The White House today, with a little help from the hit band OK Go, announced the date for its first-ever Maker Faire: June 18.
As, the White House planned on hosting a Maker Faire, based on President Obama's growing interest in promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
In 2012, President Obama was inspired by a visit to the White House's East Room by then 16-year-old Joey Hudy, who wowed him by firing off a marshmallow cannon. The kid, known now as Joey "Marshmallow" Hudy, then handed the president a business card that read, "Don't be bored, make something."
Until now, the White House had not revealed when it would host the maker celebration. But in the video today, OK Go, famous for music videos featuring giant Rube Goldberg machines and other fantastic creations, casually dropped the date.
For those unfamiliar with Maker Faires, they're a series of what might be called science fairs on steroids. First held in San Mateo, Calif., in 2006, and launched by the people behind Make magazine, a Maker Faire is a celebration of all things scientific, creative, magical, crafty, and wonderful. In essence, Maker Faires, which are now held in more than 100 locations around the world, including a New York event that attracts 75,000 people each year, are the beating heart of the DIY movement. All told, the events have had more than 1.5 million attendees since 2006.
With the White House now hosting one, it's the clearest sign yet that this is a trend that has advanced beyond the insular world of geeks and tinkerers and has made it to the most hallowed halls on the planet.
To be sure, the White House Maker Faire will be a much smaller affair, though it's not clear exactly who will be able to participate. "Why is the White House having a Maker Faire," asks OK Go member Damian Kulash in the video, as fellow band member Tim Nordwind loudly hammers and tinkers in the background. "Because the president likes it when you make stuff. OK Go likes it when you make stuff."