Chicagoans of all ages will soon have access to the world’s most advanced prototyping technology, all at their local library.
Billed as the CPL Innovation Lab, the Chicago Public Library is opening the city’s first free maker space on the third floor of the Harold Washington Library.
The maker space will be home to a variety of 3D modeling software, 3D printers, laser cutters, a vinyl cutter and a CNC milling machine.
Over the course of the next six-months, administrators at the Chicago Public Library System (CPL) will evaluate how the maker space is being used and whether it works within the library’s existing ecosystem. If successful, the CPL will roll out maker spaces throughout the library system.
The CPL maker spaces are being made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will keep the space open from July 8 – December 31 of this year.
With the US currently investing heavily in STEM education, investing in spaces like these where kids (and their parents?) can come together to create and explore seems to make a ton of sense. This type of independent exploration is critical to the education of tomorrow’s engineers.
It seems like a no-brainer to me, but I imagine that the CPLs maker space initiative will be a resounding success, and in the next year free “Innovation Labs” will begin to pop up across the CPL system.
Image Courtesy of the Wikipedia