Elon’s Maker Hub at the largest maker faire in NC
On Saturday, April 23, Elon students, faculty, and staff participated in the Burlington Mini Maker Faire. The event drew thousands of people of all ages to the Holly Hill Mall, where various schools, organizations, business, individual hobbyists showcased their work and talked shop with other makers.
The Burlington Mini Maker Faire is an event put on by the Alamance Makers Guild, a community of makers in Alamance County that includes everyone from engineering students to quilters and woodworkers. The group meets once a month to hear guest speakers and learn what other makers around town are up to.
This marks the fifth year the Guild has hosted the Burlington Mini Maker Faire, which is now the largest Maker Faire in North Carolina. The first Burlington faire had twenty-five exhibitors and about 1200 attendees; this year, the faire boasted 90 exhibitors, and organizers expected a turnout of five to six thousand people. According to Guild member Lee Atkinson, the Makers Guild and Maker Faire are all about “empowering people to be better hobbyists [and] better entrepreneurs.”
Groups from Elon have exhibited at the Burlington Mini Maker Faire in the past, but this was the first year that Elon was an official sponsor. For this year’s exhibit, the Maker Hub hosted a photo booth, where faire attendees could pose with various props and get instant printouts of their pictures. Representatives from each Kickbox project also presented their work at the faire.
Meanwhile, instructional technologist Dan Reis engaged some of the younger faire participants in a Cornhole-style game, which involved launching 3D-printed acorns from miniature catapults. Winners of the game were awarded kits with materials and instructions to construct their own catapults. Michael Vaughn, who also represented Elon Teaching and Learning Technologies at the faire, said that participating in the Burlington Mini Maker Faire is a great way to “strengthen Elon’s bond with the community around us.”