16 - 17 january 2016 - Munich
When I found out that I would get to attend Make Munich, I was so excited and immediately went out and bought myself some more 9V! I need them for my wearable tech outfit that I made to wear from Maker Faire NY through CES…but I suppose for the German makers, I could bring it out of retirement for one more event!
We arrived in Munich on Friday evening, I just had met my new partner in education, Mareen. I’m very enthusiastic to work with someone so dedicated to her own academic goals, as well as contributing to the education of her students in Germany. She has created her own teaching materials to bring Arduino to several schools, universities and teacher training programs. Federico is spot on to invite her to join our team because together we’re going to help to adapt the Tinker Kit to be an even better experience for novice Arduino users. Plus, for Make Munich, she could help us not only in language but by relating to the makers as a local (though Mareen is from Berlin!)
It was very snowy on the way to the exhibit hall, and when I entered, I immediately forgot about the snow! Instantly I saw hardware, Arduinos, robots, the biggest 3D printer I’ve ever seen, and an amazing expo hall bustling with makers bringing out their best. I loved the way the hall was set up with great banners (in English!) and a screen with Allnet and Arduino’s logo! What a welcome. The Allnet booth welcomed several of their distributors, MakeBlock, Brick R’ Knowledge and of course, Arduino! We provided people resources while Allnet helped us offer products for sale that they distribute. True, maker events are like many events where there is an opportunity to sell to the public, but sincerely it’s a great way to try things out, see what’s available, and get questions answered.
Some of my favorites from the event: all the Arduinos and shields, tons of variety of robots, the wearable tech and sewing machines, LEDs galore, and a soccer match played by robots. How did the Germans receive me? Most asked me politely if they could take my picture, some stayed their distance, but still took my picture, and there were a lot of young makers who were enraptured! I was especially happy to give some time to the young ladies in attendance. If I can be even just one little molecule of encouragement to follow their passion, that’s why I made it happen to be present at this event. Afterall, the maker movement is about electronics, but also about just trying something new, something scary, something cutting edge. If these kids or any of my students go onto any career in life that is non-electronic, that’s fine by me! I just know that the act of trying Arduino will be character building for any child who has the chance. Giving them that reassuring nudge is what I’m here for…even if it’s a bold jump to see a woman in hardware and lights that she created herself.
Thank you Munich, your makers are knowledgable, polite, talented, and have great questions. I hope that the Arduino team, via our awesome distributor Allnet, helped to round out the event. It brings me nothing but joy to see how Arduino hardware is helping makers all over this fair and beyond to make their designs into realities. That’s what I’ve really found in my journey with Arduino. It’s a tool to make electronics accessible, and opens up your own mind to endless possibilities. That’s what happened to me, just trying all the different sketches and circuits was training, and my mind expanded and started dreaming of solutions I wanted solve with my programming and electrical skills. Let’s keep doing what we do this year and help technology advance, one blue credit-card sized piece of hardware at a time.