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North Carolina’s fourth Mini Maker Faire is just two weeks away and there’s a great list of makers coming to the event. Here are a just a few worth checking out.

Whomping Willow Trebuchet Team

A team of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC high school students built the massive Whomping Willow trebuchet as an entry in the World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition. The arm of this siege weapon extends 30 feet into air with the sling containing the projectile arcing still higher above it . After some technical issues on their first two throws, the Willow sent its third payload a staggering 1,526 feet. This remarkable throw of over a quater mile won the competition for the team and set the world record for the youth division. Behold the launch and the revelry that followed:

NC Nearspace

Returning to North Carolina’s Mini Maker Faire this year for another launch is NC Nearspace!. This team of backyard space explorers will be making their 9th high-altitude balloon launch to the edge of space from this year’s Faire. Last year’s balloon reached an astounding 87,500 feet before bursting and sending the experiment/instrument package parachuting back to Earth for recovery by the team. Images returned revealed blue sky and clouds below and the black of space.

Here’s a video of last year’s launch:

Intertropes

Ryan Buyssens is an innovative maker using his skills to create a stunning new artform:  Intertropes. Intertropes take their inspiration from the zoetropes of Victorian days, but use an array of intermittent motion techniques to take the “moving pictures” out of a container and evolving the concept into free-standing moving sculptures with no use of strobe lights or special glasses. You have to see it for yourself. Truly beautiful stuff.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


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