Makerspaces inspire creativity! These community places provide the space to combine science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM!) in order to make and create. They are like an artist’s studio but also include digital making as well as physical making. Activities include woodworking, electronics, computers, 3D printing, knitting, screen printing, sewing, and more! Western Massachusetts has a number of community maker spaces to start brainstorming your do-it-yourself gift giving ideas.
3D printing, a type of industrial robot which can synthesize three dimensional objects for a variety of purposes, is one of the most exciting technological, scientific, and creative innovations of recent years. Local libraries and other learning centers have begun to support an interest in engineering, technology, and creativity by housing 3D printers and providing demonstrations of the technology. There are several upcoming opportunities for families to learn about and utilize this new technology their your own projects.
Some educators in the field of computer science have taken up the motto that, “Coding is the new literacy.” Programming languages, the logic used to build tools such as websites and video games, do have similarities with the written word. Once you learn to read and write code, new avenues of understanding and building emerge. Knowledge of programming languages and can turn people from users and consumers to creators. Thankfully, there are several Western Mass organizations and spaces which support this “new literacy.”
Filling the need for spaces in which to combine art and science, maker spaces and meet-up groups are popping up all over western Massachusetts! Offering community-based opportunities to think, make, do, learn, and share, these groups and spaces can be valuable to young makers!