A robotically controlled growth facility, the Bellweather Phenotyper, inspired scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to create less expensive versions for their individual labs. Sixty percent of the scientists now participate in a Maker Group, where they acquire skills to build instruments designed for their own research. One scientist, Dustin Mayfield-Jones took his skills to new heights in adventures with high altitude balloons. These balloons carry Raspberry Pi computer-guided instruments as high as 100,000 feet into ‘near space’, often travelling as far as 60 miles. He has completed over ten launches, and is working with area schools to use high altitude ballooning as part of STEM education.