Make Stuff by MadLab have kindly offered to share an introduction to who they are and what they do.

As the world enters an era in which technology know-how is essential for today’s young people, how do we ensure that everyone in Greater Manchester, particularly those with the fewest opportunities, will take part in our shared digital future?

Enter Make Stuff: free, pop-up, digital making workshop days, created by MadLab and delivered into the heart of communities across the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Make Stuff introduces the next generation, and their parents, to the newest technologies which will go on to shape their lives. It gives people the opportunity to learn new tech skills together, lets parents feel empowered to support their children, and enables young people to get hands-on with tech in a way that they do not at school, and by making the intangible become tangible.

The Ultimaker 3D printer from Create Education was an invaluable and popular addition to Make Stuff. Children and adults would lose themselves watching the mesmerising print, and over 7500 visitors appreciated the opportunity to see a 3D printer in action.

Each location Make Stuff visited received something printed just for them, relevant to their venue. Most memorable being Stockport Hat Museum’s 3D printed cap and fascinator.

In Wigan, local 3D printing group the Monument Men joined Make Stuff to display 3D printed artefacts from the Museum of Wigan Life. With the aid of a 3D scanner, visitors got 3D images of themselves, and took home tiny printed versions of themselves.

As well as 3D printing, visitors to Make Stuff get to try making customisable wearable tech, create Arduino-powered traffic lights, programme in Minecraft using a Raspberry Pi, solder badges, and try physical coding – using hammers!

This unique combination of making and crafting with technology meant that Make Stuff broke venue records not only for event attendance, but for audience diversity too.

The next Make Stuff will be a mini-version on Easter Monday 17th April at the Portland Basin Museum, followed by an adult-only Make Stuff as part of Manchester After Hours on the evening of Thursday 18th May (details will be released after 18th April). Make Stuff will then be taking a short break until the summer. Check out the website for future events: http://makestuff.madlab.org.uk/

Stay in touch at: https://www.facebook.com/MakeStuffMadLab/ or sign up to MadLab’s mailing list: eepurl.com/bbX_-/

Thanks to Create Education for the loan of the Ultimaker printer.

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