What’s Old is New Again

There is so much to learn from the world and things around us.  Exploring and discovering new ways repurpose old materials in makerspaces is a phenomenon taking the country by storm.

Makerspaces are collaborative learning environments where people come together to share materials and information, learn new skills, work on projects, network and build. Makerspaces provide tools and space in community environments like libraries, community centres, museums, schools or private organization spaces. They can be permanent locations or held at temporary pop-up sites. Makerspaces have grown in popularity over the past decade, partially due to the launch of Make magazine in 2005, which focuses on do-it-yourself (DIY) and/or do-it-with-others (DIWO) projects. It is estimated that over 1500 makerspaces now exist worldwide!

A makerspace might focus on electronics, robotics, woodworking, sewing, laser cutting, programming or other hands-on skills. Because of the variety of projects, they therefore may share quite a variety of tools, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, power tools, soldering irons and sewing machines. A space, however, doesn’t need to include all of these machines or even any of them to be considered a makerspace. They are not defined by a specific set of materials, but rather by a mindset of creativity, exploration, learning and collaborating. Makerspaces often promote repurposing recycled materials and repairing things that break. Experts may be available some of the time, but often beginners get help from other users.

Come and join us at the Galt Museum & Archives for Maker Day on Friday, April 21 from 1–4:30 pm. Our program partner, City of Lethbridge Waste & Recycling Services, will provide wood pallets diverted from our landfill. You will learn how to use traditional hand tools, including saws, hammers and screw drivers, to transform a wood pallet into something new. Join us for a fun and hands-on afternoon. Enjoy free admission as an early celebration of Earth Day. We are also looking for volunteers to assist at this program. Contact Janae at 403.320-4700 for more information.

Graham RuttanComment