Join the Power Wheel Racing Series at World Maker Faire, October 1 & 2, and watch one of the Faire’s favorite attractions as they show their mad skills, silly antics, and engineering prowess – all in a $500 Power Wheel (or any electric kids’ ride-on vehicle). Did we mention costumes? LEDs and glitter are likely!

Held at the New York Hall of Science (NSYCI) in Queens. Saturday & Sunday, 10AM - 6PM. Get your tickets today at www.makerfaire.com.

“I’ve been a fan of the Power Racing Series for a long time,” says Caleb Kraft, senior editor, Make: magazine. “You can’t help but love watching these hacked up cars zipping around the race track, with the comically too small cars, making their drivers look like giant toddlers. The silliness and the fun masks some very important aspects, though. The Power Racing Series is cultivating the next generation of engineers and tinkerers that will shape the future of smart cars everywhere. By keeping it fun and silly people are more driven to participate and their creativity is pushed even further.”

When it all started out, it was just pure fun. You’d take a kids’ ride-on vehicle, often found for free on curbs, and you’d bring it back to life and race it. As people began to get more competitive, modifications began to happen. In the beginning you could almost keep pace with the cars while walking. Now, some cars are so quick that riding on them is an adrenaline-blasting thrill.

It isn’t all about speed, though. As Jim Burke, the founder of the series (and also Make:‘s graphic designer) points out, there’s the aspect of Moxy. You see, it isn’t enough to simply show up and go fast. You have to also win over the hearts of the crowd. This is done through costumes, displays of humor, bribes of candy, and simply making a loveable car.

Jim sees a bright future for the series. They’ve been dabbling in fully autonomous cars, and in doing that are really at the cutting edge of the industry. Big car companies may be exploring the same paths, but they tend to be messing with tools that cost considerable amounts of money, placing them out of reach of many schools and clubs. The power racing series is attempting to get young engineers and enthusiasts involved in competitive autonomous car racing at a much more accessible price level.

As Jim explains, “We don’t want teams that cost $20,000 per school. We want $1000 teams and 20 schools.”

The hope is to get more creative minds tackling the issues of autonomous cars by lowering the cost barrier. Not only that, but surely the Power Racing Series is the perfect fit to make autonomous car racing more appealing by simply bringing their ethos of fun along.

Join us for World Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather together to show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Join over 950+ Makers for hands-on learning, making, and inspiration all weekend, October 1 & 2.

You can find the Power Wheel Racing Series at World Maker Faire in ZONE 2.

Schedule: SAT 11AM, NOON, 1PM, 3PM; SUN 12:30PM