Annual Maker Takeover highlights the creative and innovative minds of the Elon community

Over 40 original projects were on display at the Mosley Student Center this Wednesday, April 26 for the Maker Hub's largest celebration.

Brandon Rudisill, executive chef, and Jonathan Burns, director of Culinary Development, whip up and serve ice cream made using liquid nitrogen (really cold) at the Maker Takeover in the Moseley Center, April 26, 2023.

Eating nitrogen ice cream, learning to lasso a wooden steer and playing retro arcade games are just a few of the recreational events Elon students, faculty and staff could partake in at this year’s Maker Takeover. The event showcased projects that students have been working on for months in the Maker Hub.

“This couldn’t have been possible without the help of the students,” said Dan Reis, senior instruction technologist and co-founder of the Maker Hub. “I’m not the only one who’s excited. I think the student staff are so excited to actually see it and be here, so I get to share that excitement with them.”

Maker Takeover is the Maker Hub’s largest annual celebration that brings students, staff, and faculty together to showcase their creative projects.

Reis said with this being the second in-person Maker Takeover event since the COVID-19 pandemic, students and faculty at the Maker Hub are beginning to get back into the routine and spirit of the annual event. Reis hopes that the event will serve as a reminder for students to continue creating whatever it is that they’re passionate about.

Lev Goldstein ’23 and Caleb Linick ’25, work on a “scrap sculpture” at Maker Takeover 2023.

“I hope they’re proud of what they made, and I hope it encourages them to keep exploring and keep digging into those ideas,” Reis said.

Walt Pierce ’24, a statistics major, saw the Maker Hub as a place to tap into his interest in geography in a creative way. Pierce created a 3D-printed topographic map of the United States mounted in a wooden frame, and painted with biome and water features.

“I was like, ‘This seems like a fun project, why not,’” Pierce explained. “It was right at the skill level where it wasn’t too much, but also fun. I’ve been working on it for probably two months now.”

Pierce said that working on this project has made him understand the importance of patience. On a technical process such as a project in the Maker Hub, something as similar as being patient in the 3D printing process can make the difference in a product not turning out exactly the way it was supposed to.

“Some of the prints took two hours, while others took ten hours,” Pierce claimed. “One of them I printed five times, because it kept on not working, so it was definitely a process of trial and error.”

Along with the numerous student creations, the event had various recreational activities, including a student-created escape room, “Welcome to Camp Elon,” retro-arcade games, mini-corn hole, a power tool petting zoo and ice cream made with liquid nitrogen by Elon Dining.

Jay Bennett ’23, displays pronoun pins and coasters at Maker Takeover in the Moseley Center, April 26, 2023.

For the Maker Takeover, Jay Bennett ’23 created wood-carved pronoun pins. Bennett’s journey into the Maker Hub began with simple sketches in ProCreate that were then transferred onto the wood-carved pins. Created with a gothic sense of design, Bennett believes that this style is a shared aesthetic in the punk/metal scene that other members of the LGBTQIA community are a part of and appreciate. A lot of time, creativity, and design thinking went into the formation of these pins.

“I had the day off yesterday, so I spent ten hours in the Maker Hub,” Bennett said. “It sounds belaboring, but I enjoy it.”

After graduation, Bennett plans to live in either Chapel Hill or Durham and hopes to return to the Maker Hub over the summer.

“I’m bummed because I’m a senior and I’m graduating,” Bennett explained. “But I don’t think we lose access to the Maker Hub, fortunately, so I can still come back and steal some hours in there.”

Be sure to visit the Maker Hub website for more information about the Maker Takeover event, the Kick Box program and more!