Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum Makerspace Report

The student workers from Allan Hancock College (interns) are learning and providing excellent support to everyone at the Discovery Museum makerspace that opened on May 5. We have daily talks on what is working, and what needs improvement. The interns are able to modify activities that are not working or require special instructions for younger children. Also, their suggestions have helped us improve the interactions and activities, space arrangement and ideas for our maker stations.

We started a program to provide cross-training on the equipment that we have available: button making, knitting machine, Cricut (an electronic cutting machine that looks sort of like a printer), 3D printers, Spheros (a white orb wrapped in polycarbonate, capable of rolling around, and controlled by a smartphone or tablet), drones, piñatas and looms. We will also cross-train on our other equipment like the drill, band saw and Lego Mindstorm robots.

We are very proud to announce that our customers fixed an iPhone 5, an iPhone 6 (broken screen), and Wii U remote controller (left joystick) in the makerspace. We provided the tools and access to technical support through and shared our experience working on assembly, repair, and upgrades to computers and laptops. They just brought in the broken device, found the model then watched the video or read the instructions on assembly and disassembly. We provided technical support when the directions were not very clear.

We have learned much from this experience. The first phone (an iPhone 5) took 4 sessions to complete the repair. We have a system to save the pieces as they are removed and cataloged in a static free case,
to help with assembly. The repair can take several days as the learning curve is a little steep.

On Thursdays, Brain Builders made boat designs, Flag Making, bubble making and the very popular Slime Time. Fridays are our Science, Technology, and coding day. The students and parents have
learned how to control the Spheros, directed it to follow a maze and had it kick a tennis ball into a goal. Saturdays are focused on Engineering and Math where they build different kinds of rockets. Sundays are Art days where adults along their children work with clay, paint, make buttons and cardboard art sculptures.

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