Here’s the latest update on what’s going on with Makespace:

Makespace setup update

We are still pursuing space as a top priority. The old Institute for Manufacturing robot workshop on Mill Lane is our target location, and negotiations continue around that. We’re going through all the processes and procedures with the University, which inevitably takes time, so please bear with us. The space is extremely promising, as it is a former workshop with all the space and features we need. Fingers crossed!

Unfortunately our application for a Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious outreach grant didn’t get through, but we did reach the second round and it was a very competitive programme. We hope to reapply for the next round, and hope that the more advanced state we’ll be in then will help.

In less exciting news, we have got full banking set up now, including a platform to enable us to take one off and regular payments, which we are now testing. This will be useful as we start to look to membership payments down the line.

In the meantime, we continue to help organise things ahead of Makespace existing, so here is a summary of some of the other Makespace related activities:

Maker Faire report

In March quite a few Makespace supporters visited Newcastle for the UK Maker Faire.

Science week report

During Cambridge Science Week, Makespace collaborated with volunteers from the Institute for Manufacturing to deliver some hands-on science and manufacturing for families. We showcased some of our hobby projects, alongside a ‘Mini make it’, with the idea that people can come along with ideas for inventions they’d like to make, and we can talk them through how they might go about creating a prototype, testing the idea, or modifying it to be more practical. The mini Make-it event was a great success, and you can see some of the fun in our photos over on the meetup site.

Upcoming event – Big Schools Outreach Day

We’re planning a big outreach event which will take place on 18th October 2011, at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. Such outreach is very important for the Makespace community, as helping engage and inspire young people is a big part of the reason we think Makespace is necessary, and hopefully it will help us reach our engagement targets set as a requirement for receiving our bootstrap funding.

This will be a day for secondary school pupils aged 15+ to have a go at some hands-on, problem-solving engineering work, and also learn more about the engineering industry. Ideally the day will include a range of quality interactive engineering activities – very hands-on – as well as talks and demos. The event is being organised in collaboration with STEM TEAM and Duxford, and aims to attract at least 400 students from across the region, who are studying science/engineering/design&technology at BTEC, GCSE or A level.

We need your help, now, in planning and designing workshops, and on the day!

For the event to be a success, it would be great if you could offer any or all of the following things. Please add your ideas to the Meetup page, or drop us a line at if you think you can help with any of these, so that the organisers have time to pull together the plan and get schools and companies on board.

  • ideas for hands-on activities which could work within a day (~6 hours maximum) or a shorter session, with this age group. This could be from any type of engineering – we’d really like to have a wide range
  • suggestions of potential sponsoring companies (most useful if you can provide a relevant contact at the organisation) – any level of sponsorship is welcome, in cash or in kind
  • offers of talks (any duration!) which would interest the students
  • suggestions for celebrity speakers or exciting topics where a speaker could be found, which could provide a high profile “keynote” element to the day
  • volunteers to test out the ideas for hands-on activities (we’ll need to figure out what can be done with what equipment, how long a task might take a 15-17 year old, etc)
  • offers of demos from companies, which could be given at a stand in a “trade show” type area
  • volunteers to help out on 18th October itself (briefing and support will be given in advance through the STEM TEAM network; existing STEM Ambassadors will probably hear about this event separately, too, in which case volunteering through STEM TEAM is fine and you don’t need to contact Makespace as well)
  • contact with teachers and schools in the East of England that would be interested in attending.

If you can help…
We’d welcome contacts at potential sponsoring companies, as we build relationships with them prior to asking for actual help. Please contact the Meetup group organisers if you know anyone who might be a potential sponsor.

  • tell interested friends to sign up to our Meetup group
  • come along to an event or help organise an upcoming one (email us at or signup on the Meetup event page)
  • follow us on twitter @cammakespace
  • email us with ideas or questions if you’ve got any
A making Makespace update

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