LA Makerspace is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on increased access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) for low-income children, youth, and families.
We do this by training librarians, teachers, and others already working with underserved youth how to teach STEAM in a “maker” style:
- Maker-style education uses hands-on DIY projects to help kids learn 21st-century skills. It’s not unlike the shop classes which used to be available to all in the public schools.
- Maker education is distinct because it is interest-driven and focuses on facilitating as children solve their own design problems rather than holding lecture-style classes.
- As a result, children not only learn skills and subject-matter information, but also boost their metacognitive abilities, analytical thinking, resilience and self-motivation.
LAM was founded in the spring of 2012 by Tara Tiger Brown, a technology expert; Jeff Geoffray, a filmmaker; and Ariel Levi Simons, a science educator. In each of their fields, Brown, Geoffray, and Simons observed a need for experiential learning—not just for children, but for people of all ages. This founding group quickly developed into a community of makers focused on learning by doing. Since 2012, LA Makerspace has grown to include a Board of Directors and Advisory Board, both consisting of experts and allies dedicated to the mission.
In the fall of 2014, LA Makerspace became the primary provider of STEAM education for the Los Angeles Public Library. LA Makerspace offers free, family-friendly workshops to the public at various LAPL branches. In addition to our public programs, we leverage our expertise to provide “train-the-trainer” professional development for LAPL library staff. LAPL librarians learn to develop and execute STEAM events at their own libraries.