The Maker Series finds a page in Popular Mechanics

Earlier this year we shared that Popular Mechanics picked up the Make48-WORKBENCHcon Maker Series events, Make48 Is Partnering With Popular Mechanics, and so far two of the Maker Series challenges have been published in Popular Mechanics.


In early 2020, the team came together after the filming of Season 4 on how to continue into the year, but on a smaller scale. Make48 reached out to Kristin Stockdale, the founder of WORKBENCHCon, to create a partnership for the Maker Series with YouTube makers, Izzy Swan, April Wilkinson and Jimmy DiResta. Together with three non-profits, the maker challenge took off in 3 different cities; Greenville, South Carolina, Canyon Lake, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri.



Greenville, SC Maker Challenge with Izzy Swan and Autism Speaks


The first build with Autism Speaks starring Izzy Swan, Meghan Baker and Bobby Duke was featured in the May/June issue of Popular Mechanics. The private event took place at Izzy’s shop, Makers Playground, in Greenville, South Carolina.


Make48 supporter Stanley Black & Decker nominated Autism Speaks for the inaugural challenge as part of its mission to support inclusivity in the workplace and recognize people with autism or intellectual and/or developmental differences to be the makers of tomorrow.


With help from ShopBot CNC expert Chris Burns and Bobby’s artistic talents, Izzy and Meghan built a portable relaxation chair. To be used for those having sensory sensitivities, the chair can be placed in an environment (ie: breakroom), with features meant to soothe individuals. Watch the short preview of the build here.






Canyon Lake, Texas Maker Series with April Wilkinson for the River Kelly Fund


Popular Mechanics' July/August issue shared the River Table build with April Wilkerson and Brandy Aubé. The project took place in Canyon Lake, Texas at April's workshop, The Wood Shed, to build a tribute piece to honor the life of Granger Smith for the River Kelly Fund.


The duo created the custom-made table in just 48 hours with the help from Total Boat, ShopBot Tools and Miller’s Rustic Sawmill. Bucky and Melissa from Miller’s Rustic Sawmill provided the slab of tulip wood (from an old tree that stood in an elementary school), Total Boat’s Mike and Kristin brought their epoxy expertise to the table, and Gordon from ShopBot Tools cnc’d the table to cut the river, scripture and handmade coaster sets.


Tom Gray, Melissa and Bucky Miller delivered the table to Granger and Amber Smith in Texas, where they will find a special place to build memories in their home.


*Watch the sizzle here





Kansas City, Missouri Maker Series with Operation Breakthrough and Jimmy DiResta


In the September/October Popular Mechanics issue the Jimmy Diresta build will be featured.


Jimmy flew to Kansas City to work with Nick Ward-Bopp at the Maker Village to create a FAN experience out of 2 vintage Kansas City stadium chairs, and set an example of what “Making” is to a new audience at Operation Breakthrough.


The build is a donation to the educational nonprofit, Operation Breakthrough, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. The chair will be outfitted in their new space, The Ignition Lab: Powered by 87 & Running, that will open this fall. Their mission is to help underserved youth strive by mentoring and motivating them to explore and develop their abilities and STEM disciplines. The lab is expected to include a student co-working facility, digital media lab, makerspace, an automotive and engineering lab, and an on-site food truck to be run by culinary arts students.


The crew consisted of Makers from the Maker Village; Angelica, Zac, Megan and Greta, Luis from Ultimaker, Kristin and Mike from Total Boat, Gordon from ShopBot and student volunteers from Operation Breakthrough. Together they produced a set of interactive stadium chairs, even outfitted with Ukiah technology, that will be delivered to the new Ignition Lab for students to use everyday.


*Watch the sizzle here








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