Bright Berbawy Makers: Sven Olson


“Making things is a way to perform.”

“My dad is an engineering teacher nearby. I eventually got involved with Berbawy Makers through the PLTW (Project Lead the Way) program. I basically started this pathway for people to come to Berbawy Makers. 

It was NERF guns that got me into engineering originally. When I was 11, I took apart my first NERF gun, and two months later, I built the fastest NERF gun that will ever shoot. It shoots over 240 bullets per second. Then I got into drone racing. NERF guns started my interest [in engineering], but drone racing got me into electrical things, into how to build and race drones. I got into that a couple years back, and now I’m sixth in the world for that. 

I think for me, my favorite moment having been in Berbawy Makers has been Maker Faire for the past few years. I think Maker Faire is so important, since we spend so long working for it. But the payoff is worth it, people get scholarships and jobs for their projects. It’s the climax of the year. To me, though, Maker Faire teaches me what my limits are. I take on leadership roles and teach people when I’m in the classroom, but when I get to Maker Faire, I realize what everyone has learned, and as a leader that makes me realize how much people have accomplished but also what we can do to improve in future years. It’s like a benchmark; it’s like, we’re at this point this year. Last year, [Maker Faire] was really big, and we had all the experienced seniors go, but this year, it’s going to be different; we have many more young people, so we’re figuring out where we’re going and what we’re doing. 

Most of the personal goals I made for what to do in Berbawy Makers last year I’ve achieved–I am able to make whatever I want now since I’m trained in all the machines. For me, it’s now important for me to teach others for the future. It’s passing on the torch, even though I haven’t had it for long. 

For me, making things is a love, and you have to love building things to create things. I’m always improving and trying new things, but I have immense gratitude for what I’ve done so far.”