What We Do
MAKESHOP is a place for children and families to explore “real stuff” — the tools, materials and processes used by artists, makers and craftspeople. We believe that everybody, no matter their age, can be a maker. We encourage visitors to explore and test their ideas, designs and techniques, to explore making as a process of creative informal learning.
Every day is a little different here – check out our Programs & Events page for details. Browse the blog for photos and information on what we’ve been working on, who we’re working with and other interesting documentation.
What is a Makerspace?
While there is no formal definition of a makerspace, they are typically designed as catalysts for hands-on building and tinkering with old and new technologies, exciting projects and cutting-edge media. Making is characterized by interest driven engagement in creative production at the crossroads and fringes of disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, art and math. Students can play around with ideas, create things together and experiment with tools, materials and techniques while they investigate how things work, discover how things are used, and learn new processes and skills. Makerspaces give students the opportunity to deeply engage and innovate in science, engineering and tinkering as they discover creative ways to design, build and invent.
Everyday there are opportunities for building, sorting, attachment, experimentation and reading in MAKESHOP, appropriate for all ages. Check out our blog and Twitter feed for photos and information about recent projects.
Below is a list of some tools and materials that we have in MAKESHOP. Availability varies depending on the focus and programs happening in the space when you visit:
- Floor loom (4-harness Laclerc)
- Sewing machines (Brother XL2600I)
- Woodworking tools (hammers, saws, hand drills, rasps, etc)
- Laser cutter (CO2 40W Full Spectrum)
- 3D printers (MakerBot Replicator Dual)
- Stop motion animation (currently iMotion HD on iPad)
- Programming (especially Scratch)
- Physical computing (MaKey MaKey, WeDo, Hummingbird, Arduino)
- Soft Circuits materials (conductive thread, sewable batteries and LEDs, etc)
- Light painting and photography (Canon Rebel XSi and T3i)
- Motors, wires and LEDs
- Tape and recycled materials
While we love to receive donations in MAKESHOP, please email staff before delivering items to donate to be sure that we can accept and store the items.
Items we usually accept:
- Most fabrics
- Fiber art materials (yarn, embroidery floss, sewing needles, etc)
- Old electronics (stereos, walkmans, DVD players, etc)
- Old toys (electronic and stuffed)
- Wood scraps
- Recycled/recyclable materials (milk cartons, boxes, plastic containers, cardboard tubes, etc)
- Miscellaneous or odd items (corks, bottlecaps, clothespins, hand tools, etc)
We cannot accept:
- Electronics with glass components (televisions, scanners, etc)
- Dirty or unwashed items (food containers, fiber, etc)
- Very large quantities of items
Visitors often say things like, “Last time we were here, we helped build a mini golf course, it looks really different today.” or “What happened to felting? I thought this was the felting room.”
The truth is, MAKESHOP is always changing — we try new things, bring back our old favorites and completely reimagine what the space can be. Check out this video of just one week in the MAKESHOP Workshop. Watch out for schools groups, guest makers, play-testing, meetings, photo shoots, themed activities and more!