Apollo 17 Scientist-Astronaut Harrison Schmitt collects lunar samples
at Taurus-Littrow Landing Site


Last year we took attendees of the Burlington Mini Maker Faire to the edge of space. This year we’re bringing home actual moon rocks!

Thanks to the folks at Blessed Sacrament School of Burlington (a STEM School of Distinction at the Model Level) we are going to have actual lunar materials from the Apollo Missions and other historical astronaut paraphernalia on display to the public for the 2016 Burlington Mini Maker Faire.

Last year, with the help of NC Near Space Research and Alamance Makers Guild, middle school students at Blessed Sacrament School of Burlington worked on a year-long community-wide STEM project. Students designed and built tandem nearspace balloons, set up a “Mission Control” at the Maker Faire to track and coordinate the launch and recovery. They launched and recovered their payloads, achieving a maximum altitude of 89,274 feet. Parents drove chase cars, as students issued driving directions and tracked the balloons in real time thanks to GPS transponders that used HAM Radio to send signals back to the internet where real time data could be overlaid on google maps.  Learn more about this project from NC Nearspace Research.

Video highlights from the BSS Near Space Mission.

From Near Space to the Moon and Back

Not only did Blessed Sacrament School win Third Place in the Global Space Balloon Challenge for Education, but this project also helped Vice Principal and STEM Coordinator Tiffany Ehmig and Science/Engineering Instructor Victoria Sebastian with an opportunity to attend special summer-time STEM training for educators at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia. They successfully completed their training and as a result Blessed Sacrament School of Burlington has a license to handle these materials and display them to the public. The lunar materials displayed at the Faire will be sealed in a special clear plastic to protect them from exposure, oxidation, and handling.

Lunar Artifacts: Scientific and National History

President Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon and bring him safely back to the Earth in less than a decade occurred at a time when humans only had powered flight for about fifty years! The project involved scientists, researchers, manufacturers, and every-day workers from 1000’s of communities around the US. Whole new materials were invented, computer science matured, the mathematics of orbital mechanics and trans-lunar-injection was invented, and technology was pushed to its limits. All proving that the US is a Maker Nation (long before the term “Maker” meant what it means today).

Moon Rocks and Other Inspiring Exhibits at Burlington Mini Maker Faire in 2016!

In addition to the Lunar Samples, we are proud  and excited about all the amazing exhibitors and projects that will be at the 2016 Burlington Mini Maker Faire. As of this writing we’ve had more than thirty individual exhibitors apply for spaces.

Projects range from FPV Drone Racing to a teenager who has built a Farnsworth Fusor (Fusion Reactor) to Quilters to Makerspaces to cutaway gasoline engines to 1/24th scale slot cars to theater props.

We’ll have student inventors and innovators from Elon University’s Maker Hub Makerspace, demonstrations by Alamance Community College Graphic Design Students, and K-12 Student Projects by ABSS Students. We’ll even have life-size Foosball game from the City of Burlington!

We’ll be sending acceptance e-mails to our first round of exhibitors soon and will then post a list of who is coming to the 2016 BMMF (so far). Stay Tuned for more info!

Apply to show off YOUR cool project at the Maker Faire.

The Call for Makers is live through March 31st. Anyone (non-commercial exhibitors) wishing to show off their projects at North Carolina’s largest Maker Faire can apply for free can and can learn more through our Call for Makers form.

See you all on April 23rd!

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