Monthly Archives: June 2013

Scouting Exhibitors at Southern Thunder 2013

WP_20130622_011The NMMF crew is always on the prowl looking for great exhibitors.  Last weekend, June 22nd, I attended Southern Thunder in Manchester, TN.  Talk about an atmosphere full of explosive maker enthusiasm!

There were dozens of maker-built rockets on display both on the ground and in the air and some that went in the air and quickly came back to the ground.  They had several different sizes of launch stands and it was a very diverse group of rocket builders.  I spoke to a college kid who built a ~12 ft tall rocket that launched from one of the large launch pads.  There were retired aerospace engineers.   They had small beginner launch pads from which my own 5 & 6 year olds launched their first rockets.  This was an event ripe with Maker Faire fruit.

The event coordinators were gracious enough to let me make an announcement to the crowd of about 100 advertising the Nashville Mini Maker Faire and I followed that up by walking the crowd and giving out a hand full of NMMF business cards.  I talked to a few folks that were very excited about the Faire and I hope to see them again as exhibitors.

However, I was mostly surprised that most of the folks I talked to had never heard of the Maker Movement or of a Maker Faire.  I expected that with this crowd these would not be new terms.  This just goes to show that we still have a lot of work to do in regards to educating the world about the movement.  It also goes to show the potential for growth for the movement.  If this esteemed group of makers didn’t know they were makers then there are certainly many more like them out there to be discovered.

If you know of an event like Southern Thunder that features makers out in the wild doing their thing, please let us know!  We’d like to go meet them and drag them to the Faire.

Thursday at Adventure Science Center’s Science Cafe: The Maker Revolution feat. Chris Lee


On Thursday, June 20th, Chris Lee will discuss “The Maker Revolution” at Adventure Science Center’s Science Cafe.

Science Cafe is a series of informal discussions on current issues in science. This month’s talk is all about making stuff! Speaker Chris Lee is the co-chair of Make Nashville, one of the local groups partnering with Adventure Science Center to put on the Nashville Mini Maker Faire on September 21. He builds AMAZING things like thisthisthis, and this. Oh, and did I mention he’s building a full scale Millennium Falcon?

Here’s the full description from the Adventure Science Center Science Cafe page.

“Recent innovations such as open-source design, crowdsourcing, and 3-D printing are enabling inventors to become entrepreneurs. Chris Lee will talk about maker culture, tinkering, and the fun of ‘learning by doing.’

“Chris Lee ( has been making things, building gadgets, and creating costumes and props as a hobby since 1977. He is a founding member of the Apparition Abolishers, ( a steampunk costuming group. He creates all of the weapons, hard costume gear, and most of the props used by the group. The group is currently promoting their steampunk sideshow known as ‘Dr. Torque’s Traveling Exposition of Curious Contraptions and Fantastical Oddities,’ which debuted during GMX 2011 ( In 1995, Chris was one of the first stormtroopers of the 501st Legion (, which has grown to thousands of active members worldwide. He is a member of the Rebel Legion and R2 Builders club ( His droid R2-G4 can be seen at many conventions and charity events. Chris is also building an online community ( to crowdsource the construction a full scale replica of the Millennium Falcon. In the business world, Chris is VP of Technology for Anode, Inc. ( where he has worked for over 20 years creating world-class interactive experiences for museums, science centers, schools, and libraries.”

The Maker Revolution: Moving from Consumer to Creator
Speaker: Chris Lee, VP of Technology for Anode, Inc.
Thursday, June 20th, 2013, 7-8 p.m., FREE
Adventure Science Center, Nashville, TN

I adapted this post from my post at Theatre Intangible.

NMMF Makes an Appearance at the Southland Conference

WP_20130612_002On June 12th, Nashville hosted the Southland conference to unite regional entrepreneurs, national investors, and local makers in a unique setting to allow open discussion of ideas and how to turn those ideas into operating companies.  Our Makers were on the scene to promote the Nashville Mini Maker Faire (NMMF) and to inform the visitors about the technological & artistic opportunities that Nashville has available.

Several Nashville groups were represented at the NMMF booth including Chris Lee of the Apparition Abolitionists who brought the insanely popular fully functioning R2D2 droid and some steampunk costume pieces.  The Middle Tennesse Robotic Arts Society had talking robots on show.


NashMicro was there to talk about the Gadgeteer electronics prototyping platform and to blow holes in Zombies with a microcontroller automated pneumatic Gatling gun.  Trevor Hearn of SkyDogCon etched bamboo spoons, dog tags, & carabineers for all the attendees using his 40W laser!

Southland SE 2013 BannerI think its safe to say that NMMF had the most popular tables at the event!  The excitement around Makers and the Mini Maker Faire was high.  Several new possible exhibitor and sponsor contacts were made and the NMMF is going to be a better event because of participating at Southland.

Southland, hosted by Launch Tennessee, is a two day conference held at the Cannery Ball Room in Nashville.  More than 650 people attended the event and it has received rave revues.