Stratford students volunteer at first maker festival ‘Make-End’


A 30-foot-tall, fire-breathing robot made from junkyard airplane parts was built by engineer Shane Evans (Photo by Tejas Athni)

By TEJAS ATHNI, Gazebo Correspondent

Macon held its first annual maker fair called “Make-End” at the historic Tattnall Square Park downtown this past weekend. The event was an exciting time for art-fans, tech-junkies, and thrill-seekers alike.

After months of preparation and cooperation from local organizations such as the College Hill Alliance, SparkMacon, Artplace America, and the Mercer University School of Engineering, the maker-fair festival made its debut.

College Hill Alliance director Nadia Osman, who was a guest speaker at Stratford a few weeks ago, said Make-End offered various attractions such as a 30-foot-tall robot resurrection and Ponytrap, a unique musical ensemble featuring robotic drummers. The festival also included more than 30 exhibits, showcasing various products and projects made by local makers.

“The Make-End festival was extremely interesting, and I had a great time. I will definitely go next year, and I would recommend others of all ages to do the same” said Stratford sophomore Mark Barrow.  “The festival has something for everyone to enjoy, and you will never find yourself bored.”

In coordination with the Tech Club and other groups, Stratford had a strong presence at the festival.  Students assisted the exhibitors and helped out with some of the other festivities.

“My favorite part about Make-End was the variety of attractions and exhibits found in the festival,” said sophomore Tripp Vaughn. “The volunteering was especially fun because of the interaction with the assortment of makers there that had very diverse backgrounds. It was very interesting to hear the story of how these people got here and what they learned on the way. They were very enthusiastic at helping interested people of all ages learn about how they could do something similar.”

Stratford sophomores Mark Barrow, Sahan Vangala, Tripp Vaughn, and Akshay Ranabhotu volunteer and help un-pack the “Stunt Jump” attraction at Make-End. (Photo by TEJAS ATHNI)