Ahmed Mohamed Races DeLorean Go Kart at World Maker Faire

Maker News
Ahmed Mohamed Races DeLorean Go Kart at World Maker Faire

Clock-building celebrity Ahmed Mohamed had a super-concentrated World Maker Faire experience this weekend in New York. He raced a DeLorean go kart, turned the crank on the life-size Mouse Trap game, flew some drones, and got smiles from everyone he met.

We were glad to welcome Ahmed to the Faire. As both Maker Media founder Dale Dougherty wrote in Re/Code and I said on Make:, we feel that there’s a little bit of Ahmed in every young Maker, and we wanted Ahmed to be able to experience being with his people (the nerds) at Maker Faire. We also hoped that he could in turn inspire other young Makers to start making cool things.

Walking around Maker Faire with Ahmed was a fun and exhausting experience. For one thing, Ahmed was zipping around on one of those self-balancing sideways skateboards; the rest of us, including his family, were on foot.

But every time we caught up with him at a Maker Faire exhibit, we’d find him chatting with some exhibitor or show attendee, and having a lot of pictures taken with smiling people. Ahmed is a gracious 14-year-old with an easy smile, which he clearly doesn’t mind sharing with other people.

Ahmed at the wheel of the "Hack to the Future" car from the HackPGH Power Wheels team. (Photo: Jordan Bunker)
Ahmed at the wheel of the “Hack to the Future” car from the HackPGH Power Wheels team. (Photo: Jordan Bunker)
Ahmed met some other kids riding around the Faire on sideways skateboards. (Photo: Hep Svadja)
Ahmed met some other kids riding around the Faire on sideways skateboards. (Photo: Hep Svadja)
Ahmed gets ready to turn the crank at the giant Mouse Trap. (Photo: Hep Svadja)
Ahmed gets ready to turn the crank at the giant Mouse Trap. (Photo: Hep Svadja)

I also had a brief talk with Ahmed, and it’s clear that, like many of the attendees at every Maker Faire, he has just started down his path as a tinkerer, inventor, and builder. He’s proud of some of the skills he has, and eager to pick up new ones. He realizes, just as the most experienced Makers do, that there’s still a lifetime of skill learning in front of him.

This young Maker has been dropped into a surreal circumstance, but he’s making the best of it. Here at Maker Faire, he’s giving back the energy and optimism of all the Makers who rolled out the red carpet for him, in the form of his smile, his enthusiasm for sharing his story, and his willingness to be an active part of our community.

Thanks, Ahmed. We loved having you at the Faire, and we hope you had a good time.

There were lots of photos and selfies taken. (Photo: Rafe Needleman)
There were lots of photos and selfies taken. (Photo: Rafe Needleman)
Ahmed eyes another circuit board. (Photo: Rafe Needleman)
Ahmed eyes another circuit board. (Photo: Rafe Needleman)

6 thoughts on “Ahmed Mohamed Races DeLorean Go Kart at World Maker Faire

  1. Contrarians says:

    I’ve heard of doubling down on stupid, but tripling down it is a remarkable accomplishment. It’s clear Maker has abdicated it’s mission and integrity completely. Obstinately ignorant Liberal ninnies. I would suggest contacting advertisers and cancelling subscriptions if your intent is to not support making a mockery out of the security of American schoolchildren. Rafe Needleman is an incredibly arrogant, and foolish man.

    1. djsurrey says:

      Well really, hold on there. There is nothing stupid about being inclusive. Ahmed got along at his previous school for years without being arrested and handcuffed. A retired teachers account suggests Ahmed was taking projects into his middle school. It appears there has not been consistency in the way he was treated. Apparently Ahmed’s previous school had a robotics club that Ahmed had done well in. I’m thinking the invitation to the makers fair was a good thing.

      see http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/northwest-dallas-county/headlines/20150926-before-ahmeds-fame-fantastic-inventions-and-a-fight-with-authority.ece

      “But Ahmed’s intelligence shone through in the classroom, in robotics club, and in the homemade inventions he would often cram into his backpack.”
      “Some of his middle school teachers were surprised to hear that MacArthur High staff called police …” “He had dragged far more elaborate gizmos into Sam Houston all the time.”

      1. Contrarians says:

        The kid has CAIR handlers, the Dad runs for the President of Sudan, debates the Koran Burning Pastor in FLA, his sister was suspended for phoning in a bomb threat. The family hires a publicity agent, and starts making false claims the police won’t return the clock. The story stinks, and shame on Maker for the stance they’ve taken on this. There is a hard core group of Progressive SJW types that have latched on to this story to the detriment of our schools safety. Rafe Needleman praisingly linked a photo of a similar device left on a campus anonymously. That is not a joke nor is it praiseworthy. The hubris of jeopardizing the children of others to satisfy some misguided Progressive sensibility is grossly irresponsible. Rafe has clearly made the decision the back slapping at swanky cocktail parties is more important than any duty he has to his readers or journalistic integrity.

        1. djsurrey says:

          The Dad’s politics are not dangerous and not relevant.

          The daughter denies making a bomb threat and if there had been evidence she would have been charged ( http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31836 ).

          There are many highly educated tech savvy and successful people who promote STEM education and have voiced support for Ahmed. Now there is new evidence that Ahmed had taken more complex devices to his previous school without being persecuted by authorities. He harmed no one.

          Schools need to foster and support interest in technology not try to crush it.

          Don’t fault Makezine and the staff there for building community.

  2. djsurrey says:

    Wonderful story. Nice to hear about young people getting interested in technology. These fairs are a great idea and it looks to be good community building as well as showing off what creative minds can do.

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Rafe Needleman

Rafe Needleman is the editor-in-chief of Maker Media. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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