The Mt Elliott Makerspace is a village workshop where people make, tinker and learn together. We do this to strengthen ourselves and our communities so that we can create healthy, happy, meaningful lives.
- To grow and strengthen a local community of “makers” – people with the creativity, skills and confidence to address any challenge and feel empowered to make better lives for themselves and their community
- To facilitate learning entrepreneurial experiences through the process of researching, designing, fabricating, and bringing to market useful products and services
- To assist local communities in their mission to improve safety, enhance infrastructure, and provide positive environments for local families and youth
- To participate in the local, regional and global networks of makers by actively exchanging knowledge, resources, and experiences
- To develop the Mt Elliott Makerspace into a financially self-sustaining and community-supported organization
- To share the model for the Mt Elliott Makerspace so that it may be improved upon and adapted to other communities worldwide
Based on the needs and passions of of the Southeast Detroit community, the Mt Elliott Makerspace concentrates on learning experiences and entrepreneurial opportunities related to:
- Transportation – Things that help us get around. Human-powered and alternative-energy-powered vehicles designed to enhance mobility, safety, and enjoyability.
Ex. bicycles and bicycle trailers, alternative energy vehicles
- Electronics - Tools and systems that involve electricity and electronics in their operation.
Ex. consumer electronics repair, programming microcontrollers, alternative energy systems
- Digital Tools - Tools & systems utilizing digital technology that we use to communication, share knowledge, and express ourselves.
Ex. computers, wireless networks, audio/video production, social networking, programming
- Wearables – Things that we wear.
Ex. screenprinted recycled clothing, cnc embroidery, accessories, wearable electronics
- Design & Fabrication - Design & fabrication of almost anything utilizing various tools, materials, and methods.
Ex. sketching & drawing, digital design & fabrication using CAD & CNC prototyping, furniture building using recycled materials
- Food – Growing, preparing, and understanding the things that we eat.
Ex. growing community gardens, cooking, canning, nutrition
- Music & Arts – Creating, exhibiting and performing music & art.
Ex. painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, acoustic & electronic music composition
Through peer learning, skill & knowledge building workshops and entrepreneurial product & service explorations, Makerspace Makers develop skills and aptitudes related to:
- Creativity - developing new and innovative responses to challenges
- Idea Representation – communicating visions through hand/computer sketching, 2D/3D drawing and modeling, graphic design
- Complex Systems Analysis & Problem Solving – understanding, troubleshooting and repairing mechanical and electronic systems as well as social systems
- Product/Service Research – identifying problems by observing environments and empathizing with users, proposing and testing solutions
- Entrepreneurship – understanding markets, sales/marketing, production, distribution, financial management, operations management
- Leadership & Teamwork – facilitating healthy and productive relationships, working with others
- Project Management – organizing and prioritizing tasks, delegating responsibility, setting realistic goals, meeting deadlines
- Courage, Commitment & Persistence - believing in one’s ability to making the impossible possible, summoning the strength of oneself and one’s community to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges, setting and achieving goals against all odds
An AwesomeShop is a series of intensive workshops designed to develop deep Maker knowledge through various project-based learning experiences. AwesomeShop typically meets 2 hours per week for 8-10 weeks on a three-season basis: Fall/Winter, Winter/Spring, and Summer.
A SprintShop is a 1-3 hour workshops that serve as brief introductions to maker skills. Examples include workshops on alternative energy, electronic and acoustic musical instruments, soldering, sketching/drawing, 2D/3D CAD, computer programming, model rocketry, and screenprinting. SprintShops are intended to provide quick leaning experiences for those who are simply seeking a “taste” of the Makerspace, or those who may not be able to attend AwesomeShops or OpenShops.
An OpenShop is unstructured workshop time where Makers may “tinker” and experiment freely with the tools and materials of the Makerspace. Makers may work on existing AwesomeShop projects, or explore independent interests. Although there is no formal instruction during OpenShop, Facilitators are available to inspire and “coach” Makers by proposing new projects, discussing ideas, or offering assistance.
PRODUCTS & SERVICES (FUTURE)
- Transportation - sale, repair and customization of bicycles
- Electronics - sale, repair and customization of audio electronics and consumer electronics
- Digital Tools - sale, repair and customization of computers
- Wearables – creation, sale, repair, customization, screenprinting of clothing and accessories
- Design & Fabrication – creation, repair, restoration and sale furniture, contracted design/build services
- Food – cultivation and sale of fruits and vegetables, sale of prepared foods
- Music & Arts – creation and sale of music and art
- Maker Learning – creation and sale of customized Maker Learning workshops, tools, kits, and training
- Sustainable South Bronx GreenFab
- MIT Fab Lab
- The Green Garage
- Tony Stark’s Ironman Workshop
- Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory
- The Wright Brothers’ Wright Cycle Shop
- Julia Child’s Kitchen
The Mt Elliott Makerspace project is an experiment. We test new ideas and methods for community learning and entrepreneurial economic development, and we expect to fail at least as often as we succeed. The Makerspace will continue to evolve as we uncover community assets, understand our strengths and weaknesses, witness the results of our experiments, and receive community feedback. It may never offer everything for everyone, but we will grow carefully and organically in hopes of meeting as many needs and expectations as possible.
- Church of the Messiah
- Capuchin Soup Kitchen
- Earthworks Urban Farm
- The Detroit Digital Justice Coalition
- The Kresge Foundation via the Detroit Program
- Cognizant Technology Solutions via the Making The Future Program
- Capuchin Soup Kitchen
- The Knight Foundation
- CEOs for Cities
IN KIND SUPPORT
- The Green Garage – mentorship, advisory services
- Make Magazine – magazines, solder badges, Maker Faire…too much to list
- The Hub of Detroit – recycled bicycles and parts
- Volkswagen of America - computers & peripherals
- Re-Source Partners – computers & peripherals
- Caniff Electric – electrical supplies
- All American Integrated Supply – hardware and misc maker supplies