xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Editorial: Makerspaces offer opportunity to inspire, create

Makerspaces are becoming all the rage in Carroll County. Earlier this week, the Ting Makerspace had an open house in Westminster, and Exploration Point! at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library celebrated its opening April 26.

What's a makerspace? It is a venue where people who best learn by doing can come together to experiment and create with different technologies, tools and other materials while interacting with others to get advice and support.

Advertisement

The Ting space, located in the Winchester Exchange at 15 E. Main St., is part of the Internet provider's partnership with the City of Westminster to create a public high-speed fiber optic network, taking advantage of that technology to provide a place for artists and engineers to come together and create the technology of the future. It will officially open to the public in the fall with daily, monthly and yearly subscription rates for use. There are also plans to have Ting partner with schools and libraries to host educational programming at the makerspace.

Exploration Point! was funded through a generous $16,000 gift from the estate of Ken Holniker, a philanthropist whose wife, Peggy, was instrumental in the creation of the Eldersburg library in the 1980s. It is free for self-guided use for ages 8 to adults on a first-come, first-serve basis during "Point! Time" open hours scheduled throughout the week, as well as scheduled programs and age-specific open times.

The resources at both Makerspaces vary a bit, although both feature 3-D scanning and printing technology. The idea behind these is to have a physical space to allow people, especially youth, to explore and tinker with technologies that enable them to create. That could mean experimenting with computer programming, developing games, creating robotics or printing out 3-D prototypes.

The spaces provide the tools and the environment, and makers come together to create a sense of community and help one another with projects and by answering questions.

Both spaces should be a boon for students who are interested in pursuing fields such as engineering and computer science, as well as for budding entrepreneurs who have great ideas but don't necessarily have the technology to create prototypes on their own. A makerspace can allow ideas to come to life.

We're all about innovation, learning and fostering creativity, and we think these makerspaces in two of Carroll's largest communities are wonderful resources for the county's residents. Perhaps one day soon we'll be writing about the next great idea or invention that began right here in Carroll County, thanks to these spaces.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement