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Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: Purdue Polytechnic Anderson's FIRST Make48 Competition Recap

Purdue Polytechnic Anderson recently hosted its inaugural Make48 competition, a two-day invention challenge sponsored by the City of Anderson.


Photo of 50-60 people gathered for Purdue Polytechnic Anderson-Make48 2023 Competition
Purdue Polytechnic Anderson-Make48 2023 Competition


Seven teams took on the Outdoor Furniture challenge, where they had to tackle the issues of cumbersome travel with and the lack of sustainability and personality in mass-produced furniture. Their task was to design and build a portable, foldable outdoor furniture concept suitable for various situations such as tailgating, camping, fishing, and watching local sports events.



Teams: APA Dream Makers; HCC Dirt Devils; STEMBUSTERS; Not Fast, Just Furious; Flaming Artichokes; The WINgineers; Randy's Rascals



The event brought together talented minds for a whirlwind of creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Armed with laptops, notebooks, whiteboards, and a wide array of tools, the participants dove headfirst into their ideation. Assisted by Tool Techs, mentors and their team captains, they relentlessly brainstormed, created, and refined their prototypes within the tight timeframe.


Regional Director, Lorri Barnett was instrumental in bringing the competition to central Indiana. “Make48 allows us to expose students from a five-county area. The mayor of Anderson and his team are absolutely critical to the success of Purdue. They partner with us on so many projects and activities that having them with us makes us so successful.”




group photo of makers and tool techs at purdue poly Anderson
Tool Techs led the teams to the finish line


As the clock ticked down, exhaustion mixed with exhilaration among the participants. They knew their hard work would soon be showcased to a panel of judges and a captivated audience. Each team had a chance to present their Outdoor Furniture inventions, leaving spectators in awe of their ingenuity.




Purdue Polytechnic Anderson: Fostering Innovation and Learning





Leadership at Purdue Polytechnic Anderson expressed the significance of events like Make48 in exposing students to unique experiences beyond their local high schools. Purdue faculty spent hours assisting our team throughout the weekend to make sure the event ran smoothly.

Make48 served as an invaluable recruiting tool, attracting students with brilliant minds who enjoy tinkering, working in makerspaces, and embracing project-based learning. Lorri Barnett, “This is an awesome opportunity to allow these young people to experience something they may not otherwise get to do at their local high school. We look at learning in a whole new light. We learn by doing. We collaborate. We (PPA) are available to help them be the best versions of themselves.”






Two teams emerged as winners and will advance to the National Make48 competition for Season 7 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Purdue Polytechnic Anderson's FIRST Make48 competition was a resounding success, highlighting the institution's commitment to hands-on, project-based learning and industry integration.


However, the true triumph lay in the transformative journey each participant experienced—an exploration of human potential and the boundless power of creativity. The event's impact extended beyond the competition itself, fostering an environment where students collaborate, innovate, and grow, ultimately becoming the best versions of themselves. With the promise of more exciting events in the future, the spirit of creativity and innovation at Purdue Polytechnic Anderson continues to shine brightly.







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