Madison Mini Maker Faire incorporates science, art in inventions

The fourth annual Madison Mini Maker Faire allowed anyone to show off their scientific inventions, regardless of their experience with science, technology, engineering or math.

At the Monona Terrace on Sunday, more than 60 people displayed a variety of inventions incorporating elements such as art or food. Inventor Jesse Ransom, for example, built a wearable backpack that electrocutes mushrooms to make them grow faster.

“About six months ago I got into mushrooms,” Ransom said. “I’ve been scheming how I can grow them faster.”

Ransom understands the basics of engineering, but for him, that wasn’t his focus. He wanted a better solution to grow mushrooms. And while others were showing off ways to draw under bioluminescent lights or how to construct art that moves, Ransom was using science for functional purposes.

Many of the booths offered an interactive activity. The event was open to all ages, but many of the interactive activities were targeted to kids.

“Get (kids) involved in a hobby or in an interest that helps them somewhere along the lines, so that they can take it to the next level,” said vendor Walt Evans.

So while the inventors were showing off their own creations, they were also prepping the next generation of scientists.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.