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Comment: What are your goals? (Score 2) 167

"what I'm not finding are what to know before you start, or what it takes to make the effort worthwhile"

No one can give you the answer to this until you can communicate what you want the space to accomplish. Think ahead one year, five years. What does your space look like? Who does it serve? What key points can you identify that tell you it's successful?

Write that down. Make it realistic, and make sure it excites you AND others. Start working back with what it takes to get there. Share this. Work on it with people that would be using the space.

Starting a shop is one step, keeping it up and running is another story. Hopefully this is still relevant:
1. How will it be maintained? This is different than a personal workshop, or one shared with just a few people or a company doing production. Tools in makerspaces often get repeatedly used by people who know little about them, this is a GREAT thing, but it can be brutal on the machines.

2. Is the goal to train people to use the tools? If so, how will you accomplish this effectively?

Misc. comments:
Artisan's Asylum and Maker-Works have both offered makerspace boot camps. These are more geared towards how to keep a space running/maintaining it rather than how to start. But they're both great learning opportunities (though not cheap, and full disclosure: I work for Maker-Works)

Eastern Michigan recently opened: https://www.egr.msu.edu/ecesho...

This group is doing some research into makerspaces & education: http://catlab.gatech.edu/

Awesome, it looks like this still gets updated: https://wiki.hackerspaces.org/...

Bilal Ghalib. If you have a budget to pay someone to get you started, hire this man. http://bilalghalib.com/

Most importantly, involve the community as much as possible.

I would be happy to chat more, feel free to shoot me an email: joshdont gmail

Comment: Re:Local Educational: Hackerspace (Score 1) 263

by joshdont (#41387641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek's Charitable Donations Go?
Agreed! Organizations like:
GEMSI http://www.gemsi.org/
Mt Elliott http://www.mtelliottmakerspace.com/
All Hands Active http://www.allhandsactive.com/ are just a few hackerspace/makerspaces that do amazing things to help spread technology, education, understanding, etc. (I am a little biased, as I work for All Hands Active )

Libraries are also starting to get more involved in providing access to tools, perhaps you could help spearhead something in that area?

Comment: Re:All Due Credit (Score 2) 35

by joshdont (#39700975) Attached to: All Hands Active in Ann Arbor is a Makerspace for All Ages (Video)
Thanks a ton for posting up the sources! All Hands Active would not exist if not for a huge amount of help from local and online places.

For those interested, there are a number of Hacker/Makerspaces/Fab Labs that help connect people to resources:
http://www.hackerspaces.org/
http://www.schoolfactory.org/

If you're in the Michigan area, make sure to check out
http://www.i3detroit.com/
http://www.maker-works.com/
http://www.mtelliottmakerspace.com/
http://omnicorpdetroit.com/
http://www.portlandmachinistguild.org/
Places and people providing similar space/activities/awesome.

Comment: Re:Pop Science (Score 1) 35

by joshdont (#39700719) Attached to: All Hands Active in Ann Arbor is a Makerspace for All Ages (Video)
Aye aye!

The facility is primarily used by people within the ages of ~18 to ~30. However, we do a lot of work outside the space with younger groups. The space is open to all.

Some people who come down are interested in a pretty low level/assembly code understanding of the world. Others just want to know the easiest way to manipulate it. Either way, hopefully they can find some of the resources they need at, or through AHA!

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