The Distributed Hacker Maker Network (DHMN) is working towards an Appleton, WI makerspace/hackerspace.
What’s a hackerspace or a makerspace?
In my opinion, these are a combination of many things: a garage, workshop, studio, conference room, machine shop, wood shop, office, kitchen table, basement workbench, art space, photography studio, etc, etc. The common threads here are making/fixing/creating and most importantly sharing these experiences with other people.
Most makerspaces are funded by membership fees. Often, full members have 24/7 access to the space to work on their projects. Some spaces allows non-members to visit the space when accompanied by a member. Other membership approaches include discounted student and family membership rates. Some makerspaces even offer desk/office space to local entrepreneurs. Alternate sources of funding come from for-pay classes, things sold on the premises, grants, and donations. Most spaces resemble non-profits whether they have officially obtained non-profit status or not.
What might you see inside a makerspace/hackerspace?
Routers, CNCs, saws, lathes, kilns, oscilloscopes, soldering irons, circuit boards, Arduino, easels, sewing machines, pottery wheels, do-it-yourselfer’s, computer programmers, photographers, artists, mechanics, network administrators, musicians, woodworkers, mechanical engineers, authors, entrepreneurs, web designers, et. al.
What other activities do makerspaces do?
Contests! Many spaces participate in contests with each other coordinated through http://hackerspaces.org Examples include: Global Cupcake Challenge, Hackathons (where programmers work in parallel on the same problem), 555 contest , RPM Challenge, Space Blimp Contest
How can I get in on this?
If you enjoy things like Make Magazine, Hack-a-day, Lifehacker, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Sparkfun, Adafruit Industries, Radio Shack, FIRST/Lego Robotics, Instructables, Linux, you’ll find lots in common with people at a makerspace.
I encourage you to read up on makerspaces and form your own perceptions about them. Then either join one or start one. You’ll be glad you did.
If you are nearby, join the DHMN as we work toward an Appleton, WI hackerspace/makerspace.
Other hackerspaces/makerspaces in Wisconsin