A couple of years ago after creating some of our learning environments here at M.E.E.T. & Mentor, I began to get another vision of an environment for our children to walk into and have them see a space full of materials, such as little tools, trinkets, recycled items like cardboard, plastic, etc., organized into different areas where they could just imagine, dream, create, and innovate with what was provided. I saw it...so clear...fast forward a couple of years, and I begin to hear of a term used called "makerspace," and was even brought into a few...although it wasn't exactly the same as what I imagined, it began to take me back to the vision. However, this time it now included a technology lab, filled with computers, coding games and technology tools where the children can learn to create and innovate in whatever capacity their heart and mind is ready for and wants to explore!
Now, one week ago, and one of our rooms is empty, and I'm ready to fill it! Ready to make the vision become a reality. Ready to create a space where children enrolled in our ENRICH program can come to create, where homeschoolers, public schoolers, and most importantly children in the community that don't have access to these things at home can step into a world where their imagination can run wild, and their passions can be ignited! We plan to start a community mentoring program where these children can come and, join us on a Saturday and just participate in a full-on learning experience in our new Create & Innovate Lab in addition to our Community Library, and more.
"A makerspace presents readily-available materials that can act as a provocation for inquiry, as well as modern technology and items to invent with. Makerspace is more than a space itself, it is a mindset that can and should be taught (Gerstein, 2014)."
Our mission is to bridge the gap between children, families, and the community, and we believe this is just one way!
We can't wait for the children to begin to bring art to life, transform ideas into a prototype, build and engineer, and creatively problem solve! We can't wait to infuse STEAM activities on a full-time basis with a makerspace like this!
As a community and family, we are asking if you have any of the following items to help create this space for the children in our community, we would be very grateful:
1) New technology- computers, Ipads, tablets
2) New LaserJet printer
3) 3-D Printer
4) Broken or Used Technology for the kids to take apart
5) Screws, washers, screwdrivers any little things found in the garage that could be used to build with
6) Any coding games or video game design games like Bloxel
7) Any science kits
8) Any recycled materials
9) Shelves or organizing materials
10) Circuit building materials
11) Art materials
We will be holding different fundraisers in the coming months to begin the creation and innovation process again here at M.E.E.T. & Mentor! Please be sure to follow us on our FB page to keep updated.
If you would like to donate monetarily, all funds will be used for the operation of the space and new technology.
You may click here to donate: paypal.me/createandinnovate and it will go directly to our MEET & Mentor Operational account to begin funding this project.
We thank you so very much for uniting with us to bring joy, creativity, and passion back into learning, and helping bring it to children that have yet to experience what it feels like to have a dream come true!