White House Maker Faire’s Joey Hudy Speaking at Boulder MMF!

Joey Hudy announced the inaugural White House Maker Faire. He is Intel’s youngest intern. He fired a marshmallow cannon with President Obama. He once built a 7-foot cardboard trebuchet  that, “totally collapsed,” he says, when he tried to hang two dictionaries as the counterweight (note the lack of accompanying video link…). Thanks to a generous sponsorship from 3D drawing software, SketchUp, Joey will be speaking at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire, Jan 31-Feb 1, 2015!

When Maker Boulder chatted with Joey and his mom last night, we asked how many versions of the marshmallow cannon preceded the one that famously blasted a puffed sugar confection across the State Dining Room and he said the famous version was the first. “All we really had to do with it is make an enclosed area, pressurize it and have a valve that goes to a barrel,” he said.

Elementary, dear Watson. That is, if you’re Joey Hudy. That’s because, while the ‘mallow cannon may have been Joey’s first of that design, it was far from his first design. Joey knows how to make. And once you know that, you can make anything.

He does his making in a spare room of their new house. “We don’t have basements in Arizona,” he says. But when they moved, he saw they had an extra room and he, “claimed it as my own,” he says. So far, despite Joey’s penchant for cannons and trebuchets the room is still standing — no scorch marks and the drywall is still pristine. “My dad likes to paint the walls and he’d notice if there was, like, a smell,” Joey says.

His dad does data analysis for American Express. “He’s the numbers nerd and I’m more an engineering nerd…and kind of a general nerd,” says Joey, who is taking just one high school class — Pre-Calculus — this winter/spring before graduating from the Herberger Young Scholars Academy, a program for gifted students run by Arizona State University. Next year, he hopes to be accepted and attend the Olin College of Engineering just outside Boston, where he’s interested in innovating the next generation of power control panels — PCPs to EEs in the know.

In addition to devices that shoot stuff, Joey says his favorite projects include making 3D scanners, Arduino kits, and a 10×10 LED array cube powered by an Intel Galileo. You can make a trimmed down version: HERE are Joey’s instructions for a DIY 3×3 LED cube that he published with MAKE Magazine.

That’s great and all, but we wanted to know more about the cardboard trebuchet. For example, why is a trebuchet so much cooler than a catapult? “It uses gravity, you know,” says Joey, succinctly encapsulating in his understated way something essential about making: you do more with less; you understand the basics forces that act on your systems; and then you make it with cardboard and sometimes it works better than others.

We can’t wait to hear what Joey says at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire. Click HERE for a ticket and please join us in being inspired by what is truly one of the most promising up-and-coming maker minds we’ve ever seen.

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