2020 - Community Impact

2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges that affected all facets of life including our maker events and gatherings. The Maker Faire Orlando team was heartbroken that we were not able to gather together for our annual tradition, but that didn't stop our maker spirit!

We've followed your posts, watching you make in your home studios, workshops and in your local makerspaces. We worked together to create PPE alternatives as part of the Open Source Medical Supplies community during the early months of the pandemic, and we've seen those impacted by furloughs and layoffs starting maker business, opening Etsy shops, and creating in entirely new ways. We continue to be inspired by the resolve and your spirit of the maker community!

Visit the OrlandoFightsCovid.com website to learn how local makers worked together to fight PPE shortages!
Read the Open Source Medical Supplies "Design | Make | Protect" report to learn about the amazing impact of the maker community during the global pandemic.

We hosted several small Pop-Up Maker Faire events around Orlando during 2020, and participated in the "Maker Takeover at Orlando Science Center" in December. The October Pop-up event featured Disney Cast Members (pictures) that had been furloughed, and it was great to meet these amazing makers, hear their stories and to purchase their awesome creations.

We launched a new participative art project called "BrightBikes" which includes a fleet of LED-covered art bikes with music and interactive graphics created by local interactive artists as well as tips and tricks to add LEDs to your bike!

Follow BrightBikes on Facebook or subscribe to our email newsletter to stay informed and to get involved! If your organization would like to host the bikes at your location or rent the bikes for an event, please email us to discuss.

Since we could not teach soldering at Maker Faire Orlando in 2020, we created a partnership program with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. Kids in the Orange County clubs are now making an awesome LED badges right in their community clubhouse!

A Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida staff member makes the first badge during training!
We will be working with our BGCCF partners to package this program and share with Boys & Girls Clubs and maker groups nationwide so that it can be easily replicated. We've placed the design files and BOM on GitHub, and you can email us if you'd like information to get started within your community.

During the pandemic, we kept hearing from educators that many kids do not have their own desks at home, and this is especially difficult for young artists. With this inspiration, local makers worked to design and make desks for underprivileged youth. Local artists are getting involved by painting and decorating desk tops and even entire desks!

Thanks to HuntonBrady Architects for collaborating on the design, and to Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida for helping identify the young artists that need these desks.

We tested a small-format, socially-distanced Robot Ruckus event ("R5") in December to great feedback. You can see the event and be notified of future streams over on the Robot Ruckus Twitch

Stay tuned to the Maker Faire Orlando social channels and to our email newsletter for news and updates!