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HackMIT, Hacking Arts, and first MIT Maker Faire hosted on campus

This past weekend, several MIT groups hosted engineering and hackathon events on campus. While HackMIT and Hacking Arts were returning annual events, this year marked the first appearance of MIT’s Maker Faire. Although independent from one another, the gatherings were all centered around building and sharing technical projects.

HackMIT ran from Oct. 4 to 5 and saw hundreds of students convene in the Johnson Ice Rink to participate in the 24-hour hackathon. Students came from around the country to build both software and hardware projects to compete for over $10,000 in prizes.

Sponsors included companies like Google, Facebook, and Fitbit, which provided their own prizes and hosted workshops throughout the weekend in order to promote their technologies.

At the MIT Media Lab, the Sloan Entertainment and Media Club held its second Hacking Arts festival in which it promoted the intersection of arts, technology, and entrepreneurship.

From Oct. 3 to 5, participants attended panels on topics ranging from fashion to virtual reality and worked on projects as part of the festival’s hackathon. The event also included an art exhibit and a live performance from Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Leslie.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, the first MIT Mini Maker Faire took place, attracting close to 3,000 attendees. Held at MIT’s North Court near Stata Center, the public event featured the creations of over 100 MIT and local makers in everything from jewelry and sculptures to robots and 3D printers. Other activities included go-kart tournaments and tours of MIT maker spaces.

“Children of all ages, from 5 to 55, were learning, engaging, and sharing,” said Jessica A. Artiles ’12, one of the organizers. Although this is MIT’s first year hosting a Maker Faire, the event is part of a global maker faire series established by editors at MAKE magazine.

—Drew Bent