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Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017
MakeX: Mobile Makerspace for Teens
MakeX is a FREE community makerspace in the Cubberley Community Center that offers access to cutting-edge digital tools, power tools, and building materials. Completely staffed by local high school students, MakeX aims to facilitate creative design through casual, peer mentorship. Visitors can tackle any project with the help of the expert design, ideating, and fabricating resources available at MakeX.
What is a makerspace? The Library as an Incubator project describes a makerspace as a "collaborative learning environment where people come together to share materials and learn new skills...makerspaces are not necessarily born out of a set of materials or spaces, but rather a mindset of community partnership, collaboration, and creation.” The creative independence fostered by makerspaces has captured people’s imaginations around the world. With hundreds of thousands of people attending events like the Maker Faire, and with new makerspaces opening all across America and abroad, the maker movement has become a symbol of modern, homegrown innovation.
Who Staffs MakeX?
Teen mentors are the core of MakeX and offer expert knowledge in everything from arts and crafts to 3D CAD modeling and industrial tool use. Mentors are also avid educators and are trained to facilitate safe, friendly, and easily understood learning for all age groups 10 and up.
What Tools are Available at MakeX?
MakeX offers a wide array of design and fabrication tools. Design tools include hand drafting sets and professional 3D Computer Aided Design programs.
Fabricating tools include a 3D printer, laser cutter, bandsaw, drill press, belt sander, metal grinder, and assorted hand tools. Mentors offer free safety tutorials and guidance when using the tools at MakeX.
How was MakeX started?
MakeX was created by a committee of 22 local teens gathered by the City of Palo Alto Art Center and Library during the summer of 2013. Given complete creative freedom with designing a community program, the teen designers settled on creating a makerspace after visiting IDEO, Stanford’s d.school, Castilleja’s Bourn Idea Lab, and other creative spaces in the Bay Area.
Since its grand opening in August 2013, MakeX has become a frequented destination for Palo Alto’s children, students, and adults alike.
What are MakeX’s goals?
To design and develop a third space for Palo Alto middle school and high school age teens that is a “space of their own” and promotes self directed and mentored creative expression and learning about art and technology, meets the educational and social needs of the teen audience and encourages participation by teen audiences throughout the City. MakeX was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.