As parents to a very technical/design-driven 13-year-old young man, my husband and I want to nurture his gift of designing, creating and building projects on his own. We want to find a place where his gift can be further enhanced. He, who grew up with Lego and Knex, needs to go to the next level in designing and we found that venue at Makerspace Manila.
We chanced upon this unusual shop at Solenad in Sta. Rosa Laguna last week coming home from our road trip to Tagaytay. At first we thought it was an Internet shop on soft opening but when we read their posters on the glass wall, saw the 3D and digital printers, we got curious. Just then, one of the staff members came out and invited us for a tour of their space.
We were warmly welcomed by the owners Gino, Noel and Mico. Noel talked to the kids and introduced to them the LittleBits, the electronic building blocks that is more advanced than Lego yet simple enough for our 9-year-old to tinker with. After just a few minutes, Jacob was already moving his own remote-controlled car using those amazing tools, of course with the help of Noel. We knew he got a kick out that! Click to see video!
So what is Makerspace Manila? Makerspace Manila is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning venue launched by Nymbus Strategic Inc. here in Manila. Gino shares that the concept was modelled after the Maker Faire in the US, which started as a country fair/school fair that was open to young and adult hobbyists, artists, designers, DIYers and other creatives to showcase and share their projects to the public.
Makerspace Manila is a place where STEAM related workshops and after-school programs will be made available to kids and adults as well. This is a place for any “makers” to build any project using the available resources in the lab, design anything aided by the computer or even see their 3D masterpieces come to life using the 3D printer!
Now that the schools are shifting to the K12 curriculum, Makerspace will be an awesome addition to the students under the STEM strand. Since our son is slowly moving towards the STEM strand too and is hoping to take up Design Technology or Engineering in college, this venue will give him more opportunities to hone his gift, learn more about design technology and make a profession out of it in the future.
Makerspace Manila offers memberships on a monthly and annual basis. The monthly membership fee is 1500 pesos with consumables. Consumables include the use of the space, materials, printing etc. But if you simply want your kids to try it out, they have an hourly rate of 500 pesos with the same inclusions. Based on how fast our kids built their projects, imagine how many or how sophisticated your kids’ projects would be!
Since they are using the LittleBits technology in Makerspace, they are selling these kits or modules too so your kids can use them at home or use at the space at the same time. Noel, Mico and the rest of the team will gladly assist your kids and give them tips on how to create awesome projects on their own.
This summer they will have a kick off workshop called the Summer STEAM Camp Arduino for kids ages 13 and up and the STEAM Camp Junior Series for ages 8-12.
“The Arduino STEAM Camp will help develop your child’s logical reasoning and problem solving as they tackle basic microcontroller coding and circuit design. Our Arduino projects help prepare students for advanced problem solving as well as collaboration to prepare them for real world critical thinking. Interfacing software and hardware will be at the core of the workshop and will challenge the child to discover the different applications that electronics can be used for.
The Junior Maker Series will help your child learn to work on projects in a collaborative environment, focused on real-world problem solving and critical thinking. The camp will help your child develop key 21st century skills as outlined by the American Partnership for the 21st Century Learning to include the 4C’s (Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Communication) and develop important dispositions such as risk-taking and resilience.” – Makerspace Manila
As we continued to tour, Gino led us to an inner room where my husband’s eyes lit up. It’s DIYer’s haven! It’s like a Dad’s workshop complete with wood working tools and machines like a planer, grinder, drill press, and a miter saw. There is also a space and tools for jewelry maker. I can’t wait to start our DIY woodwork projects here… with my husband, of course!
“We are all makers” shares Dale Dougherty, CEO and Founder of Maker Media Inc in California and Maker Faire. In his talk, Mr. Dougherty sees the maker in all of us. Whether we’re baking a cake, writing a novel, building a home, painting a masterpiece or crafting, we are all making something out of nothing. Even our kids are “makers”: they draw imaginary worlds using markers, they build cities using blocks, they create virtual worlds in their computers, they create music and so on.
Each individual created by God has a unique gift and a unique purpose. The gift was not meant to be kept in the dark but it was God’s design for us and our children to enhance whatever gifts he has bestowed us. The purpose of the gift is not to wow the crowd and bring in applause after applause. The things we create with our hearts, hand and mind are for the betterment of our family, our community, our nation and the world. But the greater purpose why our Creator or our Maker created us was so that He be glorified in every good thing we do.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV
Do check out Makerspace Manila at the Second Floor, Building B Ayala Mall Solenad 3, Nuvali, Sta. Rosa City Laguna. Get more updates from their Facebook page, Makerspace Manila.