Kids love a makerspace


When I got everything down to the library basement yesterday afternoon, there were already some kids waiting. Apparently they’ve been asking for a week or so when the next maker meeting was going to be. Mostly I set them loose with the 3Doodler to keep them out of my hair while I got my printrbot working (all we had was a couple of mac laptops and the ancient version of Repetier that runs on OS X), but I was amazed at what they came up with, and with the complete lack of incident with a bunch of 7-to-11-year-olds handling a toy that happens to have a 220 C nozzle.

Once I got the printer set up, there was the usual hypnotized crowd watching the layers go on and listening to the music of the stepper motors. You could see the wheels turning in one kid’s head as he talked about printing out some of the characters he designs in Cinema 4D. And of course everybody knew about the prosthetic hands (maybe we should print one?).

If we had the resources to run something like this on a weekly or even a daily basis, the kids would find plenty of new stuff to do and build. Some of them are already complaining about not enough things to solder. But along with the crowds of kids there was a distinct lack of adults. Lots of folks who agree that there should be a makerspace in town, and wish they could use the facilities it would provide. Even people who are offering their large empty buildings as a venue. Perhaps, unlike the kids, they just didn’t get the word of mouth or see the right notices.

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