New makery plans series of events for innovators
MIDDLEBURY — Organizers of a new Middlebury makers’ space at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center have scheduled three separate events this summer at which aspiring inventors will sample equipment and materials the “makery” will offer when it officially opens this fall.
The first of those three, two-hour workshops is slated for Monday, July 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants will tour the makery and be invited to design and produce an object on the facility’s 3-D printer. This kind of printer is becoming a standard tool in the business sector allowing entrepreneurs to imagine and create three-dimensional prototypes of new inventions.
The second workshop — which will probably include access to the makery’s construction lab — will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 1, also from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Organizers have yet to pick a theme for the third workshop, planned for Tuesday, Aug. 14.
All three events will be limited to 15 participants, according to career center Interim Superintendent Dana Peterson, and pre-registration is essential. To register, head online to tinyurl.com/ycxm8wnz.
Children younger than 16 may sign up and attend, but must be accompanied by an adult, officials said.
The makers’ space will provide a place and equipment for “people to imagine, experiment, network, collaborate and create for personal and professional growth,” according to a narrative prepared by career center officials. Supporters are hoping the makery will lead to people turning their ideas into new products, businesses and jobs.
The makery effort is being guided by a 12-person steering committee of local educators and businesspeople, including Peterson, product designer/engineer David Cole and Addison County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Fred Kenney. The career center’s Architecture & Engineering Systems Instructor Jake Burnham and Len Schmidt, assistant director of adult technical education, are also key players in the project.
Middlebury College has also been a key backer.
Supporters recently gathered more than $10,000 in donations in an effort to leverage a $100,000 grant through the Gannett Foundation. Unfortunately, the makery proposal didn’t make the cut for the Gannett grant.
“The Gannett grant would’ve allowed us to accelerate our timeline,” Peterson said.
But he added the $10,000 local match will still come in handy in purchasing equipment, training supervisors and/or making other investments to launch the new makers’ space.
Peterson noted the makery is currently in contention for a handful of other state, federal and foundation grants.
While admission will be free to the three upcoming workshops, there will be a charge to use the makery once it opens this fall. Revenues will help keep the space updated and open for the long term.
More information about the makery is available at 382-1012.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].
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