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Education, MAKE, and


Education, MAKE, and

A couple of weeks ago, James and Willow spoke with Dale Dougherty from MAKE about and their initiative with DARPA. Highlights from the talk:

  • Dale is committed to the transparency of the process and will share more of the background with the wider community once the contract information is complete with DARPA
  • We talked about the idea of encouraging hacker and makerspaces to increase and normalize their safety standards so that kids can go there on field trips
  • We are going to check in with Dale on a monthly basis

If you want to follow this topic, please leave a comment and subscribe to the blog! We will keep you posted as things unfold. Also check out the related blog on Education and Learning.

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This sounds pretty awesome. It's starting to sound like there are a few initiatives to get hackerspaces & education more connected. This is wonderful, and I hope we can get as much crossover / shared work done as possible.

Insurance / Liability is probably one of my biggest concerns, but it hasn't been mentioned by any of the parents of kids that have been down to our space as of yet.

Most of what we're involving kids is done outside at other schools. We are slowly planning on having regularly scheduled classes & workshops geared specifically to kids starting late Sping / early Summer. As a result of this, and just wishing to appeal to a broader base,   we do realize that just the look of our space needs some changes : ) 

Look forward to hearing more!

 - Josh Williams
 - All Hands Active


I'm particularly interested in the question of how spaces can work together on safety standards.  I think it is important to balance the values of the need for spaces to be able to adapt safety policies to their unique circumstances with the benefits of having some common standards (guests from different spaces being able to participate safely in activities at other spaces, possible lowering of insurance rates [think the equivalent of safe driver discount if there was a standard that we could show insurance companies], etc).


I'm interested in seeing how this plays out.  I worked for the Education Foundation of the local Manufacturing Trade Association for awhile primarily on thier BattleBots-based program to get Jr. High and High School students interested in manufacturing careers.  

In this possition I saw first hand the disconnect that currently exists between vocational/career tech education and traditional high schools--the result being students following both paths are basically being cheated of a well rounded education.

It seems a program like this could play a role (long-term) in addressing that problem.  


Their website is up at  with a couple new posts

They sent out a notice yesterday to touch base with people who had indicated interest.

Looks like it is getting rolling.


I think we can blend some of this work together by helping Jerrick launch MakerScouts.

If we can form a couple of pilot MakerScout troops at 2-3 spaces, and have them do a documented 'safety update' while they practice the concept of the MakerScouts, I think we can then share the results of that with other spaces and make this a more national effort.

Josh, do you think AHA would be able / willing to organize / host -- even on a prototype basis -- a makerscout troop? I'm thinking Familab, Bucketworks, and possibly Sector67 might be willing also. (Obviously we don't have anything defined yet, but this gives us a good rallying cry as it were.)


We've been working on putting together some kids programs, and I would love for Nova Labs to host a MakerScout troop.  Just let me know what I need to do to get involved. 


This just popped out of the ether sphere recently-- Dale offers clarity around the DARPA connection:


Very cool!  Thanks for the link.

On a closely related note - I am the Technical Contact (and at present primary negotiator) on the "Hackerspace Space Program", which was just selected for contract negotiations by the same DARPA folks funding MAKErspace (my typography for Dale's program).

I am not sure how SpaceFederation people feel about Govt $ but it has suddently become quite relevant.

The Hackerspace Space Program is supposed to be a US 501(c)3 corporation. At present there is no official, legal entity with whom DARPA can negotiate.  We are starting to scramble - I have been contacted by DARPA as the lead negotiator and they are asking for Maui Makers Cage Code, DUNS, etc.  

My first thought is to turn to Space Federation for assistance.  The project is all about international collaboration between hackerspaces - with very little, if any, mil/dod aspects.   Would Space Fed members be willing to help out?

The main source for basic information on the progtam is the proposal itself...

Vol 1: Technical 

Vol 2: Costs

Discussion Group:

Space Federation
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