By Brandon Gillet
You’ve already heard of Makerspace, uOttawa’s DIY playground. Now, the University’s Faculty of Engineering is offering schools in the community an outreach program based on the Makerspace, the Maker Mobile.
After a successful year, including coverage by the Gazette as well as many other local media outlets, the Makerspace, whose new, larger location has gotten nothing but positive feedback, is expanding again. It’s exactly as it sounds: all the cool stuff from the Makerspace brought on wheels to schools and communities for everyone to enjoy.
The Maker Mobile truck has had a successful pilot run, according to Makerspace administrator Professor Hanan Anis. Now, it’s set to bring 3D printing, laser cutting tools and all kinds of entertaining learning activities to young people all over the National Capital Region and, someday, beyond!
“Somebody asked, ‘Can you reach every school?’” said Anis. This spawned the idea for the Maker Mobile. Over the summer the Makerspace group raised enough money to buy a truck. Currently, they’re stocking it with equipment from the Makerspace. As bookings increase, they know the next step is to fill the truck with their own equipment.
“The truck is on the road and we are booked solid until Christmas,” said Anis.
A Kickstarter campaign has been set up to assist with the costs of this popular travelling tech show and pay for its own equipment, while Makerspace works on its own self-sustaining business model. “We operate on a cost-recovery basis by paying the students to drive it, maintain it, and we charge the schools so the business is self-sustainable,” said Anis.
Learn more about the Maker Mobile.