Make48 is back in Indiana this fall with Fishers Maker Playground! On September 9th, the invention competition will take place at the 15,000-foot, state-of-the-art, public makerspace inside the Hub and Spoke building in Fishers, Indiana. This year’s challenge theme is Food Preservation & The Supply Chain - Food at the Right Place at the Right Time, as determined by United Way of Central Indiana. The event is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.
Fishers Maker Playground is operated by Fishers Parks & Recreation. The Maker Playground features several zones throughout for tinkering and creating, and offers a space of tools, technology, and arts while encouraging imagination, curiosity, engineering, and building. Makerspace members Cassy and Daniel represented Fishers Maker Playground at the 2021 Indianapolis event. Ginny Zimmerman, Fishers Parks Marketing Assistant, spoke to Make48 about hosting their first 48-hour competition.
How does your team feel about M48 coming in for your first event?
We had a team compete in last year's competition hosted at a fellow Indy-based makerspace, Machyne. Two members of our staff, Daniel and Cassy, represented Maker Playground and had a great experience getting to know the ins and outs of the competition. We're so excited to switch roles this year and host! Since we've had the experience on the competitor side, we're looking forward to helping makers use our equipment and tools and see what unique solutions teams create!
Why is Fishers a perfect location to host a Make48 event?
Maker Playground is a perfect location to host Make48 since we're located less than a mile from I-69 and have additional classroom and lounge spaces for makers to draft up their designs during their brainstorming, troubleshooting, and presentation stages.
Our makerspace is not only spacious at over 15,000 sq ft., we've got several classrooms and project zones: Project Alley, Think Tank, and 3 Maker Lab Classrooms. In addition, inside the makerspace side, we've got top rated manufacturing machines from ShopBot, Boss Laser, Ultimaker, and a library of Dewalt Hand Tools. Maker Playground has the space to design, draft, and manufacture the next idea! Not to be overlooked, our "backyard" features 2 different walking trails: Cheeney Creek Trail head and Nickel Plate Trail, the perfect opportunity to take a nature break and draw up more inspiration when needed.
Can you tell me how Fishers Maker Playground leads the community in hands-on learning?
Maker Playground is operated by the Fishers Parks Department making it a unique makerspace connecting recreation and education encompassed in one location. We offer a monthly membership where members have access to all of Maker Playground's Dewalt Tools through our tool library, and all machines inside the makerspace. With that, we offer training on each machine to our members prior to their use, giving them the training they need to properly use the machines and possibly learn a new skill to add to their expertise.
This Summer we offered 10 weeks of unique Summer Camps housed in our Maker Labs and Think Tank classroom spaces. These camps were forged in partnerships with Indianapolis Arts Center, Snapology, Hamilton Southeastern School Robotics Program, as well as local maker and fiber instructor Cheryl Lo, of Sewful Cheryl. Kids aged as young as 6 and as old as 17 could choose from camps featuring: LEGO, pattern making and sewing, 3D art, murals, robotics, eco-dying, mixed media, and furniture making just to name a handful. Lastly, in partnership with our local school district, Hamilton Southeastern Schools, we host a 5th grade experiential learning program led by our Teacher in residence, Mrs. Suscovich during the school year. Fifth graders visit Maker Playground twice to explore and enhance their STEAM curriculum to explore additional hands-on projects and experiments during their visit.
What are you looking forward to seeing at the event?
We're looking forward to seeing numerous teams of ages and sizes brainstorm the next big idea. Our community of makers in Fishers and the greater Indianapolis area is chalk full of innovative designers, problem solvers, master crafts people, and STEAM students. The ideas and solutions are virtually endless! We are really looking forward to seeing our makerspace full of makers that can essentially become an entrepreneur overnight.
Can you tell me about your makerspace team and who will be helping out at the event (tool techs)?
Our Maker Playground staff are all makers in their own right and have only enhanced the experience and know-how here at the makerspace featuring extensive collaborating and problem solving with other members, and staff of the Parks Department and City of Fishers.
Nick Snyder, makerspace Manager, is a designer and maker with extensive experience in commercial and residential woodworking and fabrication.
Cassy Coha is a graduate of Herron School of Art and Design focusing on furniture design and we've crowned her the resident CNC Guru!
Daniel Shepherd is working towards a degree in motorsports engineering at IUPUI, and started his own 3D printing and engineering business to build his body of work.
Justin Hagovsky has a degree from Ohio State University in Theatre Design and Technology and has fabricated and constructed numerous Fishers Parks decor, furniture, and sets for events.
All of our staff is an expert in their own hands-on field and are talented problem solvers and enjoy a good brainstorming session.
Competitors from Indiana and beyond will be able to participate in the unique maker competition, which helps participants discover what is possible in just 48 hours. The winning team will win $2k and advance to compete at the national competition, slated for March 2023, where one team can win $10k. If you’re interested in sponsoring or volunteering at the Indiana event, visit https://www.make48.com/indianapolis