About this project
Austin Tinkering School was born 5 years ago, in the backyard of our East Austin home. Inspired by the Tinkering School started by Gever Tulley in the Bay Area (check out his TED talk here), we saw a need and opportunity to inspire the next generation of ATX Makers, hackers, and inventors. Austin has always been a haven for the DIYers, craftivists, tech-savvy innovators, and think-outside-the-box-ers and we needed a school that not only could teach skills but provide access to space, tools, and materials so kids and adults could design, build, create, as well as strengthen their ability to problem solve, collaborate, and innovate.
Anyway, here we are, 5 years later. We've built go-carts, roller coasters, pinball machines, tree forts, hovercrafts, 2 story waterslides, and countless other projects both big and small. We've offered classes in arduino, robotics, raspberry pi, and 3D printing. We've had guest Makers teach classes in enameling, video game design, concrete casting, soap making, and lots more. We even started the Austin Mini Maker Faire (now in it's 4th year), which is a two-day, family-friendly event to MAKE, create, craft, learn, play, invent, and be inspired. So let's just say we are ALL about the Making.
And we are SO ready to move out of the backyard and into a centrally located, community oriented, kid- and family-friendly Makerspace! We want to bring these meaningful hands-on Maker experiences to more kids and adults all over Austin. We also need a Tinkermobile (a truck with a dedicated set of tools and locking tool boxes) so that we can more easily bring tinkering projects to schools, rec centers, afterschool programs, churches, events, and everywhere that kids are found.
We would like to find a warehouse, old auto repair shop, or other industrial space with a fenced-in side yard (kids need playspace and room to build big) for around $2000 a month. The amount of funding we are attempting to raise will provide us with a $1000 per month towards rent for one year , which will ease our financial situation considerably, and will allow us to establish ourselves at the new location. $4000 to spend on a used truck for our Tinkermobile would be fantastic. The remainder would go towards Kickstarter fees and expenses, as well as remodeling of our new space, signage, and a few new tools.
And Boy Howdy yes do we have stretch goals!
$1000 for a welding set-up
$2100 for a Blacktooth Laser Cutter
$2000 for additional computers and software
$1000 for a kiln
$2200 for a Makerbot Replicator 2 3d printer
$5000 for a desktop Shopbot
$5000 would enable us to buy a stepvan and to create a more complete Tinkermobile.
$12,000 for another year in the new space!
Kids love tinkering. Tinkering is a great way to learn. Through tinkering kids are empowered and inspired! The Maker movement is booming, and Austin has NO Makerspace that is specifically for kids (and lots of other cities do already). Let's do this, ATX! Help us Make a Makerspace for us all!
Risks and challenges
We are actively seeking a suitable space and hope to find something that works for us in the next few months. We have had enough possibilities in our price range that we believe that we'll be able to find something that in the next few months. Most importantly we hope to find something before summer camp season. If we are unable to find a new home for Austin Tinkering School by the end of 2015, we will use the money to create a program that will bring tinkering classes, programs, and experiences to underserved youth. We have plans to create this program either way, but if we are not able to secure a space, we will put our full energy into this program.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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