LEAP students host ‘Nerdy Derby’ this weekend

Story by Erin Pittman

Arts leadership students within CSU’s LEAP Institute for the Arts have teamed up to bring a “Nerdy Derby” to Northern Colorado.

Last year's Nerdy Derby.
Last year’s Nerdy Derby.

The Nerdy Derby is taking place Oct. 9-11 at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology in Loveland. The NoCo Mini Maker Faire exhibits a culmination of creative science, technology and art for all ages – rockets, robots, inventors, mad scientists, tinkerers, fantasy and sci-fi creations, youth entrepreneurs and more. The Nerdy Derby station, in particular, provides a creative space for children and the community to build their own unique cars to race down a state-of-the-art track. This year’s track was 3-D-printed personally by CSU students for all Colorado events, and proved to be very successful at the Maker Faire in Denver this past summer.

At the beginning of the fall semester, one upper-division class and one lower-division class joined to create an event to provide the community with a place to exhaust their creative thinking and experience some of the astounding work done by local artists all around Colorado. Because the higher-level students are more familiar with the LEAP (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts Advocacy and the Public) program and what is required to organize an event, those students have each taken some of the freshman students under their wings and into their groups to share their knowledge and facilitate the tasks that each group has been given.

The groups are tackling tasks such as acquiring the necessary materials for every aspect of the event, which requires asking local and commercial businesses to help out with the materials in any way they can; advertising the NoCo Mini Maker Faire around town and surrounding areas, and figuring out all of the minute details and logistics. As the weekend of the NoCo Mini Maker Faire approaches, the excitement and stress levels have begun to rise in the classroom where the LEAP students continue to work diligently to make it a success.

Students, families, artists, tech geeks and others will find the creations shown at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire interesting and fun for all, and the Nerdy Derby is just one of the many engaging stops throughout the Faire. Everyone is welcome, and encouraged to take a peek into the crafts found around Colorado.

If you are interested in attending the Nerdy Derby at the Noco Mini Maker Faire visit makerfairenoco.com. To learn more about the LEAP Institute for the Arts, visit leap.colostate.edu.