Tinkers of all ages descended on Pomona’s Fairplex recently to get their hands on gadgets at SoCal Maker Con, the city’s first convention for Makers—people who aim to take their ideas and turn them into a reality.
Makers are hobbyists, entrepreneurs and inventors bound by what they call the “Maker Movement,” a subculture that emphasizes social learning through doing. It’s all about do-it-yourself creativity.
Makers turn common objects like PVC piping into motion controllers for their video games. They build just for the sake of building and learning how things work. The movement has been lauded for its potential to turn the everyday consumer into an inventor on the front lines of innovation.
Convention goers had their choice of exhibits to peruse and product demontrations to watch. Saturday's event included live drone demonstrations, a battling robot competition and a “startup alley” where developers looking for crowdfunding could display their products and services.
Attendees also had the chance to listen to an array of speakers covering a range of topics, from an introduction to the Maker Movement to how to “master the art of crowdfunding” and discussions about 3D printing.
Children at the convention did more than scope out homemade robots and play video games; they molded them with their own hands. Budding game builders as young as 10 years old showed their skills at online game publishing platform Roblox’s booth.
Makers say they are part of a community that believes in the open-source culture of helping each other with projects, just out of the sheer love of creating.