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Get ‘revved up’ for the Makerspace String Race at ...

Get ‘revved up’ for the Makerspace String Race at MTSU’s Walker Library

The string’s the thing at MTSU’s James E. Walker Library Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Makerspace String Race.

Personally crafted small vehicles will zoom across tensioned synthetic string tracks in the race, set from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Makerspace area on the library’s second floor. Participants must be at the Makerspace before 1:30 p.m.

Walker Library Makerspace logoAll MTSU students and staff are invited to design and construct their own vehicles, each powered by two AA batteries, for a double-elimination drag race-type tournament that encourages creativity.

“You can build any kind of vehicle that you want as long as it can hold two AA batteries and can run along a string like a zipline runs down a string,” said Valerie Hackworth, assistant manager of public technology for the Walker Library.

After they’re trained on the 3-D printer and laser cutter in the Makerspace, contestants at all levels of experience can make their own lightweight vehicles with an eye toward maximum aerodynamic effect.

logo for MTSU's James E. Walker LibraryThe Makerspace at MTSU opened in fall 2016 and facilitates active-learning experiences and creation of all kinds to acquaint students of all majors with technology, fabrication, and scientific disciplines.

The area is equipped with soldering kits, safety goggles and a motley collection of wood, metal and plastic parts that can be used to bring individuals’ designs to life.

Race organizers say it’s essential for participants to get started now.

“You may think that you can create your racer in two hours,” said Hackworth. “You might actually need two days once you get working on it.”

You can watch a video from the summer race below.


Makerspace Specialist Ben Becker will be available Monday through Thursday to provide assistance.

A vehicle made by Neal McClain, director of library technology, won a prototype race this summer. His prize was an acrylic statuette made on the laser etcher cutter in the Makerspace.

There is no fee to enter. A signup sheet is posted in the Makerspace. For more information, contact Hackworth at 615-904-8545 or valerie.hackworth@mtsu.edu or Becker at 615-904-8525 or ben.becker@mtsu.edu.

For more information, contact McClain at 615-898-2572 or

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

A string race vehicle made by Valerie Hackworth, assistant manager of public technology at MTSU's James E. Walker Library, is poised for a prototype string race this summer. Similar vehicles made in the library’s Makerspace area will compete in the first official String Race Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy of James E. Walker Library)

A string race vehicle made by Valerie Hackworth, assistant manager of public technology at MTSU’s James E. Walker Library, is poised for a prototype string race this summer. Similar vehicles made in the library’s Makerspace area will compete in the first official String Race Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy of James E. Walker Library)

Neal McClain, director of library technology at MTSU's James E. Walker Library, holds the first-place award for winning the summer prototype String Race at the library’s Makerspace. The first official race is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy of James E. Walker Library)

Neal McClain, director of library technology at MTSU’s James E. Walker Library, holds the first-place award for the summer prototype String Race at the library’s Makerspace. The first official race is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy of James E. Walker Library)


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