Visit a MakerSpace Near You!
Never heard of a MakerSpace? Think of it as a club setting, usually at a workshop location or learning center where like-minded people gather to use anything from power tools, software, lazer cutters, 3D Printers, etc., etc. to simply just make stuff. MakerSpaces are popping up all across the country and attracting kids of all ages (8-88) to show up, take a quick safety training course and begin creating - sometimes for personal use, sometimes for sale. Think of it as a club or co-op that, often in exchange for a membership fee, supplies club members with access to equipment and tools you often wouldn’t have at home.
I visited my first MakerSpace in Kansas City, MO while on business and spent a few hours touring and trying out some of the equipment such as routers, LED light kits, and 3D Printers. Adjoined to the city’s Discovery Center, Kansas City’s MakerSpace offers an array of courses and supports a strong community outreach and partnership with city government and schools. Back in Charlotte, the makerspace here was of a much more informal nature, and just as supportive. With limited affiliations to city programs and the school community, this space has evolved with a core group of members that offer much of the same learning and equipment access to that of KS, but in a much more easy going and less formal atmosphere.
These spaces are sprouting up across the country in towns and cities and are devoting time and equipment to you – the maker, crafter, entrepreneur, and of course haunter! Go check one out close to you!