[hackerspaces] People in hackerspaces - ages?

Lew Lefton llefton at math.gatech.edu
Sat Jan 18 04:30:34 CET 2014

On 01/17/2014 01:18 PM, Alan Fay wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:45 PM, Josh Pritt <ramgarden at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm am also not a lawyer, but I know that Decatur Makers here in Atlanta
> (specifically targeting parents and K-12) has some serious insurance
> policy, as well as background checks on anybody who volunteers to work with
> children.

Actually, Decatur Makers isn't quite there yet.  We're a newly forming 
maker space in the Atlanta area who only recently overcame the "we need 
a space" hurdle.  We definitely want to have a place where both kids and 
adults can interact (e.g. middle and high school robotics teams) but 
we've also discussed having "adult swim" hours (e.g. no kids under 18 
after 9 or 10 PM like you sometimes see in restaurant/bars).  Our board 
has recently planned a half day "retreat" to sit down for a large block 
of time and hammer out some of these initial policies.

We've considered the idea that adults who are unsupervised with other 
people's kids in the space should have some sort of routine background 
check but that's not formalized yet.   It's actually not a huge barrier 
around here since it's a common policy for youth group advisors, scout 
leaders, coaches, camp counselors, and other volunteers for school 
athletic and extra curricular events who may be alone with kids.

We're still investigating insurance options but a serious policy to 
protect the space and it's members sounds fine to me as long it's 

Thanks to everyone on this list for the great info.  It's also nice that 
other spaces share their policies, information, and experience (like 
Freeside Atlanta's wiki).  Resources like that are really helpful for a 
new space trying to get off on the right foot and find what works for them.

Lew Lefton
decaturmakers at gmail.com

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