Nonprofit

Los Angeles Makerspace

We are incredibly proud of the achievements our organization has made in the past year. We could not have done it without a passionate board of directors (4 women, 3 men) and an extremely supportive community.

In less than one year we have opened a space in downtown LA, hired two staff members and programmed more than 40 successful events and workshops including programming, design, citizen science, film, woodworking and food science hacking.

We have had a lot of support and attention localling in Los Angeles and nationally. The White House - Office of Science and Technology Policy wrote about our incredible efforts: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/12/making-makers-los-angeles

We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and reached our goal in the first 30 hours, proving that there is demand and interest in the maker movement and project-based learning.

We have developed and have begun running a student research program whereby students are mentored in the development of their own research projects as well as getting them involved with current research projects. Our current partners are the environmental monitoring group Safecast, the American Physics Society, the West Side Science Club, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, University of Southern California, and the California Institute of Technology.

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1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Central Educational Network Based On The Apprenticeship Model

    At the Los Angeles Makerspace we are built on the premise of connected learning and the need to re-imagine learning. An important part of the learning process involves both mentorship and social support in order to guide people towards knowledge and expertise. Research has shown repeatedly that when people have more access to expert peers, mentors, and coaches, learning is much more effective and resilient. Additionally, teaching and helping others can be one of the best ways to learn more too, independent of one’s current level of expertise.

    Our idea is to extend LA Makerspace from a weekend tinkering space to a central educational network based on the apprenticeship model with weekday after-school programs. We want to develop our space into a rich environment where students can create peer mentoring groups and have access to experts in the community to establish mentoring relationships through project-based learning.

    In the spirit of sharing with everyone in LA and beyond, we will be sharing our learning practices and curriculum licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA hosted on P2PU.org, an online educational platform and community. Our goal is to provide passionate learners, both those traditionally designated as teachers and students, with civically-engaged project-based learning opportunities tied to STEAM subjects. The P2PU platform gives anyone in the world an opportunity to learn about topics they might not otherwise have access to, connect with others who share the same interests both online in the P2PU class, and create their own communities around a project. In addition, we are linking STEAM-related learning to citizen action by enabling people to mobilize science and engineering to make an impact in their neighborhood and around the world. Learning from the ground up from the basics of how to construct electronics to how to calibrate gathered data to how to test theories and develop other models. The opportunities presented are for these learners to connect with the research and advocacy communities around Los Angeles and beyond, learning how to both be scientifically literate and apply science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in a meaningful way.

    Our idea will impact the Education Indicator through higher test scores from our participating students, a more diverse population joining STEAM majors, an increased percentage of college graduates, highly competent citizens ready to compete with a highly-educated workforce and a really passionate and fun community to be.