Hackerspaces

Emily heard NPR’s Tech Monday story on The Geek Group in Kalamazoo. She thought that this was an interesting concept. I found the story the next day in their online archive, and this place was exactly what I thought it was when she mentioned it yesterday. It’s like a do‐it‐yourself children’s museum and project workspace for grownups. I wish that there was a place like that around these parts, but the only listing near Indianapolis in the Hackerspaces registry looks like a dead end.

Other hacker spaces are more like workshop space for rent, with tools and supplies for its members to use in exchange for paying regular dues. I mean, who wouldn’t want access to welding supplies, circuit board etching chemicals, and 3D printers? As an added benefit, your wife wouldn’t have to get on your case about taking over the garage workbench once in a while. It’s a place for sharing ideas, and for geeks to get excited about doing geeky stuff.

I went to a couple summer camps at a place kind of like this called Discovery Hall in a warehouse by the railroad tracks near the old power plant downtown. It was sort of like a children’s museum, but there was a lot more junk lying around that people were tinkering with in unstructured ways. Rather than formal exhibits, there were areas with chemistry stuff, electronics stuff to take apart, etc. I have tried to find information about Discovery Hall before, but the place disappeared somewhere around 1991. I’m sure that the people who ran it were total sketchy college dweebs, but as a second grader, I wanted to be just like them when I grew up.

I’m sure that simply posting an entry on an obscure blog will stir up enough interest for one to spring up in Fishers overnight, of course. Because I’d absolutely be there trying Dangerous Things.

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