MILTON — A maker space where people with common interests can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge opened with a tape intersection at 7 Broadway St. early Saturday morning.
Dubbed the Central Pennsylvania Maker Space Academy and inspired by STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) disciplines, the Milton Maker Space is the place for people to create, explore and learn together.
Membership is free and open to youth and adults, students and entrepreneurs. Within the space is a variety of equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons, and even sewing machines, with the end goal of building community and innovation through manufacturing.
Program director Becka Warfel said the idea of creating such a space in Milton had been germinating for three years. But because of the pandemic, plans had to be put on hold, Warfil explained.
“There was a lot of planning involved,” she says. “And lots of training. We had some hired teams to help with engineering and art training.”
The concept of Maker Space was to create a public area where anyone could enter and become a “member” for free. “The only reason we’re a member is so we can track interest in different types of crafts that we offer. Members can come in and use all these different machines and materials that we have.”
Warfel’s expertise is in arts and design and crafts, she said, and it’s one of those programs she’ll be teaching at Maker Space.
Lewisburg Mayor Kendy Alvarez was involved in the entire project. “At least on the periphery,” she said at the opening. “I’m a big fan of Maker Spaces because they allow community members to engage in art and crafting things. and it can stimulate interest in STEAM for children at an early age.”
TIME Executive Director George Venios thanked Warfel and her team for bringing this all together. He also wanted to thank the donors.
“Thanks to many funders including the Degenstein Foundation, the PPL Foundation, Conagra Brands and of course our biggest supporter DCED, the Maker Space is a regional resource for STEAM programs,” said Venios. “As most of you know, Milton was Central Pa’s manufacturing mecca in the 19th and 20th centuries. — and we’re bringing it back,” he said.
The opening times are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.