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Obama To Host First White House Maker Faire on June 18

Attention all tinkerers, inventors and budding entrepreneurs: The White House wants you.
Image: An Ultimaker 3D printer prints a bracelet at the Ultimaker booth at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif.
An Ultimaker 3-D printer prints a bracelet at the Ultimaker booth at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., May 17.Reuters file

Attention all tinkerers and inventors: The White House wants you.

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it is hosting the first-ever “White House Maker Faire” on June 18, and that day that will also be proclaimed a nationwide “Day of Making.”

The White House got an assist from alternative rock band OK Go in a video announcing the date.

"Like OK Go, the President is fired up about hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire, where he will celebrate America’s students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future by using new tools and techniques to make just about anything in local communities and classrooms," White House staffers Tom Kalil and Jason Miller said a blog post.

For the uninitiated, Maker Faires are gatherings where people celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and do-it-yourself inventions. The first Maker Faire was held in 2006 in San Mateo, California, organized by the editors of MAKE magazine. Since then, Mini Maker Faires have been held in cities across the U.S. and around the world, but this is the first time the White House is playing host.

It’s no secret that President Barack Obama is a big fan of budding inventors, having been wowed by teen Joey Hurdy’s demonstration of a “marshmallow gun” during a White House science fair in 2012. At the 2014 White House Science Fair last month, Obama announced a $35 million" Educate to Innovate" campaign to spark interest in science careers.

“America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs, which has fueled our economic growth,” said the White House blog post. “In recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools. These tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything.”

The Obama administration said the June 18 event “will feature Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life.” It also urged Americans to join the Maker movement in a number of ways, including posting photos of a “Maker” project, hosting an open house, volunteering to be a mentor, and more.