A joyful part of our first ever Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire was our Makerspace Unconference, an opportunity to come together for an informal, but informative session to consider the creation of community makerspace(s) in Tampa Bay.
2012 Makerspace Unconference
At our 2012 Mini Maker Faire Makerspace Unconference, we were joined by folks experienced in the matter, from Familab in Orlando, and Fab Lab in Sarasota, MOSIs Idea Zone and local collaborators from Makerspace Tampa Bay , Learning is for Everyone, and the University Area Community Development Corporation, and since then have created an LI4E Makerspace Project community.
We’ll be holding another Makerspace Unconference at our 2013 event, to share lessons learned and progress so far – there has, in fact, been progress!
LI4E Makerspace Project 2012 Year in Review
The LI4E Tampa Bay Makerspace project was named one of the top ten 10,100, 1000 projects by Creative Loafing last year, made it into the semi-finals with our Red Bull Creation project during the summer (check out the video below!) and Learning is for Everyone is currently working collaboratively with the Pasco County Library System (a partner for the 2013 Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire!) , in consultation with James Carlson of SchoolFactory.org, to bring Makerspaces to area libraries. It was a busy first year, and we’re only just getting started!
What’s a Makerspace, anyway?
(Read this far and still wondering?)
Makerspaces are the ultimate creative space. Like a library but with far more than books, makerspaces provide community residents with the tools, training and resources to become active and empowered creators of their futures instead of passive consumers – of food, clothing, tools, toys, furniture, books, magazines, games, gadgets and more. The list is endless because the possibilities are endless.
Why do we need them in Tampa Bay?
Makerspaces are good for individuals, and good for neighborhoods, providing community enhancing ways to repurpose unused or abandoned space, meaningful ways to teach employable and entrepreneurial skills, and lucrative ways to benefit from collaborative opportunities between area businesses and organizations who can reap the rewards of well-placed mentoring ranging from a better skilled workforce to locally developed products.
Additionally, makerspaces become community gathering places, putting capacity building and resource development into the hands of area residents who need it most, empowering ordinary people to become extraordinary Makers of their future and Tampa Bay’s.
We’ll be holding more conversations about public community spaces to think, build, create, invent, collaborate. If you want to be part of the conversation, join us at the LI4E Makerspace Project page, and let’s make it happen together! And check out some great resources for learning about and developing makerspaces on our library page!
Check out our first big Maker project – our entry into the Red Bull Creation 2012 contest!