Introduction: Mini Maker Challenge - a Card Game for Maker Spaces

Mini Maker Challenge is a card game for your Makerspace designed to challenge you to be spontaneous, adventurous, and have fun!

Step 1: Create Your Challenge Cards

Create challenge cards that players will compete to create the best thing that addresses the drawn challenge. Here are our suggestions, but feel free to make your own!

  • Build a Rube Goldberg Machine
  • Build a common object out of uncommon things
  • Make a vehicle you can ride
  • Build the tallest tower
  • Make a slingshot that shoots the furthest
  • Create a boat that can hold the most weight
  • Make an instrument
  • Make a custom game

Step 2: Create Your Component Cards

Create Component Cards that represent all the materials you have on-hand in your Maker Space.

Each card is a material that can be used to create something. Examples include:

  • Cardboard
  • Lego
  • Arduinos
  • Styrofoam
  • Zip-lock bags
  • etc

Make a card for anything you have around your space that you use for Maker projects! Don't add tools you use to make, or items that you use in most projects like glue.

Make duplicates for components that are abundant in your space.

Step 3: Play!

Starting the game:

Shuffle the Challenge Card and the Component Card decks. Each team draws 5 component cards, and the entire group draws one Challenge Card.

Component Phase:

Teams have 10 minutes to select 3 of their component cards that they feel is best to address the challenge, and pitch it to the group. After everyone has pitched their components, each person playing votes for their favorite combination other than their own team's. The combination with the most votes wins the Component Phase and is used in the Blueprint Phase.

Blueprint Phase:

Each team has 15 minutes to create a blueprint of an artifact that has to include the winning combination of components that best gets at the drawn challenge. Teams then pitch their blueprint to the group and once again, individuals vote on the blueprint that best address the drawn challenge. The blueprint with the most votes wins the Blueprint Phase and is used in the Maker Phase.

Maker Phase:

Each team has 1 hour to create the artifact depicted in the winning blueprint. Teams have to include the designs from original blueprints but have some creative freedom when building it. It is up to the group if the changes made are too detached from the original blueprint. After 1 hour, teams present their artifacts to the group and pitch how it addresses the drawn Challenge Card. Once again, individuals vote for the artifact other than their own team's that they think is best, and the artifact with the most votes is declared the winner!


The purpose of Mini Maker Challenge is to get Makers out of their comfort zone, make something new, and challenge each other. You are encouraged to change any of the rules or mechanics of the game to help you do so!

This game was created as part of a doctoral Constructionism class taught by Prof. Matthew Berland at the University of Wisconsin - Madison