During our week in Detroit, we paid a visit to the Detroit Public Library which is home to a teen/young adult focused makerspace. Steve Teeri, the library’s technology specialist, used the phrase that they try only to create courses that are “full of awesome.” They call it the HYPE Teen Center.
From the looks of this small makerspace, Steve and his team make good on that promise. With a Makerbot Replicator as well as plenty of Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos and more electronics and gadgets then they can take apart in a year – the space offers classes nearly every week. They are regular users of Tinkercad, 123D Catch, and other easy-to-use apps that most makers love.
Started in 2010, the space was launched with a grant from Cognizant, which has been a big supporter of making and makers. With those funds, they purchased the 3D printer and supplies to start offering classes. They do the highly technical with the help of local volunteers, but also offer super practical classes, such as, how to fix your bike. Lots of the teens in the community ride their bikes to the library, so it is a popular course.
Like many public library spaces, they are dependent on budgets and the community to help support them. It seems like an ideal place for Ford or another major automotive company here in Detroit to recruit young talent – but someone needs to step up and super-fund the maker education spots like this one in the center of Detroit.
Any takers? Contact the HYPE Center here. For the record, they didn’t ask me to solicit funds – it is simply good sense for any community to keep projects like this profitable and well-funded. We left a bunch of bumper stickers, tattoos, and "maker on board" plaques. The bumper stickers state: "I Made My Other Car" and I'm sure this group of energetic young men and women will do more than that.
Full of Awesome should be our next bumper sticker...
Follow along at 3drv.com! #3DRV ■