In 2022, Wichita, Kansas will be the host city of Make48’s National Competition, where eight teams will compete for a chance to win $10,000!
Make48 had a remarkable time bringing the 48-hour invention competition to makerspaces across the US. Some of the nation's most innovative cities competed in their own 48 hour prototyping events in 2021 including; Wichita, KS; Madison, WI; Indianapolis, IN; and Hartford, CT.
The first and second place winners will head to nationals this spring, where the teams will compete against each other inside Wichita State University's (WSU) premiere makerspace, GoCreate. The 18,000 square foot community makerspace features textiles, woodworking, metal studios, 3d printing, lasers and a supportive community to help make projects come to life.
Tom Gray, Make48 CEO, looks forward to bringing the national competition to the Wichita campus. “With all of the cities and makerspaces I have attended in the past few years, Wichita has really stood out as a true innovative community, with countless leading brands and leaders investing in the future. The midwest and midsize cities, like Wichita, are often missed from the headlines, but on a per capita basis, the amount of innovation, businesses and makers calling Wichita home is really impressive. The city has a large number of recognizable companies (in aerospace, agricultural and chemical industries) with a large employment base, and I can see why the city has a bright and sustainable future.”
Teams heading to Wichita to compete in the 5th season of the original PBS docu-series are composed of students, co-workers, friends and family members. Kim McCollum, GoCreate Executive Director, is readying her makerspace team and members for the big event. “We’re excited to be chosen as the host site for Make48 nationals in March. We know how special our premiere innovative makerspace is and this is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our one-of-a-kind facility on a grand stage.”
Similar to the city events, Tool Techs, mentors and volunteers will help guide the teams as they build a prototype for the challenge, to be given at the start of the competition. Differences between the competitions will include a larger presence as Tom pointed out. “With the size and moving parts that it takes to put on our national events, production will be increased with a larger film crew. Around 30 people will be involved in filming the 48 hour competition, and the painstaking task of editing all the footage that comes with capturing the action. We’re also expecting our VIP count to increase with many guests coming in from other states that held regional competitions. They will be there to cheer on their teams, but also experience and learn from the impressive GoCreate facility.”
Using the same blueprint of the Make48 TV documentary, local citizens were able to participate in the fastest-invention competition at their local community makerspaces including The Bodgery, Machyne Makerspace, MakerspaceCT and GoCreate, with local sponsors helping craft the challenge.
Two of the eight teams who will participate in March, include Veni, Vidi, Vici and SuperVaders, Wichita’s first and second place winners (respectively). “I think our Wichita teams have a very good chance at repeating their wins,” Kim commented. “These teams are some of the best representations of what being makers and innovators are: people coming together with diverse experiences and backgrounds to solve a common problem.”
GoCreate has a vast range of sophisticated equipment for an array of projects, allowing almost anything to be created that the teams could dream of. The workshop has multiple studios, from woodworking to metalwork, to 3D printing and electronics and even a textile studio with large scale machines for quilting, leatherwork and direct-to-garment printing. Ken Wiseman is GoCreate’s facilities manager and will also lead the Tool Techs. Even with a larger production, Ken isn’t worried about the teams completing their prototypes in the 48 hours. “We will, like last time, have a full arsenal of Tool Techs and student techs to help navigate the equipment use. One of the few pieces of equipment, the waterjet, needs a trained tool tech, and anything the techs are not well-versed in, will have to be shown.”
As the Make48 host to the national competition, Ken has great hopes for the impact the event will have on GoCreate and the city of Wichita. “As the Operations and Facility Manager, the program “Make48” will help the world understand how the equipment and tool techs can help anyone be an innovator and the ability to create solutions on the fly. What you call a “Tool Tech” we call mentors and techs. We love the fact that we can showcase our facility and the Wichita market and maybe change us from the Aviation Capital of the World to the “Innovation Capital of the World”. That is what GoCreate and Wichita State University and NIAR is all about. We are about innovation and helping the community to be successful in any endeavor that they chase after.”
The National competition held in March 2022, where one team can win $10k, will air on PBS stations in late 2022/early 2023. Discover the program where everyday people see what is possible in 48 hours.
Make48 is a nationwide, invention-competition docuseries that gives teams a challenge at the start of a two day event. With just 48 hours, teams must create a prototype, 1-minute promotional video and present their idea to a panel of judges. The teams have access to a Makerspace and numerous Tool Techs that can make almost anything, thus allowing everyone to have a level playing field and the chance to win.
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