Great Ball Event Highlight of Upcoming Mountain Maker Fest

Garrett College is hosting the third annual Mountain Maker Fest on Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at the college’s Career Technology Training Center (CTTC) located in Accident. The program will have a smaller “footprint” and different components this year, with the focus centered on enabling and celebrating “makers” in our mountain region. The maker movement is a huge, global effort comprised of all those that make, fabricate or craft things for sale, fun or as a “do-it-yourselfer.” Makers include artists, craftspeople, techies, woodworkers, metalworkers, Lego enthusiasts, electronic designers, engineers and are represented throughout our region.StevePutnamnirsa

The highlight of this year’s event will be an attempt to create the largest-ever Great Ball Contraption in Garrett County (for a short video, visit All those that wish to participate, young and old, will take part in creating this hopefully record contraption made of Legos and other materials. The effort will be led by Chuck Trautwein and his team of Lego gurus and will take place in the back bay of the CTTC building.

There will also be five courses offered (some free and some with a charge, with all requiring advance registration) on-site throughout the day. One course will provide instruction and activities around basic soldering. Another will cover conductive (as in electricity) paint and art (a very innovative approach to art), while another course will cover entrepreneurial thinking for makers, artists and artisans. Two free courses will be offered to current/future volunteers for the First Lego League (FLL). These courses will cover “Rudiments of FLL” and the “Robot Challenge.”

The third component of this year’s Maker fest will be a one-hour period where various regional makers share their products and processes and answer questions. Presenters for these quick (about 10 minutes each) “show and tell” sessions include fly fishing “ties,” seed bag crafts, knitting art, and others. There will also be a few interactive maker exhibits available in the building during the day for all to experience high- and low- tech efforts. Discussion and questions are welcome and encouraged. In addition, a follow-up meet-and-greet, discussion session is planned after this year’s Mountain Maker Fest event at Smileys from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Admission to the general event is free and all ages are encouraged to attend. For additional information, persons are encouraged to visit or to register for the classes (the rest of the program is setup as a walk-in). Those wishing to participate in the adult maker “show and tell” by sharing their skills, ideas, and creations are encouraged to contact Mike Tumbarello at 301-387-3167 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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