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STEAMLabs is a non-profit makerspace dedicated to empowering kids & adults to create and innovate. Dream it. Build it.
STEAMLabs is a non-profit makerspace dedicated to empowering kids & adults to create and innovate. Dream it. Build it.
155 backers pledged CA$ 22,167 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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CA$ 22,167

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Update:

New reward options from Dinosaur Comics!

$10 Dinosaur Comic Keychain Fob. 

To select this reward choose the "$10 LASER CUT KEYCHAIN FOB" reward. We will send out a survey after the kickstarter ends asking which design you would like (e.g. gear, robot, dinosaur etc.). You will choose DINOSAUR! 

This 7cm x 5cm two colour mosaic will have Ryan's choice of awesome Dinosaur Comic text. You can also pick this mini mosaic for your keychain in the $50 For-the-love-of-all-things-STEAMLabs reward and the $100 Ultimake Maker reward.

$125 CAD ($104 USD) Limited Edition Dinosaur Comic Laser Cut Mosaic Artwork reward

This is one of the designs for the $125 "Limited Editions Laser Cut Mosaic Artwork" reward. The best part is that you can pick out your favourite Dinosaur Comics phrase and we'll custom-make the mosaic just for you! This art piece is 20cm x 20cm (~8" x 8"), securely made from 3 layers of 3mm acrylic. 

Update: In the news

Here are some great media pieces highlighting what we've been up to!

 
   

Our Vision

We want to empower kids and adults to change the world by putting incredible tools in their hands and providing a space to let their creativity and curiosity thrive. Our goal is to open an all-ages makerspace where anyone can learn the skills and build confidence to invent the future. 

Our Kickstarter Goals  

With your help, we are going to equip our space with cutting edge tools for kids and adults to use in a collaborative workroom under the guidance of some of Toronto's foremost designers and makers. We have an amazing 2500 square foot space and now we need to transform it from an empty shell into a thriving community hub.

The money we raise through Kickstarter will be used to buy:   

  • a CNC router  
  • a laser cutter
  • suite of 3D printers
  • electronics  
  • wood working tools

Our $20,000 goal will allow us to buy base level tools. If we raise more we will be able to buy more tools (e.g., a larger suite of 3D printers), larger tools (e.g., larger cutter area for laser cutter) and more capable machines (e.g. a higher power CNC router). We would be over the moon if we could reach $40,000! (Dream BIG my friends!)

What is STEAMLabs?

Founded by Andy Forest and Marianne Mader, STEAMLabs is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering anyone to create, innovate, and problem solve. We started Canada's first kids’ Makerspace in 2012 and have taught thousands of kids how to build and code Arduino robots, program video games, 3D design & 3D print, laser cut and do all kinds of other high tech making! As thought leaders in informal education, we have helped create guidelines and models for makerspaces in schools and libraries.

Our new community makerspace will be an entry point for both kids and adults looking to get started in digital fabrication, coding, hands-on making and electronics. It’s also a space for seasoned makers and artists looking to work with high tech equipment. We will offer:   

  • full access memberships  
  • after school programs  
  • summer camps  
  • maker parties  
  • weekend workshops  
  • drop-in open make times

We are passionate about enabling life long learning through play and hands-on making. The education landscape is changing: there is greater and greater emphasis on teaching and learning 21st century skills with multidisciplinary projects (note: STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). By providing a makerspace focused on the application of these skills in a fun and engaging way, and through the use of cutting edge tools, we hope to push the boundaries of education reform.

You can follow STEAMLabs on Facebook and Twitter!

Our amazing partners: 

We have partnered with the Centre for Social Innovation and the STEAMLabs makerspace will be located on the ground floor of their new building in the heart of downtown Toronto. The Centre for Social Innovation is a coworking space, community, and launchpad for people who are changing the world, with three locations in Toronto and a location in New York City. They provide their members with the tools they need to accelerate their success and amplify their impact. Together, we’re building a movement of nonprofits, for-profits, entrepreneurs, artists, and activists working across sectors to create a better world. 

Centre for Social Innovation new building in downtown Toronto.
Centre for Social Innovation new building in downtown Toronto.

We were also founding members of the Mozilla Hive Toronto Learning Network in 2012. A thriving collaboration with over 60 youth-serving member organizations across the city, Hive Toronto has engaged more than 4,000 youth and educators in connected learning experiences through funded programs and public events. STEAMLabs was awarded two grants through Hive Toronto’s Collaborative Community Projects that was possible through the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

We are incredibly thankful for support from the Canadian Internet Authority Registration (CIRA), Spark Labs Inc., Tekton Tools, and Dimentians Ltd - all of whom have helped us further our goal to bring hands-on, interactive activities to schools.

Kickstarter Rewards

Robot keychain fob design created by Mathew Del Degan from the Noun Project.

Who we are:

"So a tinkerer and a scientist walk into a bar....."  

Well that's not quite how this all started, but close! Andy and Marianne met at an Arts & Science conference and went to a circus class for their first date. Since then, they have been adventuring through life together and finding creative ways to merge arts, science, engineering, and technology in truly interactive ways. Andy's passion and purpose are to empower kids and adults to invent the future! Marianne strives to encourage curiosity in everyone!

Andy Forest, Co-Founder STEAMLabs

Andy is an innovator and a thought leader in education and connected learning. As a founding member of the Mozilla HIVE Toronto network, Andy has provided assistance to numerous other youth digital literacy organizations. Andy was chosen as a Pioneer in the LEGO Foundation and Ashoka’s Re-imagine Learning Challenge. The Pioneers are educator-innovators using the transformative power of play to unlock learning and development benefits in young thinkers. Andy is an active member of the Maker Education community. He was invited to be a member of Harvard’s University’s Agency By Design maker education learning community. He is a contributor to Make Magazine, writing about maker education. Andy is also on the Maker Ed makerspace playbook working group, which produces guides for people setting up new makerspaces.

As a public speaker, Andy has inspired thousands of educators and social innovators at conferences all over the world including Toronto, New York, San Francisco and London England. He has also taught programming, Arduino, web development and other topics to adults as a teacher at the International Academy of Design and as a visiting lecturer at the International Space University. Andy founded Dimentians, a successful web development firm celebrating its 20th anniversary in the spring of 2015.

Marianne Mader, Co-Founder STEAMLabs

The spirit of making lies at the heart of science, innovation, and creativity! Marianne knows firsthand – as a planetary scientist Marianne strives to enable space exploration and to engage the public in this endeavor. With over 10 years of field experience, Marianne has studied some of the oldest rocks on Earth in Greenland, explored impact craters across the globe, and most recently collected meteorites in Antarctica. She has collaborated with UWO’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, CSA, NASA, and MDA (Canada’s largest space company) to plan and execute simulated lunar and planetary exploration missions, as well as developing insights into planetary impact cratering processes.  

She has led numerous national events highlighting Canadian space expertise and public engagement including: Chairing the 2008 Canadian Space Summit, Co-Organizing Canada’s first SpaceUp (unconference) in 2012, Co-Organizing and Co-Creating the Toronto NASA Youth Space Challenge, 2013, and organizing and curating the International Space Education Board 2014 Public Outreach Event, 65th International Astronautical Conference. 

Marianne is completing her PhD in Planetary Science and has MScs in both Space Studies and Earth Sciences. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the International Space University. In 2013 she was awarded a US Antarctic Service Medal for her participation in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program. In 2009 she was in the final 1% of candidates for the Canadian astronaut selection process. 

STEAMLabs is a continuation of her passion for exploration by using technology to enable creativity and seeing dreams come to life as creations! More about Marianne at www.mariannemader.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mariannemader

Risks and challenges

As with any new makerspace, the biggest challenge for STEAMLabs will be keeping our construction on schedule. We plan to open the doors of our new space by Summer 2015. There's a lot of work to do—walls to build, furniture to make, lighting to mount—but we have a capable team and supportive community in place to make it happen!

We are working closely with an all-star cast of Designers, Architects, Engineers, and Project Managers at the Centre for Social Innovation to ensure that the renovations stay on track and we make the space as accessible as possible. We have also secured another workshop space on an upper floor in the same building for the summer, in case renovations are not quite completed by the end of June.

We have conducted extensive research on the best tools and equipment to order. Co-Founder Andy Forest is a member the Maker Ed Makerspace Playbook working group, which produces guides for people setting up new makerspaces. He literally lives and breaths this stuff!

Once our campaign is funded the orders will go in for our equipment! We have some rewards that require use of our new equipment (e.g., laser cutting and CNC machine). We have set generous timelines (Fall, 2015). We feel that this will provide adequate time for receiving the new equipment, set-up, and creation of reward items.

We'll be sure to include you in our project by thoroughly documenting the construction process with videos, photos, and blog posts you can easily find on our website and social media. So if something unexpected does happen you'll be the first to know.

Follow updates on our:
Website: www.steamlabs.ca
Twitter: @STEAM_Labs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/STEAMLabsCA

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    THANK YOU! Every dollar counts! Telepathic high five and a (real) shout out on Twitter.

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    LASER CUT KEYCHAIN FOB
    Pew Pew! The STEAMLabs design team will make you an acrylic keychain fob using LASERS (our new laser cutter to be exact). Choose from robot, a retro spaceship, wrench, or a gear shape.

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    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $12

    MAKER MAGNETIC POETRY
    Does your love for making have no bounds? Describe it in words using your very own STEAMLabs Maker magnetic poetry set! (55 words, total dimensions: 3.5" x 8.25")

    First maker poem on our fridge:
    "dream it. build it. tinkering with lasers and brains." #STEAMLabsPoetry

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    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $24

    STEAMLABS T-SHIRT
    Would you like to share your passion for making and STEAMLabs? Get the T-shirt!

    Front: STEAMLabs logo
    Back: "I make all the things!"
    Colours available: White, Black.
    Sizing: Adult (standard and fitted)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 45 or more About $36

    CUSTOM LASER ENGRAVED TEKTON MULTITOOL
    Be prepared to Make - anywhere, anytime - with this multitool. The STEAMLabs design team will engrave your name or choice of word (maximum 10 characters) onto a Tekton Multitool.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $40

    FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-ALL-THINGS STEAMLABS:
    In this gift pack you will receive:
    - 1 STEAMLabs T-shirt
    - 1 laser cut acrylic keychain fob
    - 1 maker magnetic poetry set

    Thanks for the love.

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    Pledge CA$ 55 or more About $44

    EARLY BIRD 1-MONTH ADULT MEMBERSHIP.

    Includes full use of our shop during regular hours. Premium tools use included: 4 hours 3D printer and 2 hours each of laser cutter and CNC mill. Special member rates for tool training and workshops.

    Bonus: Free 1 hour group guided making session to help you with your projects!

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $48

    EARLY BIRD ROBOTICS INVENTIONS USING ARDUINO WORKSHOP (KIDS)

    Learn to give your creations an electronic brain, wiring them up with sensors and motors. The workshop will be held on a weekend in Sept - Nov 2015. Optionally trade your workshop reward for any other Fall STEAMLabs 3 hour workshop.

    Ages 8 and up. Extra cost for electronic parts that you want to take home.

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $48

    EARLY BIRD INTERNET OF THINGS WORKSHOP (ADULTS)

    A three-hour weekend workshop with the STEAMLabs Co-Founder and tinkerer extraordinaire Andy Forest! Learn Arduino, HTML and Javascript coding basics to connect your Spark Core to a web interface. Remote control, interfaces for sensors and many other projects have never been easier!

    The workshop will be held on a weekend in Sept - Nov 2015. Optionally trade your workshop reward for any other Fall STEAMLabs 3 hour workshop.

    Ages: 16 and up

    Extra cost for electronic parts that you want to take home.

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $48

    EARLY BIRD 3D DESIGN AND PRINTING FAMILY WORKSHOP (ALL AGES)

    At this all ages three-hour weekend workshop, you will learn to use the free Tinkercad 3D design software, and design and 3D print your own creation to take home.

    The workshop will be held on a weekend in Sept - Nov 2015. Optionally trade your workshop reward for any other Fall STEAMLabs 3 hour workshop.

    3D printing filament material included.

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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $60

    SPONSOR OPEN MAKE SESSION

    Sponsor an all-ages Pay-What-You-Can Open Make Session For 10 People. Share the love! Support your community.

    Part of our mission is to provide accessible making experiences for everyone. At our Pay-What-You-Can Open Make sessions, some people pay the full price, some people pay none, and some people pay anything in between that they can afford. By claiming this reward, you make it possible for us to run a 1 hour PWYC Open Make session for 10 people.

    We’ll write a specialized thank-you Facebook post and Tweet with your name or your company’s name on the day of the Open Make -- this is a great way to show your community support!

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $80

    ULTIMATE MAKER PACKAGE
    For all those that love to Make or have that special tinkerer in their lives - this gift set is for you! Includes:
    - 1 STEAMLabs T-shirt
    - 1 laser cut keychain fob
    - 1 maker magnetic poetry set
    - 1 custom engraved Tekton multitool (10 character limit)

    Bonus: 1 Tekton Precision Tool Set for first 100 backers. Includes a precision bit and driver set for repairing laptops, mobile devices, and game systems. When you drop your phone, you'll wish you had this tool (trust us).

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    Pledge CA$ 125 or more About $100

    LIMITED EDITION LASER CUT MOSAIC ARTWORK
    The youngest member of the STEAMLabs Design Team is Téa Forest, 13 years old. She has an ambition to open her own Etsy store and sell her artwork online. A student at the Karen Kane School for the Arts and accepted into the Visual Arts program at the Etobicoke School of the Arts - help her get started, and support STEAMLabs at the same time!

    This mosaic will measure 20 cm x 20 cm, (about 8”x8”), and will be made from 4mm translucent coloured acrylic, precision laser cut and securely assembled between 2 panes of clear acrylic.

    There will be at least 2 designs for you to choose from. For every 15 orders of this reward, Téa will create a new design for you to choose from!

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    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $120

    EDUCATOR'S TECHNOLOGY PACK: INTERNET OF THINGS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY
    **Kickstarter Special Price**
    This reward contains all the electronic components you will need to run our Internet of Things classroom activity:

    Spark Core Microcontroller
    2m of Neopixel Strip
    4 geared motors
    2 motor driver modules
    Wires and connectors
    6A Power supply

    All the components come pre-wired with connectors so that no soldering is required. Just hook up the components as required for your power system model! Includes a classroom activity guide, sample code, and everything you need to run this activity in a classroom.

    Find out more about this activity here:
    http://steamlabs.ca/2015/03/ontario-power-system-education/

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    Pledge CA$ 225 or more About $180

    A MAKER PARTY AT STEAMLABS (for 10 participants!)**Kickstarter Special Price**

    This 1.5 hour party is great for inspiring creativity in people of ANY age and forms an unforgettable experience no matter what the occasion be it a kid's birthday, staff team building experience, or even just hanging out with friends.

    Choose from one of our high-tech maker party topics: 3D Design & Printing, Minecraft Hacking, Superhero Symbol Design and Laser Cutting, Toy Hacking, Robot Construction, Candy Design. (Note: An extra materials fee of $20 / person applies for robot construction party)

    Everyone will take home something they have created!

    Want to host a group of more than 10 members? Buy this reward more than once. We can handle up to 20 in our regular party booking times, and up to 60 by special arrangement. Contact us first for groups over 20. Booking dates starting September, 2015

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 360 or more About $288

    ADOPT A CLASS: FIELD TRIP
    Subsidize a STEAMLabs Field Trip for 30 kids

    Enable a class to have a 2 hour session in the STEAMLabs makerspace!

    This reward covers 1/2 of the cost for a class, we'll ask them to pay-what-they-can for the rest. You can choose a Toronto class when you purchase this reward, or let us choose an underserved urban school in our neighbourhood. (Note: The class will need to cover their own transportation costs).

    Classes grades 2-12 will choose from topics such as 3D design and printing, laser cutting, robotics, video game programming, woodworking and more. All topics will engage their creativity and send them home with a new creation!

    We’ll write a specialized thank-you Facebook post and Tweet with your name or your company’s name on the day of the Field Trip.

    Booking dates starting September, 2015

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $400

    CUSTOM LASER CUT MOSAIC ART PIECE

    For this reward, you supply the source picture of your choice! The STEAMLabs Design Team will then use the picture you’ve chosen to create a custom laser cut mosaic.

    This mosaic will measure 20 cm x 20 cm, (about 8”x8”), and will be made from 4mm translucent coloured acrylic, precision laser cut and securely assembled between 2 panes of clear acrylic.

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    Pledge CA$ 600 or more About $480

    ADOPT A CLASS: SCHOOL PROGRAM
    Subsidize a STEAMLabs program at THEIR school!

    Enable a class to have an amazing STEAM making experience at their school! This reward covers half of the cost for a class, we'll ask them to pay-what-they-can for the rest.

    You can choose a Toronto area classroom when you purchase this reward, or let us choose an underserved urban school in our neighbourhood. Additional travel fees may apply for schools outside of the downtown core.

    This program takes place over 3 weeks, spending one full morning or afternoon in-class each week with our expert mentor. The program is supported by additional in-class time with their own teacher. This makes the best use of both the teacher and our technology experts and brings a high impact program to the school for an affordable price.

    This program covers all aspects of STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Our first topic is building an Internet of Things model of our electric power system, and you can see more details here on our blog: http://steamlabs.ca/2015/03/ontario-power-system-education/

    We’ll write a specialized thank-you Facebook post and Tweet with your name or your company’s name on the day of the School Visit.

    Booking dates starting September, 2015.

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    Pledge CA$ 850 or more About $680

    TWO WEEK SUMMER CAMP (KIDS)
    **Kickstarter Special Price**
    Come up with an idea and make it happen! Working individually and in groups, you will learn the technology and making skills you need to bring it to life. Choose from:

    Minecraft Pro June 29 to July 10
    Web Controlled Arduino Robotics July 13-24
    Inventioneering August 17-28, 2015

    More information: http://steamlabs.ca/kids/summer-camps/

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    Pledge CA$ 1,700 or more About $1,361

    Two Kids: TWO WEEK SUMMER CAMP (KIDS)
    **Kickstarter Special Price**

    Choose this reward if you have 2 kids, or 1 kid who wants to go to two of our summer camps.

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    Pledge CA$ 5,000 or more About $4,002

    IS THAT A HALO ON YOUR HEAD?
    BE ON OUR FOUNDERS WALL
    Help us obtain the equipment we need with a direct donation. Your early and generous support will be permanently recognized in our space and on our website. We'll use our new CNC machine to engrave an aluminum brick with your name or company and put it in our wall.

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Funding period

- (30 days)