The Collegian

Third annual Maker Festival promotes creativity, collaboration

Emma Anderson

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Woodworking, electronics, food, arts and crafts — these are just some of the items that the talented and creative people of the Brookings community will have on display at this year’s Maker Festival.

The third annual Maker Festival is being held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in front of the Children’s Museum.

“The Brookings Maker Festival is a family-friendly event to celebrate making and makers in the Brookings community,” said Jennifer Quail, director of entrepreneur support with the Brookings Economic Development Corporation.

The event was created to showcase talented “makers” in the form of a “show-and-tell” setting. It also provides an opportunity for networking and collaboration, Quail said.

“We hope people will meet others from the community they might not have met otherwise and possibly partner on making a project and create something neither one anticipates,” she said.

The event caters to all likes and interests with everything from robots to wooden canoes and cupcakes.

In past years there has even been pottery, yarn spinning and 3D printing.

This year there will be food trucks and live music along with individuals showcasing their work.

One of the demonstrators, Cody Butler, will be presenting a prototype called the “Pongle.” This is an electronic attachment for a Ping-Pong racket which pairs with a smartphone and helps people connect with other players and keep score.

“I love to play Ping-Pong but never get to because I don’t have access to a Ping-Pong table and I also don’t have anybody to play against,” Butler said.

Although Butler has attended past Maker Festivals, this will be his first time participating and he is “anxious to get as much feedback as possible.”

While there are many new participants this year, there are also returning ones, like Kent Miller.

“I am bringing the All Terrain Track Chair which is a tracked vehicle to provide mobility for a guy in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the armpits down,” Miller said.

The chair has a ramp that raises and lowers and is controlled with a radio control unit that is attached to the wheelchair.

By participating for the second time in the festival, Miller hopes to see other makers in the community support the event and demonstrate creative skills that might help others.

This event has the potential to help individuals, whether it be at Ping-Pong or with a disability, but it also benefits the community as a whole.

“This event is a positive influence for kids on what is possible that doesn’t involve being in front of a screen and it generates more creativity,” Miller said.

If you want to participate next year you can register on the Brookings Economic
Development Corporation website.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.