Benicia’s devout DIYers are gearing up for the third annual Benicia Mini Maker Faire, happening April 2 at Benicia Middle School. The maker movement is a grassroots movement that started as a way to take technological innovation out of the exclusive realm of tech companies and empower the minds and hands of creative individuals (including students, hobbyists and enthusiasts), within communities. The movement grew to include people and endeavors from many walks and realms of life, including homesteaders, musicians, creatives and visionaries. The Maker movement has engaged millions of people worldwide.

Makers maintain that the pursuit gives different people reasons to interact and find mutual inspiration. Benicia Maker Space is a nonprofit organization with a workshop space in the Industrial Park on East Second Street, where “people come together to collaborate, invent, prototype and test new ideas using state of the art equipment.” The group runs the annual Benicia Maker Faire, now in it’s third year, and holds a bi-monthly Meetup group and open house every other Monday evening from 6-8pm.Aaron Newcomb, the president of the Benicia Maker’s board, says, “Hands-on learning is something our society has gotten away from over the past 20—30 years. We believe that when you apply learning in a physical way, it’s more rewarding, easier to achieve and has much longer retention. The barriers to entry have come way down with the advent of modern technologies like

R2D2 with young companion at Benicia Mini Maker Faire

Courtesy Benicia Mini Maker Faire

R2D2 with young companion

3D printing, CNC mills and simplified electronics and computers. Our goal is to provide access and training for tools and learning opportunities for all ages.”

This year’s Mini Maker Faire, 10am-4pm, is described as “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new.” The family-friendly faire will be a spectacle of all kinds of inventions, presentations and creatively interactive projects.

Of the faire, Newcomb says, “I’m really excited to see things that individual community members are making. We will also be bringing back crowd favorites like the Riveropolis river and boat making exhibit, Tapigami masking tape art, and of course, the Laser Maze that we build at Benicia Makerspace. We hope this inspires people to try to bring their own ideas to life.”

Tickets are only $12 for adults and $6 for children online at before the event, and $15/$9 at the door. This event is also an opportunity for makers to gear up for the Bay Area Maker Faire that happens May 19-21 in San Mateo.