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LA Makerspace needs 3D Printers, a Laser Cutter, and Open Project Time for Members to Innovate. Read more

465
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$34,204
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on January 2, 2013.

LA Makerspace needs 3D Printers, a Laser Cutter, and Open Project Time for Members to Innovate.

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Teaching Science and Tech at Libraries Across LA

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Hello LA Makerspace Supporters,

If you are on our mailing list, read our blog, follow us on Twitter and Facebook then you are most likely all caught up on the last two years since you backed this Kickstarter. For those that aren't, here's a recap:

We moved into a space in downtown LA. People from all over SoCal came to take workshops, make cosplay costumes, prototype with the 3D printers, make evil robots, play Minecraft, team up to make beautiful wearable creations, music and so much more.

After a year at the space we realized a few things: it wasn't the best location for our community, too much money was going towards rent and we wanted to provide these learning opportunities to people regardless of income.

In September 2013 we moved out, dropped the membership model and started running workshops at LA Public Library branches for free. We also started talks to move into a space in Koreatown (more on that in the new year). 

Our goal right now is to scale our offerings by providing professional development to LA Public Library librarians at 40 branches to learn how to run workshops in electronics, robotics, 3D printing, Scratch, citizen science and Minecraft. For free. These workshops are available to all age groups as we still believe in being kid friendly not kid only.

More than 30% of adults and teens in LA rely on libraries to access computers and the internet. 90% of 8th graders in LAUSD test below proficient in science and 82% in math. It's staggering and we aim to help fix this.

We are running a Kickstarter campaign so we can run more workshops in 2015 for librarians and offer free curriculum and training guides for anyone to use (including parents and educators).

Here's the Kickstarter link. We have 9 days and just under $3k to go. The Pando Daily just wrote a nice piece about the campaign.

If you are able to contribute and/or share it would be very appreciated. 

Thank you for all of your support these past couple of years! 

Tara Tiger Brown
Chief Encouragement Officer

The Future Of LA Makerspace

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One year ago today, thanks to you, the LA Makerspace successfully reached its fundraising goal on Kickstarter. The money that we raised with our supportive friends, family, and community allowed us to purchase our laser cutter and 3D printers, as well as pay for part-time facility staff on the weekends for members' open project hours. Thanks to our amazing instructors and our many wonderful volunteers, we've held over 100 events and workshops for thousands of DIYers young and young at heart.

In September we made the difficult decision to move out of the LA Mart. Since then we have been searching for our new home and we think we found the perfect spot.

Over the past year, we've been building our relationship with the LA Public Library (LAPL). When we were at LA Mart, we had librarians from all over the city and county come through our doors to participate in our workshops and learn about setting up a makerspace. At the Central Library in Downtown, we gave a talk on makerspaces to youth librarians and a special Arduino workshop in partnership with Sparkfun. Allen and Eain have been running robotic and 3D printing classes at libraries around the city and have received great feedback. The LA Librarians are ready to get making.

With that in mind, it made perfect sense when LAPL told us that their Koreatown Pio-Pico branch had space that would be perfect for a makerspace.

We have toured the location three times, and each time we get more excited about the possibilities. On the second floor of Pio-Pico library, there is a large 4000 square foot raw space where all the messy making can happen. There is a separate computer lab, workspace with desks, and conference/lecture room. Other benefits include a separate entrance with intercom, the ability to put up external signage, access to all the restaurants and coffee shops on Wilshire, easy transit being close to the metro station with plenty of parking - and there is even a spot outside to grow a garden. It meets all of our requirements and addresses the issues that we had at LA Mart.

We want the Pio-Pico location to serve as a model makerspace and training hub for librarians, teachers, parents, and other enthusiasts to learn how to use the equipment, how to create their own events and workshops, and even how to set up a makerspace in their library, classroom, or garage. Even more importantly we want it to be a place that you want to go and hang out in, whether just to meet up with others that share your interests or to work on a project.

The theme that we pitched to LAPL is "The Future Of…" 

  • The Future of Fashion (think wearable tech)
  • The Future of Robotics (of course we have to have robots)
  • The Future of Film
  • The Future of Programming
  • The Future of 3D Printing
  • and more!

How Do We Make This Happen?

There are a few things that need to happen to make this opportunity a reality. First, we need to work with an architect to provide a sketch of the space so LAPL can budget out the cost to put in the electrical, sink, ceiling, etc. Second, we need LA City Council approval for free rent. Third, and this may be the most important piece, we need a new funding source - grants, corporate sponsorships, etc. Working with LAPL means we would no longer require membership fees to participate at the LA Makerspace, which is great, but then we would not have that income to pay for staff to open and close the space and ensure safety protocols, equipment training, etc. We also need to pay for materials, tools, etc.

This is where you come in. If you would like to help with any of the following, please sign up on our volunteer page.

  • Create an architectural drawing of the space that we envision
  • Help with Fundraising - donations and corporate sponsorship
  • Dedicate weekend volunteer hours for a minimum of 6 months
  • Join the working Board of Directors (please send your cover letter and resume to awesome@lamakerspace.com) 

Questions?

Please join us on Wed., Jan. 8th at 7pm for an online discussion to learn more about this opportunity and ask questions. 

Click here to RSVP.

Did You Know?

LAPL is one of the largest publicly funded library systems in the world. It has 72 branches and 828 staff. The County of LA Public Library has 85 branches. Mayor Eric Garcetti wants innovation hubs in Los Angeles as part of his civic innovation plan. Everyone knows where their local library is, and libraries are accessible to all ages. Imagine if every one of those 157 libraries in Los Angeles County became an innovation hub. Every Angeleno could go to their local library and make things with their hands, learn how to program, create a new product, or start a new business. 

Thank You!

We've come so far already with your help, and we're looking forward to creating an even bigger and brighter future for the LA Makerspace with you!

DONE! Thanks For All The Fish!

Thank you to all our young makers for completing the Thanks For All The Fish wall for us. Every single one of our 465 backer names are now written onto the laser shark. If you'd like to come in and see your name, now you have a great excuse (or you know, electronics, woodworking, 3d printing, laser cutting, filmmaking just to name a few other good reasons). <3

P.S. don't forget to checkout all of our awesome and amazing and even thrilling upcoming events.

* Minecraft Summer Camp for 8-12 Year Olds
* SUMMER Party
* Los Hackers Meetup
* and many more!

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Rewards Update

I am not really sure where time goes; I felt like I just updated all of you but when I looked at the time stamp from the last update it was May 15th, almost a month ago. At the very least you can't call me a spammer! I wanted to give you an update on where we are at with rewards.

Completed

* Passes: All of your day/month/annual/lifetime passes are recorded in our membership system, simply login to see your membership level, expiry date and all the fantastic benefits: http://www.lamakerspace.com/forms/user_sessions/new

* Classes: Phew, we did it! Mark Frauenfelder's Arduino class, Kent Nichol's YouTube workshops, Jeff Geoffray's Tabletop Film classes and the G+ Hangout for interested makers. We also had that huge Robot party that was pretty awesome.

* Groups: Citizen Science and Interstellar Hitchhiker Makers Groups have met several times now. The space enthusiasts have heard about the Space Elevator, toured JPL, have the inside scoop on touring the Mojave Air Strip. The Citizen Science group talks about stuff way above my head so best you just join the group and send me the summarized version.

In Progress

* Thanks For All The Fish: Names are being added, people are being thanked. There are some very amusing names too, like "LED" and "Green Eggs and Ham."

* Digital Badge of Honor, Stickers, Buttons: We have the digital badges and will be sending them to you using Credly, so stay tuned for that. Stickers and Buttons - we have lots of physical logos designed by young makers, we just need to digitize them. Just know that we know that you know that we are still working on this.

* Interstellar Hitchhiker Makers Group: Still a couple more events to participate in including building rockets and delivery of "the towel"

* Laser Cut Thank You Cards: for some of our backers we owe these to you. We are awesome at laser cutting now so this should be done shortly!

* Safecast Air Sensors: They are being worked on. The team hit a snag so these are delayed.

Thanks

I think I covered everything. If I'm missing something you are waiting on, please reach out to me. tara@lamakerspace.com

Hearts and Hugs,
Tara

New Website & Laser Shark!

Hello! I hope you are all doing well out there. I thought it was high time I sent you an update.

First things first, some of us will be at Maker Faire this coming weekend. Be sure to visit our booth. Our Evil Genius group will be putting on two workshops on how to make an electronic squirter gun. Saturday at 1pm and again on Sunday.

Hey, thanks for all the fish! The lovely Genevieve Becker painted us a giant laser shark and as promised your names are being added to them (see pic below). I took an EL Wire class so the laser is soon going to be, well, lasery looking.

Our website now includes a Member login so you can see what your membership level is and when it expires. There's some other goodies in there too like social capital that you might be able to trade in for something cool. If you are super interested in the finer details of the new site, we are using Nationbuilder, a community organizing system that started out as a service for political campaigns but now supports nonprofit organizations like ours. 

Now, here's the fun part. I need to know if your Kickstarter membership level is correct on our website!

1) Create an account on the LA Makerspace website http://www.lamakerspace.com/login
* Use the email address you login to Kickstarter with

2) Once you are logged in, navigate to the Membership page (http://www.lamakerspace.com/membership)
* Your should see the membership level that you received via Kickstarter on this page

3) Update your Profile (http://www.lamakerspace.com/forms/signups/2/edit)
* You can choose not to publish it on the website

4) Find Your Friends (http://www.lamakerspace.com/friends)
* If you connect Facebook and Twitter you can see which of your friends like LA Makerspace

5) Take a look at the Leaderboard (http://www.lamakerspace.com/leaderboard).
* These are some of the amazing people spreading the word about LA Makers-pace. Are you on the list? We haven't worked out the details but we're thinking of converting points into rewards.

Something not quite right? Let me know and I will fix it.

I just want to thank you all again for being so supportive and kind and generous. I hope to see you soon!

Tara
Chief Encouragement Officer <--- my fancy new title

p.s. We have a few spots left in our Citizen Science Summer Camp: http://www.lamakerspace.com/summer_camp_for_citizen_scientists

p.s. x2 We want a new logo (unless of course you like the one we have; tell us that too) http://www.lamakerspace.com/make_logo

Last p.s. Checkout all the fun stuff we've been doing: https://secure.flickr.com/groups/lamakerspace/