L.A. Makerspace Executive Director Mya Stark at Social Venture Los Angeles Fast Pitch
LA Makerspace is currently raising funds for the creation of a Family Makerspace together with the Los Angeles Public Library. A Makerspace is a communal workshop where the latest high-tech tools are shared, as is the pooled knowledge of people of diverse skills and backgrounds in tech and crafts.
At at Makerspace, all ages teach and learn from each other; a middle schooler can teach a college student, and in turn learn from a grandmother. The skills which can be learned at a Makerspace are also diverse, ranging from coding, to robotics, to knitting, to cooking, and whatever else human creativity can devise. Tools which can be accessed by the public include such emerging technologies as 3D printers.
Evidence for the benefits of Maker-style education is strong. Makerspace-style learning has been shown to significantly raise kids’ test scores and their chances of graduating college. It even raises their lifetime earnings – by 20%. Many of LA’s best private schools have invested in building Makerspaces of their own for these reasons.
The LAPL Family Makerspace will be built in a 3,000 sq. ft. space in the Koreatown Branch building of the LA Public Library. It will be a flagship training site, open to the public, which will be an inspiration for many more makerspaces — not only Los Angeles Public Library branches, but also other library systems and community-based youth and adult service organizations.