At the ecsite conference in Gothenburg, we took part in an experimental kind of session, a maker space where attendees could spend time working on projects and having conversations about developing this type of work at their own institutions.
Jean-Michel from the CCSTI La Casemate in Grenoble shared his 3D printer along with some inspirational stories about how that digital fabrication technology can be used all over a museum to make various parts for exhibits.
The first day we had circuit boards out as a more basic example of a electricity activity. Although we thought it would be simple, it turned out that some participants developed a really interesting line of experiments with adding conductive thread as a potentiometer. We spent about a hour making a potentiometer with the sewn circuit thread.
It was also great that people came to know the maker space as an area where we had lots of materials and tools. Claudia came in to fix her show with a hot glue gun and others came by to borrow scissors, clips, and other things.
Overall it was a really nice and different interaction during a conference to have people working together on projects during the sessions. Not only were we thrilled to see the interesting creations that were made, but we also valued the important conversations we had while working side by side on tinkering activities. It was also great to collaborate with Jean Michel, Ian and John the Center for Life in Newcastle, Jochen from Germany, Karolina from Poland, and other guest tinkerers from Sweden and around the world. The space proved to be very active and popular, so hopefully we will be back next year with a maker space that's bigger and better than ever.