Feb. 11, 2015
By Rumasa Noor
Since its inception, Whitewater Makerspace has been providing a place for people to socialize and work on common interests.
Continuing with its creative success, Makerspace will hold FreezeFest Mini-Maker Faire at the Caraveth Lakefront Community Center at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, right before the Polar Plunge.
The event is a result of collaboration between Whitewater Makerspace, UW-Whitewater Ceramics department and the Innovation Center. The event will feature a Nerdy Derby competition, works of ceramics from UW-Whitewater’s Ceramics department and motorized LEGOS from meeperBot.
Nerdy Derby is car building and racing competition that doesn’t require rules, according to nerdyderby.com.
“It’s a competition that’s a little different than what you would normally think of when you think of derby cars. Nerdy derby is very different,” David Buggs, president of Makerspace, said.
“First of all, individual tracks are separated by space so the cars can be much larger, and the track has undulations in it so the cars need to be built such as they gain enough speed during the initial rundown the slope that they make it over the hogs.”
Buggs will bring over a car-racing track from Milwaukee Makerspace, of which he is a member.
“We’ll have lots of items and components where people can pick and choose from as well as items they can use to decorate the cars that they built the day of the event,” Buggs said.
People will be able to build cars through any means they like, at the competition. Buggs said they can make cars with cardboard; they can even make cars with their shoes by adding wheels to them.
“We are going to bring a 3-D printer over and actually have it operating printing wheels so that people can observe it and see what that’s all about,” Buggs said. “The idea is that family members can bring a vehicle and race against each other.”
Brienne Brown, the executive director of Makerspace, said the event would be appealing to kids, as they will have a chance to build their own toys.
“You want children to realize that they can make their own entertainment,” Brown said. “If there are kids down there already, why not do something that a kid gets a chance to make something and take it home and create the sense of pride.”
Buggs said the Mini-Maker Faire would have something for everyone.
“The Polar Plunge is a wonderful fundraiser for cancer, and it’s an opportunity where whole families can come out and they can stay in that pavilion,” Buggs said. “Those that don’t want to stay out in the cold will have a place to stay.
Brown brought Teri Frame from the Ceramics department and Jim Brandon from meeperBot on board to collaborate with Makerspace for this event.
“Well, we are trying to get people out of their comfort zone,” Brown said.
Mini-Maker Faire was also organized last year at the Makerspace, the same day as Polar Plunge, but since the Makerspace’s location was farther from Polar Plunge, most people weren’t able to make it, Brown said.
This year they decided to organize the Mini-Maker Faire before the Polar Plunge, and chose a location that’s near Caraveth Lake so more people will get a chance to experience the Faire.