Jeff Sturges - Strengthening Communities with Makerspaces

How can Makerspaces build community, excite peer learning, and drive entrepreneurial experimentation?

About The Speaker(s)

Jeff Sturges is the Founder and Conductor of the Mt. Elliott Makerspace in Detroit, Michigan, and Co-Founder of the hackerspace OmniCorpDetroit. The startup of both spaces was inspired by his experiences at the MIT Fab Lab GreenFab program at Sustainable South Bronx and at the hackerspace NYCResistor. Jeff describes himself as an "instigator and facilitator" and believes that "making" is a natural tool for educators.


Visit the Mt. Elliott Makerspace website, view their photos on Flickr, and watch their videos on YouTube.

Download a PDF of this session's Livestream Chat archive

Access the collaborative documentation of key points and resources from this session


Questions Asked

  • (07:58) What is the difference between a hackerpsace and a Makerspace?
  • (12:40) Were you the first to use 'Makerspace' at Mt. Elliott or were there other spaces using that term?
  • (22:21) So everybody volunteers at the Mt. Elliott Makerspace or do you actually have staff?
  • (24:32) So how many people do have in the space at any given time? I'm kind of curious about the ratios when you're having kids, especially younger kids, and the supervision that's required.
  • (29:48) There's an idea, I think, of two different Makerspaces. One is a distinct place where you are introducing people to technology. And then I see a Makerspace where you're attracting people who are already interested in technology. Going forward, do you foresee Makerspaces that are combining those two target audiences?
  • (36:20) What issues would there be with starting a Makerspace in a vocational tech (urban) school that could be shared with the community? If cost is not an issue, what equipment should we look at?
  • (44:25) Do you have a different set of expectations for OmniCorpDetroit than you do for the Mt. Elliott Makerspace?
  • (46:40) Can you talk about the interplay between these spaces of school life, home life, and Makerspaces?
  • (50:24) What about libraries? There's a question in the Livestream about partnering with the libraries?

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