Miranda Hansen Wins Big at Bay Area Maker Faire

WSU senior Miranda Hansen felt so inspired by her final project assignment in her Digital Technology and Culture Digital Diversity class that it has evolved into a business start-up called 475 Kits. Hansen and her team are making kits that take a different look at how to get kids interested in engineering concepts, especially those students who do not have regular access to the internet or advanced technological tools. The group hopes that children will explore the hands-on activities by using everyday materials to realize that engineering concepts are present everywhere and accessible to anyone.

In May 2017, Hansen’s team went to the Bay Area Maker Faire where they had a booth demonstrating prototypes of their kits, including a homemade set of electric banjos, a DJ mixing board, and a model of the muscles in the hand. Despite setbacks, including several projects breaking, and the large amount of competition, Hansen’s group took home the award for Best Hands-On Activity, beating out over 400 other teams.

Now Hanson’s team is turning their win into a business. The kits are designed for people of all ages and backgrounds with an interest in engineering. Each kit will include three projects complete with curriculum and resources for makers to take the kit further with their own ideas and resources. The idea is to get users engaged in core concepts and familiarize them with the technology independently before encouraging them to challenge themselves.

The team is currently running a Kickstarter to raise seed funds for their business.

Visit their Kickstarter site before October 16, 2017, to contribute funds to the 475 Kits Start Up.

More information on the kits can also be found on the group’s business website, 475kits.com.