Spotlight On: Clarkcade… Hand Built Retro Gaming

The thirst for retro seems to be everywhere these days; clothes, sweets, even music; with vinyl sales up five fold in the last 5 years. And with Clarkcade you can enjoy classic retro games in a handmade purpose built gaming machine.

Clarkcade Classic

Simon, who runs Clarkcade, loved gaming as a child. He had a Commodore 64 to play cassette games on and grew up gaming. And still to this day he plays a lot of games. A lot. And it was this enthusiasm that led to Clarkcade.

It started as a summer project; building a gaming cabinet to play some retro games. It had an excessive amount of cabling, was incredibly heavy and overheated a lot, but was actually quite good. It was essentially a PC stuck in a nice wooden box, but it worked. So he iterated on the design, and since that first attempt three years ago he now has 5 different hand built retro gaming machines that you can buy.

All 5 models will be at Maker Faire UK this year. The Classic (similar to the very first one), Duo, Retro, Fighter and Mini Fighter. When you order a machine from him, the Hand Built part shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is basically all done by hand. The only concession is to use power tools to drill some of the holes. Most of the machine is customisable as well. You want a slightly different design on the vinyls around the box? Fine. You want a certain colours for the buttons? Easy. And he documents all the build process as well for you using Instagram so you can see it being built.

Clarkcade Retro

If you want a taste of retro gaming, and having a go on some hand built machines (and a taste of what’s coming to Life Science Centre with Game On 2.0 in May) then find Clarkcade in Zone B at Maker Faire UK this year.

Spotlight On… Deer Shed Festival

At some point in their life, most people will have made a paper airplane. The temptation can be a little bit too much sometimes. A spare bit of paper lying around in front of you and you know it’s only going to take a few folds to make a flying machine that can float across a room. This year at Maker Faire UK staff from the Deer Shed Festival will be on hand to help you to hone your skills with a little bit of professional help.

Paper Airplane

The aeronautical engineering expertise comes in the form of Andy Chipling, a professional paper airplane maker who has done some truly incredible things with them. Last year he helped out on a project to throw paper airplanes from space. Yes you read that right, space. And we’ve been reliably informed that he has given all of the Deer Shed Festival team the paper airplane making bug as well.

Taking place in July in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, this summer will be the 6th Deer Shed Festival. It started in 2010 as a one day and night event for music, art and kids’ stuff and has slowly expanded to last 3 days with much more happening with the features but also workshops for all ages, science activities and shows. Each year has had a different theme, which has included Time Travel and Monsters.

And the reason they are making paper airplanes at Maker Faire UK this year? Well the theme for this year is ‘Up in the Air’, so why not!

So if you fancy learning how to make the best paper airplanes from an expert, helped by some incredible staff from an awesome festival, come along and have a go!

Job Opportunity – Maker Wanted!

Life Science Centre are currently looking for a full time Maker to join the Public Engagement Team. If you’re interested, head over to the Life website for info and to apply:


Mini Maker Faire Meet Up

Interested  in running your own Mini Maker Faire? Here’s a invitation from Ian Simmons, Science Communication Director at Life:

In what is becoming an annual tradition I am pleased to invite anyone who runs a Mini Maker Faire (or indeed a full Maker Faire) or is interested in doing so to come to a pre-Faire informal meet up to share stories, pick up useful tips and meet other people who make Maker Faires.

 The Mini Maker Faire Meet Up will take place on Friday 24 April from 6.00pm – 9.00pm in the Blonde Barrel pub, Times Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne. This is easy to find from the Centre for Life – it’s just at the top of the square where Maker Faire UK takes place.

 Hope to see some of you there!

Meet the Makers of 2015!

Meet the Makers of Maker Faire UK 2015

Our list of Makers for this years Maker Faire UK is now online, and you can check them out here:


Meet The Makers


Please note that Makers and their details may change right up until the event starts.

Win a free weekend pass to Maker Faire UK 2015 with MediaTek Labs

Win a free weekend pass to Maker Faire UK and come and see an autonomous robotic camera, a smart weather station and a smart brewer

We’re really excited being a headline supporter of this year’s Maker Faire UK and have two developments we are keen to tell you all about. Firstly we’re making great progress finalising our demos that we’re going to show at our booth over the 2 days. Secondly we have some free weekend passes (worth £19.90 each) to give away to 5 lucky winners.

Here’s a taste of our demos based on MediaTek LinkIt™ portfolio of dev platforms for wearables & IoT:

Autonomous robotic camera – this demo utilises the power of the MediaTek LinkIt ONE development board for onboard image processing on an Arduino compatible board. It takes photos, processes images onboard and recognises coloured objects. Using only the images, it can estimate distances and positions of the objects and can follow them. It also sends the photos to a PC using Wi-Fi.

MediaTek Labs Autonomous Camera Drone

Weather Station – this demo measures meteorological data with a MediaTek LinkIt ONE board and uploads it to the MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (MCS), a new service that offers convenient storage of and access to data from wearable and IoT devices during prototyping. Through MCS the user is able to see reporting of meteorological data in real time and is able to control the station remotely via web console or accompanying mobile application.

MediaTek Labs Weather Station

Smart Brewer – this demo brews fruit vinegar and fruit wine. It uses a MediaTek LinkIt ONE development board with a barometer, an alcohol sensor, along with some other sensors, to monitor the state of the brewing process. The brewer notifies the user about the progress of the brew via a Smart Phone application.

MediaTek Labs Smart Brewer 2

Like what you see? Win a free weekend pass and have a go with these demos yourself

We have 5 weekend passes (worth £19.90 each) to give away to 5 lucky people. To be in with a chance to win, please follow @MediaTekLabs on Twitter and Tweet what you’d like to make with a MediaTek LinkIt ONE board (for more information on MediaTek LinkIt ONE visit MediaTek Labs). Competition ends April 10th. Winners notified Monday April 13th.

Headliner Announced: Maker Faire UK To Go Off With A Bang With U.S. Sensation Eepybird

Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments heading to Newcastle

Their show has been described as a candy-powered version of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas and now, EepyBird and their “Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments” are heading to Maker Faire UK on 25 & 26 April. 

This year’s Maker Faire UK at Life Science Centre is set to have added fizz thanks to internet sensations EepyBird who are flying in from the U.S. to perform a spectacular live version of their famous “Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments,” one of the Internet’s best-known viral videos of all time.

The show will be performed outdoors in Times Square as geysers of soda will erupt over 25 feet into the air when EepyBird’s Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz don their lab coats and drop 624 Mentos mints into 104 two-litre bottles of Diet Coke.

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive at Life said: “Fritz and Stephen epitomise the maker ethos, they’re creative and like to experiment with everyday things. Their show is a wonderful and entertaining spectacle using such mundane things as coke and mints.  We’re confident it’ll be a huge success.”

To see the video, click here:

Fritz Grobe of EepyBird, said: “We cannot wait to put on a great show for everyone attending Maker Faire UK.  We’re excited to see all the projects from other Makers too – we’re regulars at the US Maker Faires and we love the buzz of meeting so many creative people in once place.”

EepyBird will perform two shows on Saturday 25 April and one show on Sunday 26 April. Timings will be announced nearer the time. Tickets are now on sale and cost £9.95 per adult and £24.10 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children).

This year’s headline supporters of Maker Faire UK are:  Northumbria University, The Reece Foundation, MediaTek Labs and Make Magazine.

Firing The Imagination – Strong Support For Maker Faire UK

“It fires the imagination and gets kids excited about science and engineering – that’s the vital first step in getting them to think about careers where they can use these skills!” said Anne Reece from the Reece Foundation which has pledged £20,000 in support for Maker Faire UK which returns to Life Science Centre this April (25 & 26).

Billed as the “greatest show and tell on Earth”, Maker Faire UK is a celebration across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.  Makers from all walks of life will descend on Newcastle to showcase their projects to an expected audience of more than 10,000 visitors, all keen to soak up the buzz of this creative, innovative and inspiring event.  The two-day spectacular has also attracted the interest of one of the largest chip-design companies in the world, MediaTek.

Mimmis Cleeren, Director of MediaTek Labs for Europe & India, said: “Maker Faire is a world-wide phenomenon and the Makers who attend are at the forefront of new emerging technologies and the burgeoning Maker Movement. As MediaTek Labs identifies with and supports creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, we are delighted to support Maker Faire UK 2015 in Newcastle. We are looking forward to demonstrating interesting new prototype devices built using MediaTek LinkIt™ development platforms for Wearables and IoT, and to engage first-hand with makers from all walks of life.”

With everything from robots to rockets, the aim of the event is two-fold: to give Makers a platform to show what they have made and share what they have learned and also to spark and nurture a curiosity for science and the role it plays in our lives amongst adults and children alike.

According to Lucy Winskell OBE, Northumbria University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Engagement, Maker Faire UK is the ideal event to get young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).  She said: “Northumbria University is supporting Maker Faire UK because it makes a difference and helps inspire people – especially young people – to have a go and see what they can do. That’s exactly what we need if we want to plug the skills gap and address the gender imbalance in STEM. It is vitally important we encourage the next generation to see the exciting range of careers available to them in this area.”

She added: “Our ongoing support for this wonderful, family friendly weekend of invention and creativity further demonstrates Northumbria’s commitment to driving world-class research and teaching across STEM disciplines following the launch of our innovative Think Physics project and our co-funded £6.7 million investment in new STEM facilities.”

Linda Conlon, chief executive at Life, said: “It’s clear from the success of previous Maker Faires that people are viewing science and engineering differently.”

She added: “While the event is for all ages, it’s an important part of our efforts to inspire and support the next generation of scientists and engineers, Maker Faire really emphasises the huge range of opportunities open to young people by studying STEM subjects. So we are thrilled to have our key supporters on board, as without them, the event would not be possible.”

This year’s headline supporters are:  Northumbria University, The Reece Foundation, MediaTek Labs and Make Magazine.

Tickets are now on sale and cost £9.95 per adult and £24.10 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children).  For more information or to buy tickets online, please visit

Headliner Announced: The Osmosis Machine

The second headliner to be announced for Maker Faire UK 2015 is ‘The Osmosis Machine’ by Adrian Pritchard.

Osmosis Machine

This 10 foot tall live kinetic painting will be an incredible spectacle all weekend.

Read more

The 2015 Call for Volunteers is Now OPEN!

The call for Makers is now closed, which means it’s now time for the call for Volunteers.

Maker Faire needs volunteers with lots of different backgrounds to do lots of different jobs, so if you fancy helping out apply now!


The deadline for applying to be a volunteer at Maker Faire UK 2015 is noon on Friday 27 March 2015.

If you want to know more about what we’re looking for, have a look at ‘Info for Volunteers’ or click here.