Apartment Makerspace Could Be Creative Model

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Organizers hope the space can serve as a model for other apartment complexes. Organizers hope the space can serve as a model for other apartment complexes.

Organizers of a makerspace coming to a northeast side Indianapolis apartment complex say it will teach job-ready skills and cultivate creativity and enthusiasm among kids. The Glick Fund awarded Maker Youth Foundation Inc. $50,000 to design and build the space at the Carriage House East Apartments. 1st Maker Space founder Kim Brand says students in preschool through high school can learn to use machines including 3D printers and laser cutters and spark their entrepreneurial spirit.

During an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Brand said there is "no lack of low-income apartment complexes" to expand the pilot program.

The grant from the Glick Fund, which is overseen by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, will allow Maker Youth Foundation to purchase the equipment and house it in a vacant apartment at Carriage House East for one year. Maker Youth Foundation staff and volunteers will mentor residents and students on STEM concepts to help boost their making skills. 1st Maker Space Education Director Mary Rinehart says some programs will have specific goals, like creating a toy, while others will involve "open making."

Brand tells Inside INdiana Business one of the biggest challenges with after-school activities is transportation, so it makes sense to put programming where students and their families live.

The space is also designed to be part of a career path for students. Rinehart says mentors will work with students to help them earn badges associated with Job Ready Indy. That effort is a collaboration among EmployIndy, the Indy Chamber and Mayor Joe Hogsett to help students develop soft skills needed by employers.

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