5th annual Maker Takeover connects Elon’s inventive minds with the campus community

More than 50 unique, creative, and innovative student projects were showcased during the 5th annual Maker Takeover, the Maker Hub’s largest celebration.

Walking into the Moseley Center during Maker Takeover exuded an immediate aura of pure imagination and fun. The air was filled with a buzz of creativity as makers of all ages displayed their ambitious and playful creations, whether they were practical, adorable, or breathtakingly inventive.

Female student with red hair and gold framed glasses, wearing a royal blue apron and black tee shirt, directs a male student wearing a tan tee and teal pants in the custom t-shirt line to the different options he can choose from
A Maker Hub Consultant guides a student through the options for making a custom T-shirt during the 2024 Maker Takeover.

As usual, the staff from the Maker Hub made the festivities even more exciting with additional fun, like people walking around with Cheerwine-flavored nitrogen ice cream, laughter from students playing Super Mario Kart and designing their custom tee shirts, and curious conversations between guests and dozens of innovative makers.

“The energy from Maker Takeover was exciting. You could truly feel the enthusiasm from everyone,” said Dan Reis, senior instructional technologist and manager of the Maker Hub. “The Maker Hub Student Consultants loved showing off their projects to their friends. They talk about the Maker Hub all the time, so finally exhibiting their projects to the people who are important in their lives is really meaningful.”

Student wearing blue hoodie, yellow Maker Hub apron, black rimmed glasses, and a grey hat strums a guitar shaped wooden instrument with a hexagonal body, while leaning backwards against a table for a female student with textured, shoulder-length hair
Owen Crider ’26 demonstrates how he plays the “Guitanjagon” he made using the saws and laser engraver at the Downtown Maker Hub.

Owen Crider ’26 is one of these students. He is a Cinema and Television Arts major on the Saws Team at the Downtown Maker Hub, and he has spent months making a unique instrument.

“I love playing the banjo, and I wanted a version that I could beat up, paint, and not take too seriously, so I made this Guitanjagon,” Crider said. “It’s a guitar because of its acoustic body composition, a banjo because of the strings, and it’s my favorite shape — hexagonal. I used the Maker Hub’s saws and laser engraver to cut and design the instrument, I learned new and simple ways to paint, and I’m excited to use all these new skills for future projects.”

The 2023-2024 Kickbox recipients also displayed the projects they researched, prototyped, built, and revised throughout the spring.

Male student with teal tee and dark curly hair shows a robotic hand, with purple 3D printed fingers, to the camera
Murilo Lopes ’27 showcases a robotic hand, the first stage of his eventual ASL robot.

First-year Computer Science major Murilo Lopes ’27 utilized the Kickbox program and the Maker Hub’s resources to combine artificial intelligence, computer science, and world languages to make a robot that can teach American Sign Language.

“Right now, we’ve completed the first step and have the initial prototype for the hand, showing off the hardware, the flexibility, and how it moves,” Lopes said. “Eventually, we’ll combine it with machine learning to see if the person interacting with the robot is signing correctly; if they are, they’ll move on to the next stage, but if not, they can try again or try a different word. There are lots of opportunities for us to build on the foundation we’re laying.”

Two female students stand behind their table of custom designed hats,. The table has a banner with their business name R'KIND. On top of the table are four hats ine with a dragon, one with a tiger, one with a horse, and one can't be seen. Both students are wearing hats. The student on the left wears a white tee with a green hat with a tiger on the side. The student on the right is wearing a black crop top and red hat with a serpentine dragon on the side.
Sofia Balance ’24 and Emma Farrell ’24 (left to right) pose with their table of custom-designed hats for women, R’KIND.

Two senior students, Sofia Balance ’24 and Emma Farrell ’24, teamed up to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, starting with stylized hats. “We realized there was a lack of diversity in the hat market, and we wanted to do something for women that’s unique, dynamic, and sophisticated,” Balance said.

“One of my professors, Ben Hannam, recommended Kickbox, and I thought it would be awesome since it offers funding, is a guided process, and is a perfect option to start a process for something bigger,” Farrell said. “We tried reaching out to third-party vendors for help, but we ended up doing all the work ourselves, designing, making, and applying heat-activated vinyl, which we could only do because of the Maker Hub.”

Visit the Maker Hub website for more information about the Hub’s happenings, the Kickbox program and project updates, and more. For a closer look, follow the Maker Hub on Instagram @elonmakers or visit one of their two locations in the Colonnades E building or downtown above Pandora’s Pies.