AHC Holiday Makerspace

Santa Maria, California–on Saturday, December 9th, Allan Hancock Community College, along with its sister organizations the Santa Maria Public Library and the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, held its fall maker event.  The Holiday Makerspace served over 700 community members during the 5-hour event, with stations set up in both the library as well as the Discovery Museum.

The Public Library had two rooms dedicated to the event: one filled traditional hand crafts, and the other sporting a Virtual Reality station, a bank of 3D printers, and computers running CAD software.  Interns where on hand to provide support, but there was a strong mindset of ‘give it a try and see if it works’ over traditional instruction.

“I didn’t even know you could do that,” said Richard Cota, one of Allan Hancock College’s interns working with the 3D printers, referring to the recessed nameplates that a pair of boys had started working on in the CAD software.  The VR station maintained a constant line during the event, giving people a chance to experience some of the advances in the recent year to consumer grade computer hardware and software.

Mary Housel, Santa Maria’s Library Director/City Librarian, remarked “[t]he day was full of positivity and fun…[m]any people who made the ornaments were walking around showing them off to others in the room.  It was wonderful to experience the comradery and positive reinforcement for creating.”  The rock art, jewelry making, and ornament stations were also big draws for the public library.

At the Discovery Museum, the AHC Culinary Arts Department came out in full-force: baking gingerbread cookies that community participants spent all day decorating (and eating).  Other stations included showing how paper was recycled, a crocheting machine that could knit a hat in 10 minutes, and all matter of handcraft makerstations.

Amy Blasco, the SMV Discovery Museum’s program director, shared the following anecdote: “[a] mom and her two children drove up all the way from Ventura to escape the fire. They showed up a little after 3 p.m., but I told her it’s on the house and we’re very happy to have her with us. She started crying and said her husband has been fighting the fires for five days straight. She was thankful for a place to take her kids to get their minds off of things.”

It was a wonderful day to see a community come together and embrace



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