Over the past few years, from our base in Liverpool, we have run workshops, developed low cost hardware to enable people to build their own robots and have created and deployed autonomous boats, underwater and floating sensors around the UK.
It’s now time to expand – We feel that having a space in which to run courses and encourage people to create and make interesting things (whether they are water based or not) is the next step.
So we’re looking for a new workshop closer to the sea and we would like to open it up to the community as a Maker Space.
Where are we heading?
After a lot of looking around and visiting different areas, we feel that the northern coastal area of Northern Ireland looks like it will give us the widest range of options.
It’s close to a lot of small harbours for easy access to the sea (a lot of which we’ve kayaked from) and has quite a few warehouse / workshop properties available to lease that could fit our needs.
But what is a Maker Space?
The best description of a Maker Space we’ve found comes directly from the MakerSpaces.com
A Maker Space is a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech tools.
These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.
They exist to help prepare those who need the critical 21st century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). They provide hands on learning, help with critical thinking skills and even boost self-confidence.
Some of the skills that are learned in a Maker Space are electronics, 3D printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics and even woodworking,
Maker Spaces are also fostering entrepreneurship and are being used as incubators and accelerators for business startups.
Can I help?
We’ve been running a research campaign on Facebook for the past month to judge the level of interest and gather some opinions on suitable locations and the types of things people would be interested in – so far we’ve had over 7000 engagements with that campaign ( an engagement is either a comment, like, share or completed forms).
We’re going to start looking through the responses and do some planning in November and then, hopefully, start looking for premises.
If you’d still like to give your opinion then the form is still open over at darkwater.io/ni