From the first day Wake Robotics, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, started 4 years ago, we've had the kind of demand that businesses dream of. Everywhere we go to share our excitement about STEAM the first question people ask is, "How do we join?!" Sounds like a great problem to have right? But it makes us sad!
Right now, we don’t have spaces available in Jr Engineers Club or in 3D printing workshops, we can't welcome new robotics teams, we don’t have space to offer arduino classes or conductive playdough workshops. We can't even offer general memberships for Open Forge days. We don't like saying no!
We are developing a space where a community of people of all ages can collaborate and engage with technology. We call it The Forge Downtown - a place that will allow us to stop saying no and find ways to invite you to join us!
We've found facilities that work in downtown Cary, NC, a great landlord who wants to work with us (thanks, Loyd!). We now need to convert 6500 sq ft of that space from a paint/wallpaper store to maker/builder space with tools. When we asked our members of all ages what was important for our new facilities, this is what they said:
It may look like Wake Robotics is just now bursting onto the scene as we open The Forge Downtown, but we’ve been here for quite a while. We’ve been building a base of knowledge and a base of involved citizens for 4 years. Our board of directors includes people with experience in social enterprise, entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists and educators.
Over 20,000 people, mostly in Wake County and mostly in Cary, have participated in Wake Robotics programs over the last 4 years. What you are seeing is the next step. It won’t be the last.
When we move into The Forge Downtown we plan lots of family-oriented activities:
- MaKey MaKey Workshops
- Electric playdough workshops
- Teacher round table discussions
- WrOBOT WrOAD WrACE
- Open Forge Making Days
- and more...
Whether you are an accidental techie, a die-hard engineer, a technophobe, or a six year old curious about everything, The Forge Downtown will provide a fun and inviting environment to explore, learn, and create. We have been working hard and will continue in the upcoming months to make the new facilities a reality. We are excited about the new opportunities that will be available with a public space!
The Forge Downtown is the dream of Wake Robotics' founders and members -- and is catching the imagination of people we talk to throughout the community.
This Kickstarter is our foray into crowd-sourcing support. It’s an incredible experience. We are learning a great deal about crowd-sourcing. We hope the Kickstarter reaches its goal. That will accelerate bringing The Forge Downtown to Cary. This Kickstarter is one of the many tools we are using to fund The Forge Downtown. We are working hard at that. We are still seeking and will continue to seek sponsors and supporters for The Forge Downtown.
On the other hand, we may fail to reach target on this Kickstarter. Kickstarters aren’t as easy as they look. But we’re already getting better at it.
We embrace an engineering approach - “Fail faster.” Small failures on the path to big successes. If we don’t get the Kickstarter just right, we’re still on the path to The Forge Downtown. We’ll keep learning and succeed. That’s what we expect of our students and volunteers. That’s what the whole organization models at every level.
We invite you to take this journey with us by becoming a supporter of The Forge Downtown. Your ﬁnancial support is so important to making the The Forge Downtown real. We have already raised $75,000 towards The Forge Downtown. The $40,000 target of this Kickstarter will close the deal. It will get us into the building for The Forge Downtown. If you overshoot our target, we plan to use it towards movable whiteboards, maker supplies and additional tools. We need your help to make this collaborative space for families in Cary.
Help us say yes!
Our goal: $40,000 in 30 days...
SPECIAL THANK YOU to Clark Ivers, one of our founding student members who put together the awesome video for us. He's graduating this year... :)
NOTE: *Wake Robotics is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution. Please check with your tax advisor. All donations above $300 will receive acknowledgement of your donation that you may use for tax purposes.
Risks and challenges
As with any renovation project, our biggest challenge will be keeping our construction on schedule. Our goal is to open The Forge Downtown before the fall starts getting busy. Changing from an old Winn Dixie (1985) to a "making space" with bathrooms and firewall in place isn't an insignificant challenge.There's a lot of work to do—walls to build, furniture to make, heavy machinery to move—but we have a capable team and supportive community in place to make it happen!
We'll be sure to include you in our project through newsletters and blogposts. So if something unexpected does happen you'll be the first to know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)