the SCI staff.

  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Dylan Boyle
  • 12:00-1:00 pm: In Rooms
  • 1:00-2:00 pm: Ira Grace and The Bible Belt Prophets


  • DIY Doodle Bots: Build a robot that can draw with a few simple items! Create one-of-a-kind artwork with SCI’s resident makers.
  • LEGOs Go Digital: Join the Iowa LEGO Users Group in designing innovative LEGO structures using app technology. Then, bring your dream design to life as you build your custom piece.
  • Reusapalooza: Transform an old CD into a cute fish decoration with the Iowa DNR and Iowa Waste Exchange. 
  • Transform Your T-Shirt: Turn an old t-shirt into a DIY drawstring bag with staff from the Des Moines Art Center.
  • Center.
  • Zip-Line Flyers: Build a customized zip-line racer, and watch your contraption fly down the high wire.


Working on your latest invention, gadget or gizmo? Show off your creative project at the 2015 Des Moines Mini Maker Faire!

From coders to tinkerers to crafters, this festival of all things innovation unites Makers from across interests and skill levels on Labor Day at the Science Center of Iowa!

More than 30 Makers exhibited their work at the inaugural Des Moines Mini Maker Faire in 2014. Highlights included a full-sized, functional replica of R2-D2, a geodesic balloon dome assembled by participants throughout the day and Oculus Rift technology from the Iowa State University Virtual Reality Program.

Don’t miss this video recap of the first-ever Des Moines Mini Maker Faire:

We need your innovative spirit to make it even bigger in 2015! Join us on Monday, September 7, for the second-annual Des Moines Mini Maker Faire. Whether you’re a first-time tinkerer or an experienced inventor, we welcome a wide variety of projects:

  • 3-D printing
  • Arduino
  • Carpentry
  • Chemistry
  • Crafting
  • DJing
  • Electronics
  • Filmmaking
  • Gaming
  • Glass-blowing
  • LEGO
  • Music
  • Robotics
  • Sculpture
  • Sewing
  • Stop-motion animation
  • Upcycling/DIY
  • Visual Arts
  • Welding

Don’t see your favorite Making activity on this list? Apply to be an exhibitor, and tell us about it!

Application deadline is August 3.