Jenny Bruce was the first ever Epicenter Makerspace Coordinator! She has decided to move on, but before she does we would like to highlight a few of the ways in which she has made this endeavor a great one.
When Jenny started on January 1, she was tasked with getting the makerspace from nothing to something. Having no equipment on site and no structure to begin with, she immediately set out to get people through the door by having a First Friday event on location (January blog)! Moving through the next couple months, Jenny developed classes for people to take and also the basic structure of what the makerspace would become. Once the equipment started to arrive, the tasks needing completed started being driven by the spaces we could build, i.e. woodshop, fiber arts, and tech space.
The Makerspace opened officially in March and we got our first official makerspace member shortly thereafter. She had a goal for the month of April to have a class every single day that it was open, and she accomplished that! She brought a very creative and crafty mindset to the table that she used to develop activities and events to match First Friday themes, and also to connect students of all ages to our work.
A different kind of task was developing a full partnership with the Adult Technical side of the Washington County Career Center. Jenny worked with a variety of the staff to brainstorm introduction classes that could be offered through the Makerspace. One of the most successful was the Introduction to Welding classes that were agreed upon. People of a variety of ages tried out welding to see what it is like.
Jenny’s passion for making and her enthusiasm about having this great resource in our community is evident to everyone she talks to about it. Jenny adds that “during these past months, having the opportunity to see makers of all ages come to life with activities and skills they have never tried before has been the highlight of this experience. Watching teenagers discover sewing and professionals of all ages discover woodworking and painting, among other opportunities we offer, was surprising and rewarding. Attending community events over the summer and seeing the surprise at such an offering in this area was enlightening. I will continue to be a maker and hope to offer support for other makers in the future.”
Jenny will still be leading classes this next week, so stop in, take a class, and say goodbye!