Jim Burke and Power Wheel Racing


Power Wheel Racing impresario Jim Burke was set for a full two days of racing fun. Coming to Detroit from Chicago, Jim organizes the races, inviting hackerspaces to enter cars. This is the third year for Power Wheel racing at Maker Faire Detroit.

The cars speed around the track, break down, get fixed and then start up again. Jim is the announcer for the racing program, and he does a remarkable job He takes the races seriously but he also sees them as great entertainment. I love to hear him call a race.

He also explains how racers can win moxie points, which are rewards for slower racers who endear themselves to the audience.

Jim says he started wearing his red fez so that people would know who’s in charge. “People are more likely to point you out as a leader if you are wearing a strange hat,” said Jim. “I don’t know why, it just works.”

I caught the start of one of today’s 15 lap heats.

[wpvideo 1DFFreFN]

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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