September 7, 2012, by Casey Shea
I would first like say that I am thrilled to be a part of the ten schools in the Makerspace pilot. There are some creative and talented people doing great work with kids and I am excited to learn from them and to share ideas.
Our move to the new space brings a set of design challenges that I hope to engage the students in as we fully move in. From placement of the stationary tools to designing and building furniture that can be easily reconfigured, we have plenty of challenges that should keep us thinking and prototyping for some time.
I’d like to say that every student who successfully completes our program will walk away with a taste of what it takes to design, build and hopefully iterate and improve on something of their own choosing. We will expose them to the necessary software, using free and open source versions whenever possible, to use 21st century tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers, but also make sure that they try their hands at more traditional skills like working with wood and metal and maintaining and repairing bicycles. Understanding basic electronics and circuitry will be presented through projects that they solder and assemble. Arduino microcontrollers will be used to interact with the physical world.
Hopefully, the students will use the skills that resonate most authentically within them to put together some fantastic projects to show off at the Maker Faire in 2013! I can all but guarantee that they will have the opportunity to stretch their perseverance muscles as we tackle larger projects. This might be the most enduring benefit.