Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My thoughts on Maker Faire Shenzhen and China

I had the privilege to go to Shenzhen’s Maker Faire and also to share my Maker experience to the students at Shenzhen Middle School. Along with these two amazing places I got to go and visit Seed Studio’s headquarters. In this article I will be sharing my travel to these places and the people I got to meet. 

On my first day in Shenzhen I met up with Zoe, Lafie, Lit who are Some of Seed Studios employees they took me to Shenzhen Learning Center. On the ride to the learning center I was amazed by the architecture in Shenzhen. All the building are ginormous and very modern. The learning center was amazing also just the building itself was extensive. After the learning center Zoe wanted to take us to dinner at her favorite place witch was Hotpot. While we were there I spotted Century Egg on the menu and I thought that it would be a unique experience to try it out. I guess my first warning should have been Zoe drawing out her phone to take a picture of my reaction because it was indeed a unique experience that I will never forget. But the rest of the food was great and I had a great time that day.

My second day in Shenzhen was the First day Maker Faire Shenzhen.  I got to go and listen to the keynote presentation which was exciting. I particularly enjoyed the local presenters and seeing what they were making.  After the presentations we came outside to the maker faire to see that it was raining. Sadly the Maker Faire was all outside and the rain continued to come down, but the maker faire continued. I got to see the Intel booth and meat some more Intel employees which was fun. This was my second day in Shenzhen and sadly this was the day that the Jetlag hat hit me, so with the Combination of Jetlag and rain we decided to head back to the hotel.

Luckily the Second day had great weather. Go figure that was the day that I brought an umbrella. This was the day that I got to do my keynote presentation about me and how I became a maker and how others can be makers to.  After my presentation I stuck around to listen to the other presentations. After all the presentations I was surprised to find that there were people that wanted to talk to me and get pictures. This caught me of guard because this had never happened before to me. After this I got to walk around the Maker Faire which had quite a few interesting booths. One of my favorite booths had these lamps that were made out of rocks and plants, and they just seemed so natural. My mom’s favorite was this both that was selling these amazing popup cards with extraordinary detail. I was amazed by the creativity of all the Makers at the Faire.  

After the Maker Faire we headed over to the after party. I had a spectacular time at the after party. I was surprised that at the food area there were no lines to get food there was just a blob of people. Later I found out that that is what it is like in china people don’t form line like they do in the US. At the after party there was a dance floor but no one was dancing. Then Zoe pure pressured me into the dance floor in order to get more people dancing. The first attempt was a hilarious failure then Zoe got some more of her friends and then we tried again and it was a success. After dancing if you can call it that I met some more makers.

On the third day in Shenzhen I went on Seed Studios tour. At seed I got to meet a bunch of fantastic people. Along with meeting these fantastic people I was able to get a look around seed. On the tour we got to go to a PCB plant which actually was on my bucket list to see how they made professional PCB’s.  I was surprised at the sheer size of the plant. It was really a different world.

The fourth day was the Day that I Spoke at Shenzhen Middle School. I was amazed at everything at the School the kids, there creativity, the school itself.  The first thing I noticed was how well the kids spoke English. Unlike in America the kids start foreign language classes in grade school and not in high school. While I was there I introduced Intel’s make it wearable challenge and the kids had 5-10 minutes to create some ideas that are wearable. The ideas that were presented were amazing and fantastic, I hope that the kids will create their ideas. The school also announced that they will be making a hacker space on campus witch was a fantastic surprise. I wish that I had more time to talk to the students they were all amazing and creative people. 

The whole trip was an amazing experience that really opened my eyes. All the people in China that I met were fantastic people and I felt like I have known them all for a lot longer than just 11 days. Leaving Shenzhen felt strange like I was leaving home in a way. I had a spectacular time learning the culture and about China. I can’t what tell next year to visit again. 

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