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RT maker Jenett Tillotson at the White House

The 'Nation of Makers' meeting brought together makerspace organizers from all over the country

Stephen Charlesworth and Jenett Tillotson (UITS Research Technologies) attended the ‘Nation of Makers’ meeting hosted by the White House on Aug. 24th. The meeting brought together makerspace organizers from all over the country and U.S. Government agencies to discuss funding and grant opportunities and ways the government can support makerspaces and help them serve their communities. Additionally, makerspace organizers shared ideas and expertise with each other and laid the groundwork for a nationwide network for collaboration.

In early August Andrew B. Coy, the President’s Senior Advisor on Making, reached out to Bloominglabs, Indiana’s first makerspace, where Charlesworth and Tillotson are board members. Coy is responsible for developing initiatives to support the Maker Movement Nationwide, including the White House Maker Faire.

“It’s encouraging to think that the President of the United States is interested in making and how the government can leverage our energies and talents,” says Tillotson. “It’s nice to have makerspaces recognized for what they do for their communities and what they could do with a national movement.” Charlesworth saw it as a genuine effort to reach out to makerspaces, organizations that are traditionally fiercely independent and often skeptical of working with the government. “Going to the White House to talk about our experiences with making and makerspaces was an exciting opportunity, but it also appears to be part of a larger effort that will build on what we did that day. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.” Bloominglabs is a makerspace located in Bloomington, Indiana.

Founded in 2010, Bloominglabs is a shared workspace where members share knowledge and ideas in order to build things. Bloominglabs also offers workshops to the public and partners with other organizations on STEM education events and programs. If you’d like to know more, visit http://bloominglabs.org or come to Bloominglabs’ Open Night, every Wednesday from 7pm to 10pm at 1609 South Rogers, Building 4.