Contact: Steve Teeri, firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Partners: Mt. Elliott Makerspace, The Henry Ford, The Hub of Detroit
The Detroit Public Library HYPE Makerspace engages with young adults aged 13-18 in Detroit, MI. Workshops we host include Bike Tech: Bicycle Repair and History, Crafternoon, Video Game Programming with Raspberry Pi and Minecraft, Electronics and Robotics with Arduino, 3D Printing, Graphic Design and Printmaking, Sewing and Wearables, and Electronic Music Production. We strive to offer a wide range of activities, thus allowing our young adults to gain a wide range of skills, and positive experiences. Experienced instructors including a seamstress, an electrical engineer, a bicycle mechanic, and a computer science major at a local university teach our workshops. Teens who are familiar with our maker activities are also encouraged to help new participants learn the basics of each activity. In that way, new participants are made to feel welcome, and veteran makers can feel good about passing along knowledge they have gained. Workshops are typically two hours each per week for a series that runs 8 to 12 weeks depending the time of the year. Participants are also allowed to continue work on their projects outside of the scheduled workshops. While we have a set curriculum for our workshop series, we also incorporate the capacity for participants to discover new outlets for what they have learned, and create entirely new projects we had never dreamed of. There is a real magic in the interaction and invention of the HYPE Makerspace, one that we will strive to continue into the future.
Our participants have gained a range of skills and accomplishments through hands-on learning. These include learning how 3D printing and 3D modeling work, plus the manufacture of their own original designs. Electronics projects including a Robot Petting Zoo have been completed and exhibited at events such as Maker Faire Detroit. Our workshops make the library look more like an R&D facility or startup business, and give young adults experience in these types of environments. Girls make robots, and boys learn how to knit. We encourage all of our young adults to try any and all of the activities offered. Our participants also gain confidence in explaining to visitors from around the world what it is we do at the HYPE Makerspace, and what they have learned through their participation. The response of parents of participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Many parents say they are very happy to see these types of activities being made available at the library. Detroit was made great through invention and manufacture, and we strive to bring that mindset back to the young people of our city. While excited to hear when one our of library teens goes on to major in engineering or computer science, our primary goal is to create interesting, inventive, and productive citizens who make a difference in whatever life endeavor they choose: www.detroitpubliclibrary.org/hype/hype-makerspace.