On May 15, 2013, at 8:30 AM, Edward Iglesias wrote:

> Hello All,
> I have the unlikely distinction of getting to offer a 1 day workshop on
> Makerspaces in libraries.  I have a general idea of how it's going to go
> --morning theory afternoon hands on -- but am a little overwhelmed by the
> possibilities.  My first thought was to show them how to use a Raspberry Pi
> but that would require them all to buy a Raspberry Pi.  I am open to
> suggestions on what would be worth learning that is hands on and preferably
> cheap for a group of around 20.  What would you teach/learn in an afternoon
> given the chance?
> Edward Iglesias

I'd make sure to mention that this does *not* have to be high-tech.

Our library runs jewelry-making workshops, and some of the local
churches have knitting circles / quilting bees so there can be a 
social component of 'making'.  They've never considered this to be
'makerspaces', but it fits the description.

If it were me, depending on how much time you had, I'd try to come
up with some sort of a project that people could build & take home
with them,  (and so the Raspberry Pi idea is likely out). Depending
on where you are, it might be a good time of year to make bird or
bat houses, or maybe something decorative.

Have them leave with a physical item that they can take and show
off to others.

Depending on how soon you'll get kicked out after your class ends,
you might be able to plan for building something, and then let
people stay later if they wanted to paint or otherwise decorate

I'd plan on having someone cut all of the pieces in advance unless
it can be done w/ hand tools and you have a sufficient number of
the necessary tools ... ideally, you'd want something that could
be assembled with press-fit and glue, or maybe a few nails or screws.
(if you had to add hinges).


If you really need an idea of something to make -- I can give you
plans for gift boxes that I make ... it's shadow-box that says
'in case of emergency, break glass', and you can then put whatever
you want in them.  (typically, I give 'em with pacifiers to 
friends having their first child ... but I've done other stuff,
like gave one w/ a box of kosher salt, peppercorns and whole
cumin to Alton Brown when he was doing a book signing back in
2004 or so)

It's simple pine, a plexiglass front, etc.  You'll need a table
saw, a miter box or chop saw and a label maker, and then it's just
a matter of glue, a few nails, and some sanding.

(you could also borrow a pneumatic brad nailer + a power sander,
so that once you get everyone to make the item, show that it 
can all be done in 1/10th the time w/ the proper tools ... which
is part of the reason for building out these spaces)