The Maryland State Department of Education's Division of Library Development and Services will hold the State's first Maker Meetup in a Maryland Public Library on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Library staff will learn about makers, game developers, robotics and more.
The maker movement is a growing community of hobbyists and professionals dedicated to making their own functional devices, whether it be technological gadgets, open source hardware and software, fashion apparel, home decorating, or nearly any other aspect of physical life. Maker/Hackerspaces are shared work areas where people mix art, design, technology, food, science and internet cultures to create a type of breeding ground for creative projects that may or may not be commercial.
Conversations and questions with the makers on developing events or planning a maker space for the library will be encouraged. Most importantly, this event will build relationships between the maker community and libraries.
"Creative out-of-school experiences in the public libraries will reinforce the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) mission of these institutions," said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery. "MSDE appreciates the mission of the public libraries, encouraging life-long learning and collaboration in the community." MSDE's Division of Library Development and Services is sponsoring the event, funded by a federal Library Services and Technology Act grant.
The keynote speaker, Jeff Sturges, enjoys making things and connecting people. Inspired by his experience, the MIT Fab Lab GreenFab program and the NYCResistor hackerspace, Sturges moved to Detroit to build community workshops such as the Mt. Elliott Makerspace and OmniCorpDetroit. Sturges believes that collaborative making and learning can be a way to strengthen ourselves and our communities.
WHO: It addition to Sturges, there are a number of top makers scheduled. They are:
- Michael Smith-Welch, MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten and Artist-in-Residence, American Visionary Art Museum. Michael Smith-Welch, artist and educator, designs environments that support learning through invention and iterative design. Smith-Welch develops makerspaces that support the exploration of the creative properties of light and sound or the imaginative use of motion and mechanics. He helps novice programmers build computer-based interactive art and enjoys helping young inventors understand electronics through the playful design and manipulation of circuits.
- Ben Walsh, CEO, Pure Bang Games & founder of Gamescape has been developing games both personally and professionally for over 15 years. Having been a producer and designer on multi-million dollar titles while at Bethesda Softworks and Big Huge Games, Walsh brings leadership and product knowledge to his role as CEO and President of Pure Bang Games.
- Jan Baum is the founder and director of the Object Lab, a research-based, state-of the-art rapid technologies and digital fabrication lab at Towson University where she is a full professor and the head of 3D Design in the Art + Design Department in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.
- Matt Barinholtz, Founder, FutureMakers (KidsMakeThingsBetter.com), is an educator, youth worker and maker in Crownsville, MD. His most recent project, FutureMakers, brings mobile makerspaces and maker education programming to schools, libraries, community colleges, summer camps, art centers and K-8 homeschool groups in the counties surrounding Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
- Gary Mauler, Founder of Robot Fest, a yearly event held at the National Electronics Museum. Mauler is a "Creative Geek" who tries to connect the left and right sides of his brain while collaborating with engineers and artists. He's truly an "out-of-the-box" thinker who is constantly looking for new and fun projects to work on. Mauler also is an engineer for Northrup Grumman and a newly elected councilman for Dewey Beach.
- Rose Burt, Technology Director at the Digital Harbor Foundation, is responsible for designing a maker curriculum that conforms to the Common Core State Standards, as well as planning and running the DHF Tech Center in South Baltimore. The Digital Harbor Foundation is a Maryland-based nonprofit working to foster a culture of innovation, technological advancement, and entrepreneurship in the Greater Baltimore Area through local and national educational initiatives.
- Amy Hurst, Assistant Professor of Computer Interaction, Information Systems Department, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, studies accessibility problems and builds assistive technologies. She is especially interested in how to build tools that will empower others to "do it yourself (DIY)" and build their own assistive technologies.
WHEN: Time: 10 a.m., Wednesday, November 28
WHERE: West County Branch
Anne Arundel Public Library
1325 Annapolis Road
Odenton, MD 21113