701 Cocoa Ave, Hershey, PA 17033

(717) 533-6555 library@derrytownship.org


Please take a brief online survey of 6 questions to help assess community interest in a possible future makerspace in the Derry Township area. The benefits to you and others could be amazing. If you have never heard of makerspace, read on to learn more, and then please take the survey in the link above.

What is a makerspace?

A makerspace is place in which a community of creators meet and share knowledge, learn skills, explore ideas, design and build objects or devices, and, sometimes, launch new business ventures. A makerspace is a space where one can find materials and various interdisciplinary (crafting, woodworking, sewing, electronics, 3D modeling, metalworking) tools or equipment not readily available to all. The types of tools on hand will depend on the purpose of the makerspace, the variety of users and their interests, staffing, and materials. There is no one answer as to what goes into a makerspace or how to use it. The community decides.

What is the value of a makerspace?

Companies are finding it difficult to hire intelligent people who can THINK and BUILD. Mechanical intuition requires experience in how to make things (building) and how things work (design). The elimination of shop class in much of the US, means most hands-on experiences a typical engineer receives is in a single undergraduate machine shop course. Fewer engineers with mechanical intuition get their experience as kids at home from a parent or relative with a workshop (doing woodworking, welding, electronics, car repair), or grew up in a community where shop class was offered. These opportunities are increasingly fewer and farther between for most, and boys are more likely than girls to have access to what few of these experiences. Additionally, home economics class has disappeared, taking with it hands-on experience with sewing, weaving, and textiles.

As education has moved to address industry’s need for an appropriately educated workforce witness the arise of STEM education. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is becoming STEAM, as arts+design experiences are increasingly being integrated as core learning strategies.

A makerspace is a place where hands-on fine and industrial arts skills and knowledge can be shared and experienced. A makerspace promotes inclusion. By mixing fine arts and craft materials and techniques with industrial arts tools and technologies, a makerspace serves to remove gender associated barriers across associated disciplines, making them accessible to all. A makerspace is an ideal environment to foster inter-generational activities. It is a community of makers interacting, where older members can share their learned experience and gain exposure to new ideas and ways of manufacture. A makerspace can act to provide access to fabrication and prototyping technologies in the absence of an industrial arts classroom with open studio hours. They are spaces that allow and encourage users to build their own designs or collaborate with others on their projects.

Our area possesses a rich mix of educated, skilled, and talented community members who would potentially find value in opportunities to exercise their curiosity, creativity, and hands-on experience in a collaborative environment, such as a makerspace.

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Petruzzi by email: djap7@verizon.net or call or text: 717-329-7988.