Mobile Maker Space.
After going to conferences, local and afar, there has been one common theme : people have questions and want help in regards to Maker Spaces and Maker Centered Learning. Just like Maker has a very wide array of tools and materials and media, there isa wide array of questions. they range form "we have a $100,000 grant and an empty room..." to "I have a corner in my room that I can clean out and no money, but I want kids to start making...". Every situation is different. Every teacher is different. Every kid is different. I almost feel like the only real way to help is one on one. You know, "personalized learning".
I have visited many maker spaces, rooms as well as mobile spaces. And read about many others. Of course they come in all varieties, trailers (big & small), busses, trucks, cargo container. Most are run by libraries and science centers, but some are done by schools. So I began exploring in more detail the idea that we need a Maker Truck in my area (Summit County) that can go to schools and help teachers and students with learning experiences that focus on design thinking, tinkering and making it would bring tools that they do not normally have and tools that they have always wanted to test out that are more affordable. Do PD, do community outreach to build support, run a couple of summer camps, create a network of local makers... all those good things.
How to do this? how to get partners and money Which vehicle? (I was actually leaning towards a 14-16' box truck like a FedEx truck, but i also like the idea of repurposing a 16'-20' cargo container. This is the biggest unanswered budget issue)
After visiting the Carnegie Science Center FabLab, I have settled on a Mobile Van that just carries the equipment. You offload and setup in the school. This gives the added advantage of the admin & teachers seeing the tools IN their setting. While the idea of having a mobile "work space" is cool & neat, it is not practical for schools. You can only put ~5 people in a truck/container work space at one time, yet you have a class of 25-30. Also, the weather in NE Ohio is not always conducive for driving larger vehicles. Carnegie has some nice designs for rolling carts made with a CNC router.
I thought I should put my plotting and planning "out there" :
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