Posted March 23, 2017 by Ashley Washburn
With its rich agricultural and rural heritage, Nebraska is a place where being self-reliant and finding creative solutions to everyday problems is a way of life. An April 17-18 Nebraska Makerspace Workshop aims to capitalize on Nebraskans’ talents to lead a statewide makers’ movement.
Hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Innovation Studio, the workshop is the first step toward coordinating and developing a concept for a network of Nebraska makerspaces. The goal of a makers’ network is to link communities and foster the state’s culture of making. Nebraska faculty interested in connecting with rural communities and promoting economic development are encouraged to attend.
Limited spots are available, and registration is required.
“This network could offer new possibilities in STEM learning for rural communities and create an ‘artificial’ density of population to spark innovation and economic productivity,” said Shane Farritor, Lederer Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and executive chairman of Innovation Studio’s advisory board.
The workshop is free and open to the public and will be held at Nebraska Innovation Campus and the Innovation Studio, 2021 Transformation Drive, Suite 1500. The event is geared toward educational institutions, libraries, community makerspaces and economic development offices, and researchers involved in rural education, Nebraska Extension and economic development.
The workshop’s objectives include:
- Discussing the ‘state of making’ and makerspaces in Nebraska.
- Learning about the concept of makerspace networks and how they can become engines for informal STEM learning, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development.
- Identifying technological, economic and geographic barriers to developing a makerspace network and how to overcome those challenges.
April 17 features speakers and breakout discussions on the state of making in Nebraska and the potential for a makerspace network. April 18 is optional, and offers training on establishing a makerspace and using equipment commonly found in makerspaces, including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers and woodworking tools.