Week 10 – Making and Makerspaces – Program Review

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    • #2266
      Tracey Allen

      Making and Makerspaces

      A makerspace is a “place where people come together to create and collaborate, to share resources, knowledge, and stuff”. They have been born out of the love for the DIY culture and a need for libraries to embrace the technological advances in society. Australian libraries providing makerspaces see benefits that include community engagement, equal opportunity for accessing technology and new learning opportunities for users. The challenges that Australian libraries are encountering include budget constraints, copyright, liability and ownership issues. Leading the way in Queensland is the State Library of Queensland (SLQ).

      I attended the TRYIT Workshop: LED Nite Kites at the SLQ’s facility ‘The Edge’. “The TRYIT Workshops are all about trying something new, testing new skills and experimenting”.

      When I arrived, I noticed there were a lot of people involved in other making activities and there was a great atmosphere.  The instructor Peter came and let us know that the area was set up and to gather around the tables.  There were 5 other participants besides myself.  Peter introduced himself and then we started.

      First we dismantled a DVD/CD ROM drive to get the motor that would power the LED lights. Then we began making the kite from a garbage bag, two pieces of dowel from Bunnings, electrical tape, sticky tape and builders’ string. The kite outline was based on the Diamond Kite Template with permission from the website owner. We were given a handout with the exact dimensions and left to begin while Peter went around the area helping each of us and finding out why we were there.  We measured and drew the outline of the kite. We then added sticky-tape over the outline to prevent the edges from tearing. I cut the dowel to size with a hand saw and then made notches along the horizontal dowel in order to create a bowed cross spar. I found the next task difficult as I was unsure of the different knots required and the bowed cross spar required at least two people in order to get the correct dimensions.  I initially waited for Peter, but after a few minutes I asked one of my fellow makers for help and got it tied properly. The kite so far can be seen below in Photo 1.
      Kite made from reclaimed materials.

      It was at 6pm that Peter asked if there was anyone that needed to leave as the 2hrs were up, or if we would like to stay on as the makerspace would be open till 7:30pm. I chose to stay on and we started on the motor that would power the LED lights.  The motor would require wire, a piece of black tubing, the motor that was taken from the CD ROM drive with two insulated wires that Peter had attached, and a propeller made from a small black plastic tube. As seen here in photo 2.
      Kite propeller motor

      I overheard Peter talking to another staff member about changing future workshops by having more of the kite pre-done as no-one had even come close to finishing the kite (I realised then that this was the pilot program). At 7:15pm Peter discussed our options to finish at home, return on the days he worked or to attend the Hack the Evening events.  We were to contact Peter via email to arrange a time to return to finish the project and he would have the materials we needed ready.

      Throughout the session we all chatted and I discovered that though we came from different backgrounds, we were all makers and wanted to learn something new. I believe that makerspaces are here to stay as they appeal to such a wide range of people. Despite not finishing the LED kite, I would recommend ‘The Edge’ as a great place to create and share knowledge with others. I’m looking forward to returning not only to finish my kite but also to utilise the Fabrication Lab.

      • This topic was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Tracey Allen.
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Tracey Allen.
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Tracey Allen. Reason: Added photo's though for some reason rotated back to original despite saving right way up
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Tracey Allen. Reason: It was bothering me and needed some re-wording
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    • #2272
      Tracey Allen

      P.S. I will add more photos/video when it is finished and maybe bring it in after class and try and fly it!!!

    • #2677
      Paola Beretta

      Hi Tracey,

      What a great post! I haven’t attended a workshop at the Edge yet, but I definetly want to. It sounds that even though you could not finish your project on the evening, you had a lot of fun and learnt from the experience. Also, they were flexible enough with this pilot program to invite you back to finish the project, that is really great. Thanks for sharing your views.

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