[hackerspaces] How To Teach a Hackerspace Class?

Jerry Isdale isdale at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 09:33:02 CET 2012

This discussion has been (continues to be) quite helpful and encouraging.
We had one of our first official classes at Maui Makers yesterday - a 'Learn to Solder' class

Turnout was pretty interesting - one member, one member's 11yo son, three other youth of about that age, and one other adult.  Two of the attendees (adult and a rather intelligent young boy) found us through some info ads we had placed in local news papers (publisher of one is a member.)  I was the teacher and we had a number of folks helping.  Parents of all the kids were in attendance or near-by (mom of new boy took some private time with her very young baby).   We had a liability waiver for everyone to complete and they got a copy too - unfortunately we don't have a copy machine so they had to fill it out twice.

My prep work for teaching primarily consisted of making a few kits myself (different from ones class used) and reviewing the Soldering Is Easy comic book (http://mightyohm.com/blog/2011/04/soldering-is-easy-comic-book/).  I gave a copy of this to each participant.  I also spent a small bit of time cleaning up the space before hand, and getting some signage out on the "streets" leading to our space… we are located a fair bit off conventional roads, back in a sugar cane factory/field area that used to be one of the worker Camps.  rustic, funky and often a bit odd smelling.

All six attendees got their kits working and were quite enthusiastic about them.  I think we may have to continue exploring/developing the young maker side.  Several of the kids & parents were lamenting the lack of cool and educational activities.

back to the 'how to teach' aspect…

This is one area that our SpaceGAMBIT.org project is working on for next year (when funding hopefully is in bank).  We want to encourage sharing of educational resources among hackerspaces.  There are several ideas floating around, but I'd like to hear from wider community…

What ways could hackerspaces share their educational resources?

Jerry Isdale

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