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Collaboration is often the secret ingredient to innovation. Makerspaces, or communal hotspots that provide opportunities for individuals to come together to share knowledge and resources to work on projects independently or collaboratively, foster this type of community.
The goals behind collaboration differ but are bolstered by modern trends and for the purpose of creating life-saving solutions. Currently, there are more than 2,000 and Fab Labs in communities, schools, libraries, and museums throughout the U.S.
Makerspaces don't only foster community, they also allow for trial and error, through experimentation. Here are three U.S.-based makerspaces that democratize innovation and bolster industry advancements.
1. UC Berkeley's Makerspaces
The University of California, Berkeley is the location of much innovation. At this research university, scientists, led by Nobel Laureate winner Saul Perlmutter, discovered that the universe is expanding faster and faster. UC Berkeley is also home to .
- The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute wants to devise solutions for "." The makerspace supports students from concept to prototype.
- The Moffitt Makerspace is a general access makerspace that provides access to CAD design, 3D printing, digital prototyping with digital components, and other hand tools.
- The Supernode makerspace is entirely student-run and keeps its doors open almost 24/7. The equipment in this makerspace is available to anyone in the UC Berkeley community.
These makerspaces have been used for student projects, but also for fun, like printing a "Dungeons & Dragons" .
2. Genspace in Brooklyn, New York
At Sunset Park in Brooklyn, New York, Genspace offers opportunities as the world's first community biology lab. Since 2019, the makerspace has offered hands-on STEM education programs for both children and adults. The space works to "demystify scientific processes" and create a space for innovation for the next generation of leaders in life sciences.
Instructors at Genspace come from schools throughout New York City and lead classes on advanced biology. For students, Genspace offers internships, teacher training, and access to a lab with everything from a -80°C freezer to tabletop centrifuges.
The makerspace also has 24/7 access to the facility, equipment, and training from the staff.
3. The Dallas Makerspace
Makerspaces are generally found in schools, universities, libraries, corporate centers, or as standalone workshops. But , a nonprofit coined the world's largest volunteer-run makerspace, occupies an immense "community workshop and laboratory" with a 36,000-square-foot footprint in Carrollton, Texas.
The space is run by compassionate teachers and volunteers eager to inspire creativity and a love of like biometrics, robotics, rocketry, and the gamut of digital disciplines, including the burgeoning fields of virtual reality and augmented reality.
Since science and art often go hand in hand, the engineers and creators here also host painting, carpentry, jewelry making, and automotive work classes, among many other courses.
While many makerspaces are free, others rely on donations and membership fees. As makerspaces and Fab Labs continue to pop up throughout the country, patrons can volunteer, teach, or visit to support the growth of the spaces that foster innovation.
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