[hackerspaces] How To Teach a Hackerspace Class?

Dave tallycast at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 02:35:24 CET 2012

On Monday, December 10, 2012, David Powell wrote:

> To date we have only held a small handful of classes but we want to change
> that.
> We promoted a class for the Netduino and I happen to know one of the
> creators of the Netduino, Chris Walker and I arranged for him to come help
> teach the class. We made LED cubes which stuck right into the Neduino
> headers. All we wanted to charge was the price of the materials. Our goal
> was simply to get new people in our door.
> We planned a month ahead and about 1 week before the class was scheduled
> we did not have anyone sign up. Chris Walker then offered to pay for all
> the materials and make the class free. As soon as we announced that we were
> giving away Free Netduinos the class was full.
> So now we have this problem where we are trying to figure out what
> happened years later. Is it that nerds are notoriously cheap? Had we had a
> better topic would people have been more willing to pay for the materials?
> The problem stopped us in our  tracks and we have not had a serious class
> offering since. We have only had a guest speaker or two for our existing
> members but we never bothered to organize another class.
> In the past 4 months we have had about 50 potential new members come by
> our space on our Open Hack night and we have found that the majority of the
> people are looking for a more structured organization. They come and expect
> to learn something. So we are currently tossing around the idea of smaller
> group study sessions on specific topics. Instead of hosting an event where
> we will teach a large group of people everything we can about electronics
> in 4 hours we are going to try to teach a small group of people ohm's law
> in 2 hours one week and how transistors work the next week. Our goal here
> is to bring our current members up to speed so they can help new members.
> At the same time we hope new members will walk in and see a more structured
> environment and hopefully they will want to come back and sign up as a dues
> paying member.
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