Marc - this is a great idea!!  My girls and I have dabbled w/ Maker community activities and projects, and it would be amazing to have a community space.  One of the things I like about the Maker community is it really brings together people from all ages, backgrounds and interests.  Portland has a pretty strong Maker community, and just made their space last year -  There is a Hacker group in Bangor, - which is sort of like Maker but focuses just on technology.  We have a lot of resources and expertise here in our area, I think we'd just need to establish that people are truly interested and motivated to work for it.

If there are enough people interested, OPIE (Orono Partners In Education) might be a good fit.  Basically, OPIE is a 501(c)3 dedicated to raising grant money for school and community projects that would benefit RSU26 children. The OPIE Facebook page is here and the website is here  I'm the current President, and our Board is currently full, but we encourage anyone to attend our meetings and anyone who wants more involvement is absolutely welcome (and if anyone is please email me at [log in to unmask] and I'll get you info)!!  Groups that want OPIE's help fill out an application, and then OPIE tries to provide the resources that group needs - which might be finding other interested folks who want to help write grants, or acting as the nonprofit that can receive grant funds and distribute them back to the project, or even as a sounding board for clarifying the details of a project.

Are there other people on this list who might be interested in working toward a Maker space?

On Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 9:24 AM, Marc Veilleux <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Has anyone out there thought about bringing a new dimension to our schools and community at large vis-a-vis the so-called Maker movement?  This movement is all about creating maker spaces, places where people can come to teach and learn how to use various tools and materials to build anything from software and tech gizmos to traditional craft projects.  Although it is often linked to STEM education, it is really more in the nature of STEAM education because of the arts and design dimension.

There appear to be a number of grants and resources that might be tapped into to develop such a space, though I'm not certain where our community might best locate it.  In fact, it seems like there may be quit a bit of grant money available in this area.  

 Maybe our community is not well suited to take something like this on.  On the other hand, maybe it could take off.  I know we have some existing activities that fall under this umbrella, including our Adult Education programs and the school shop facilities. 

 Below are some links to articles on the topic.  While I did not attach it because of size limitations on the list serve, you might also search for the Makerspace Playbook online, a PDF publication about getting something like this started.

Wouldn't it be amazing if we had a facility like this that also incorporated a modest auditorium for related teaching, performing arts, and Ted-talk like presentations!  Like our own little Maker incubator.  

If you know of other email networks that reach more people in and around Orono and the greater Marsh Island area, please forward. 

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