Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Each Workbench day will have 3 sessions. There will be training in safe use of the equipment, a project-based class, and an open session where users can work on their own projects.
Workbench's mission will always be to support Education, Creativity and Enterprise, empowering people to make new things that would otherwise be impossible.
Making helps people with problem solving, creativity and self-confidence. Hands on learning gets high engagement, even from those who don't thrive in traditional academic environments. Digital making empowers less able people to make amazing things without needing fine control. Gifted learners can push boundaries.
Art, hardware, apps, craft, sensors, robots - anything is possible!
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
In our initial 10 week pilot, we expect to work with 200+ users.
Moving from the pilot towards a permanent lab, we would expect about 500 users per month (based on use of other Fab Labs).
With careful, appropriate programming very close to 100% of users will create a tangible output. Engagement in Fab Labs has been shown repeatedly to be very high. Fab Labs offer not just a place to learn new skills, but also offer open access to the resources users need to put them into use and develop further at their own pace.
The Fab Lab model is highly adaptable to local needs, and since 2006, approx 330 new Fab Labs have been set up worldwide, helping communities to solve local problems, build economies and support education.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Our ultimate aim is a world where everybody has access to the means of creation.
This pilot represents the first steps towards establishing Fab Labs in all public libraries and other community hubs. Like libraries, Fab Labs are places which facilitate learning, and we believe that laser cutters, 3D printers and electronics equipment should be as common a sight in libraries as computers and printers are now.
We aim to establish a workable model wherein all Irish public libraries contain a Fab Lab, and that eventually we can spread this model to the rest of the world.