Open Works is hitting the road.
The maker space will soon launch a mobile service that will travel to city schools and local events to give students and residents hands-on demonstrations and classes.
The mobile offering cost about $50,000 to buy and renovate a large van that will go from location to location. This is the first mobile maker space in the city, and will serve as an extension of Open Works’ location on Greenmount Avenue in Station North.
Included in the van is a 3-D printer and a laser cutter, among other pieces of manufacturing equipment.
Open Works will debut the mobile site at Artscape this weekend. The free arts festival starts Friday and runs through Sunday.
Will Holman, the general manager of Open Works, said the mobile space is catered to K-12 students, but will appear across the city for people of all ages to use.
“It’s hard for [schools] to take their students to the actual space, so by bringing it to the school, they can fit some [science, technology, engineering and math] enrichment into the school day,” Holman said.
Raymond Braxton, the principal of Johnston Square Elementary School in East Baltimore, expressed his anticipation for the new mobile maker space.
“It’s exciting to have something that’s actually in the neighborhood that the kids can get to and access,” said Braxton.
Additionally, Open Works is partnering with Maryland Institute College of Art to develop classes and curriculums for the mobile lab, and is even seeking a student intern to travel with the van and work with students.
“The vision for this work is partnership and Open Works is building from those partnerships,” said David Bogen, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs for MICA.