A new space has opened at Edward Milne community school and it promises to become a hub of creative activity for the community.
It’s called the Makerspace and it is a place where residents can indulge their most creative instincts as they try their hand at any project they can envision.
Anne Bell, community school coordinator for the Sooke school district, said the space is perfect for people with a creative nature, but don’t have access at home to the tools and equipment needed to bring their ideas to fruition.
“A lot of people don’t have access to even enough land to build the sort of shop you’d need to have this kind of equipment. Makerspace gives them the opportunity to come in and use the most advanced equipment right here in their own community,” she said.
Makerspace is housed in what was once an old shop room at EMCS, but there’s nothing old school about the variety of tools, equipment and materials available at the facility.
The space houses a dizzying variety of tools, equipment, and materials and will provide education, training and mentoring to the community so that they can design, create, invent, tinker, explore, discover and make items that wouldn’t generally be possible to individuals working alone.
It’s part workshop, part science, computer, electronics, and tech lab and part arts and craft room.
One example is the availability of 3D printers.
“These 3D printers are the cutting edge of technology. In 10 years, these machines will be in every home. They are just amazing,” said John Wallace of KMS Tools and Equipment, one of the suppliers of the printers in Makerspace.
“They are the future, but the future is here right now in the school and they’re available to the community.”
Another piece of technology, a computer numeric control milling machine, does a perfect job of cutting, carving, machining and milling, all at the touch of a few buttons.
Bell pointed out a wooden chair that was built using the CNC machine and said that access to the technology would be a game-changer for local woodworkers and home handymen (and women) alike.
“This is a first in a community school,” said Sooke Coun. Jeff Bateman.
“The funding came to Sooke through the United Way some three years ago. It’s a space that can be used by the students during the day and the community during the off hours. That’s what community schools are all about.”
A fee will be assessed to use Makerspace, and anyone interested in exploring the options for membership or wanting information on the steps needed to access the space can getinformation at www.emcsprograms.ca/makerspace.
“This is an amazing space and opportunity for Sooke. I’m confident that it will become another hub in an already great community,” said Bell.