Learn, Teach, Share at the Family-Friendly Maker Faire! | W.O.R.D. Ink
Vanessa’s methods are creative, thorough and innovative. She makes writing fun and has turned our daughter’s “like” of writing into a true “LOVE”.The Altmans
Vanessa is high-energy smarts and charm, the kind of writer and teacher who captures and captivates readers of all ages.New York Times bestselling author, Cynthia Leitich Smith
What our daughter values most about her time in Vanessa's class is being inspired to become an organized writer who could convey her thoughts in a meaningful manner.Laurie and Chris Harbert
The skills Vanessa taught my son--particularly the value of revising many times […] attention to detail, and high standards—are still with Nico several years later.Liz McNicoll, Attorney, Paramount Pictures
Ms. Ziff is definitely not just my teacher and tutor; she is my mentor.Lexi 7th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Ms. Ziff maintains a good balance of knowing when to give more help and when to insist that you rise to the challenge of the learning situation. She instills confidence, honors excellence, and respects effort.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
While we continue to be impressed by Vanessa’s many attributes, it is her high energy level, extraordinary patience, and passion for what she does that make her truly unique.Melissa and Rob Weiler
All of us remember teachers who inspired us to greater heights and who influenced our lives. Vanessa Ziff Lasdon has played this role in my daughters' lives.Jack Tauber, M.D.
I honestly don’t know what kind of a writer and reader I would be without the tools I learned with Ms. Ziff. She was always a very understanding, rigorous, and involved teacher, and an incredible mentor.Maddie 9th Grade, Marlborough School
Vanessa has a gift for inspiring even the most reluctant writer and her passion for writing is infectious. She is a favorite workshop leader at our Young Writers’ Conferences.Julie Moore & Rena Svetic, Young Writers’ Conference Founders
I know that the many fun and challenging lessons I’ve learned from Ms. Ziff will help me achieve my goal of one day being a professional writer and filmmaker.Jaren S. 7th Grade, The Buckley School
Vanessa’s greatest ability is to help each student realize his or her own untapped potential. It’s the stuff that changes lives!Jacqueline Frohlich
Whether it’s teaching a student to become a more vivid creative writer, a more effective analytical writer, or a more selective business writer, Vanessa can do it all.Meli and Stephen Rose
Vanessa is a true master of her craft. She is a blast to work with, completely trustworthy and utterly authentic. To work with Vanessa is a privilege; you just want to soak up all her talent, and bottle it up for yourself! She is an inspiration.Sarina Fierro, Head of Lower Elementary, Curtis School
Vanessa got my 8-year old son excited and intrigued to dig deeper into his experiences and bring his thoughts to life. Now Evan’s words dance and sing, which makes me want to dance and sing!Sally Micelotta
It's obvious that Vanessa is a wordsmith: "Write. Observe. Revise. Discover...W.O.R.D."  These are the four essential ingredients for becoming a writer; two of them about the work (writing and revising) and two of them about the joy (observing and discovering.) Vanessa accomplishes it all.  Julie Larios, award-winning poet and children’s author
Vanessa transformed our son Josh from a decent writer into an excellent writer.  We wholeheartedly recommend Vanessa and her ability to draw out the best in your child’s writing ability.Jill and Larry Krutchik
Ms. Ziff’s friendly demeanor and enthusiasm made communicating easy and learning exciting. She taught us to understand and appreciate the material, and have fun in the process.Alivia 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Vanessa Ziff Lasdon possesses the dynamic combination of an incisive intellect and boundless passion when it comes to teaching her craft and sharing skills with her students.MaryLynn Richmond
My son learned more about writing and literary appreciation from Ms. Ziff in fifth grade than in any other year of school. I wish all teachers had Vanessa’s passion for teaching and inspiring!Kim Ford
I learned as much from teaching with Vanessa as any of her students under her guidance. Where so many others fall back on old tricks, Vanessa taps into her extensive experience to invent new methodologies for each and every one of her clients.Patrick Kieffer, Fifth Grade – English & History, The Packer Collegiate Institute
Vanessa is truly a one-of-a-kind teacher. She’s extremely organized, communicates ideas effectively, helps motivate, and has a lively, engaging teaching style that brings out the best efforts in all of her students.Howard Tager
Vanessa captured the essence of what I wanted to relay on my site without sounding trite, unlike my experience with previous writers.Martin Pugh, Musician
Having an eight-year old highly gifted boy was not enough to make him put all those brilliant ideas on paper. Daniel feels constantly challenged by Vanessa and that ignites him.Liliana Benitez
The writing skills my daughter, now excelling in ninth grade English Honors, left Vanessa’s class with continue to be an invaluable set of resources.Betsy Leva
Vanessa’s vast skills, complete dedication, and clear purpose construct a solid core for every student she teaches. Her passionate nature produces both a fun and rewarding learning experience.Michele Noble, Director, Writer, Filmmaker
Ms. Vanessa has challenged me to stretch my writing and I am excited for what I will do next.Evan, 3rd Grade

Vanessa is an outstanding writer and a joy to work with.

Aimee Trudeau, Web Developer, Kizmato.com
Ms. Ziff always pushed me to do my best, and never let me slack off.  She introduced me to my love of writing and gave me the confidence I needed both academically and in myself.Georgia 9th Grade, The Buckley School
Ms. Ziff is always organized, resourceful, and ready for anything. She believes in a process, [...] the best of all being the Ms. Ziff approach, which makes her spectacular.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Ms. Ziff set the foundation for my analytical, constructive, and creative skills. Whether writing a sonnet or writing an essay, I still have her lessons in my mind.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake

Learn, Teach, Share at the Family-Friendly Maker Faire!



There’s a reason the MAKER FAIRE has wound its way around the globe in seven short years and spawned over 60 mini-Maker Faires from Tokyo to Oslo. This is not just another social gathering – it’s a mega-science expo, an inventor’s haven, and a county fair rolled into one. 

Yes, the Maker Faire is a geeked-out weird-science fest. But, really, it’s so much more. The Maker Faire is totally Geektastic for every age, gender, and profession — for anyone who makes anything and everyone with a thirst for knowledge, resourcefulness, and creativity!

Expect the Extraordinary

Remember some of those extraordinary landmarks invented for the World’s Fair that people couldn’t wait to experience? (Seattle’s Space Needle and the Eiffel Tower might come to mind.) San Mateo’s original Maker Faire is similar, but with an interactive spin on individual exhibitions, and anyone, young and old alike, can enter to share their DIY creation. 


Here’s a quick list of the kinds of people who participate in Maker Faires year after year:


The Maker Faire celebrates individuality and caters to whatever kind of a person you happen to be with any sort of interest you happen to have.

 car at maker faire

All the Makers in the House!

First launched by Make Magazine back in 2006 in San Mateo, California, a hotbed of innovation and the hub of the tech boom, the Maker Faire has always been about SHARING and LEARNING from one another. MAKE founder Dale Dougherty decided he wanted to get all the “makers” together—knowing they’d each have a great, hands-on story to share. Maker Faire was designed to for participants to get lost in the creativity and innovation of others, across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft. In the last year alone, a whopping 165,000 people attended the Bay Area and New York Maker Faires combined.

A sampling of new 2013 MAKERS :

  • The Repair Cafe: This Café repairs anything from a piece of pottery or torn clothing item to a toaster on the blink
  • MindMIDI Brainwave Biomusic: MindMIDI works like a radio and allows you to hear your brain’s amazing electrical symphony
  • Aurora Light Graffiti: Create unique and colorful pictures or art in mid-air
  • Forage Kitchen: A hacker space for anyone who loves to cook
  • Roy the Robot: An animatronic character with awesome moves, made from laser cut plywood and hobby servos
08_May_Maker_Faire_10_metal_sculpture hand_of_man

A sampling of returning MAKER Favorites:

  • Drone Games: A neoCopter-style programming competition powered by drones and JavaScript
  • Caged Pulse Jets: An audience-controlled sound sculpture that encapsulates five spinning pulse jet engines – caged “birds” – that create a range of percussive and droning tones
  • The Hand of Man: An enormous, hydrolic-powered, car-crushing right arm
  • Swap-o-Rama-Rama: Recycle and upcycle clothing into new items to love. Includes a fashion show!
  • Nautilus Submarine Art Car: A 25-foot long, land-based submarine weighing 11,000 pounds with a top speed of 13 miles per hour

Celebrate the Do-It-Yourself Maker Movement! 

and be all about:





The Maker Education Initiative

Check out over 900 MAKERS at the MAKER FAIRE in San Mateo, CA!

bay-area-circle-logo new-york-circle-logo


Saturday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Busy in May? Catch MAKE’S new flagship NYC Maker Faire September 21 & 22


$10 to $35; ages 3 and under are free


San Mateo County Event Center

1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo, CA


Website: www.makerfaire.com

On-line tickets: http://makerfaire2013.eventbrite.com/

*Special thanks to Jacquelyn Wood for her contributions to this week’s post*

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