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Workshops are back!

In August we hired Jess Coco as our new Workshop Coordinator. And now, workshops are back!! In October we are hosting public workshops for the first time since March. Blacksmithing, wood turning, graphic design, 3D printing, and welding are all on the schedule for this month, with wood carving, sewing, and more classes being added next month. We launched with eight classes in October, with a goal of 10-15 per month going forward. Whether you are learning a new tool or refining your skills, we have a fun, fully guided class that will walk you through it! 

Our educational model prioritizes theory and practice; making sure you know not just WHAT to do but WHY. Each class is designed to introduce a tool and techniques, allow for practice time, and then students will produce a small project to take home. Each class is small so that students receive indivdualized attention and assistance from the instructor. Workshops are open to teens (14+) and adults, and pre-registration is required. All workshops at Vector Space are open to the public and do not require membership to attend. Many of our students come to learn how to make at Vector Space with no prior experience.

For COVID-19 safety during all classes, we ask that participants and instructors, as well as members working in the space, wear a mask indoors at all times while inside the building and maintain a safe distance of 6ft from each other at all times while at Vector Space.

Sign up for a workshop today!

Welcome, Jessica!

We are excited to introduce our new Workshop Coordinator, Jessica Coco. Jess is a member at Vector Space, an adjunct math professor, and a life coach with a love for people and making.

Jessica Coco hails from central Florida. She has been teaching Mathematics at both the High School and College levels since 2010. Currently, she is an adjunct Math professor at CVCC and a Habit & Academic Coach as a side hustle for her own business called Silver Bullet Coaching. As a graduate of University of Lynchburg, she holds a Bachelors in Mathematics and a Masters of Science Education.

During her time in Florida and in Graduate school at UL, she was tasked with coordinating educational programs such as the Math Monitoring Program at Polk State College (FL) and the Peer Assisted Study Session Program at UL while in graduate school. Jessica has also had the opportunity to coach teachers with instructional strategies as well as new mountain bikers with bike handling skills, teach Yoga, develop/design new traditional and online courses, and judge STEM science fairs as well as assist students with STEM projects.

Since Jessica loves to learn and exploring, she has a wide range of hobbies and interests such as Yoga, mountain biking, sewing, drawing, crafting, and painting. In the near future, she hopes to add all of the Vector Space offerings, like wood and metal working to her list of hobbies!

Hiring: Workshop Coordinator

Workshop Coordinator Job Posting

Description

The part time Workshop Coordinator will be responsible for scheduling and overseeing the successful execution of workshops. The goal of workshops at Vector Space is to introduce new skills, tools, and techniques to makerspace members and the general public. While initially only a five hour per week position, there is potential for growth of responsibilities and a more substantial workload in the future. Compensation will be discussed during the interview process.

Responsibilities

  • Work with instructors to schedule workshops

    • Use internal calendar and VS map to avoid overlap

    • Use surveys to determine ideal times for participants

  • Publish workshops on VS website at 1-2 months in advance

    • Become familiar with CiviCRM and the VS website CMS

  • Recruit new instructors

  • Promote workshops to fill participant slots

    • Post on website

    • Social media

    • Local events calendars

    • Some photography and graphic design

    • Prepare and print workshop flyers

  • Gather feedback from workshop participants 

    • Online followup surveys

    • In person check-ins during classes

  • Meet 2x per month with Executive Director

    • Schedule/curriculum approval

    • Questions, concerns, feedback

  • Meet every 2 months with Director of Education

    • Review surveys and curriculum with respect to pedagogy

  • Meet every 6 months with workshop instructors

    • Feedback and suggestions

    • Social and sharing

  • Be familiar with workshop content and look for opportunities for improvement 

    • Assess backend/registration workflow

    • Assess instructor performance and student success

    • Participate in workshops (not counted as paid time, but registration is waived)

Expectations

It is important that workshop experience is positive for instructors, participants, and other users of the makerspace. Workshops are not expected to produce production quality projects, but are an educational experience for learners ages 15 through adult. The Workshop Coordinator should be comfortable meeting and engaging new people, willing to ask questions and learn new skills, and have managerial experience. This position is a liaison between workshop instructors, students, and Vector Space staff, and exists to provide support, feedback, and increase efficiency of workshops. 

We currently offer an average of 2 - 3 workshops per month. The workshop coordinator is expected to increase this number to 5 - 10.

COVID Caveats

At this time, Vector Space is not offering workshops to the public. There are opportunities for member learning, but we have put workshops on hold due to COVID-19. We recognize that the initial work of the Workshop Coordinator will be learning systems and preparing to offer workshops again, but without knowing exactly when it will be safe to do so. We appreciate the difficulty of this situation and the short-term expectations of the Workshop Coordinator position will not be based on the quantity of workshops. Public safety concerns will take precedence over workshop scheduling.

To apply, please email resume and cover letter to info @ vector-space.org by July 27th.

 

 

Repair Cafe

Repair Cafe Video Series:

We are kicking off the national Week of Making with our latest program in response to changes due to COVID-19: Repair Cafe. As re-opening and getting back to "normal" will be a gradual process, we wanted a way to engage with our community in lieu of our usual hands-on educational events like First Friday and Maker Faire Lynchburg. We also wanted to serve a need in our community, and Repair Cafe fits the bill for both of those items. Plus, Repair Cafe has three important benefits that all fit our mission:

  1. Community Service - We have hosted a few Repair Cafe events during First Friday in the past, but now more than ever the financial strain of job loss and a struggling economy can make replacing broken household goods difficult. We are here to help, free of charge! While we can't guarantee a fix (anything irreplaceable is not a good candidate for our program), we will give it our best shot and are pretty adept at fixing even unusual requests.
  2. Eco-Friendly - Repair (or reuse) is the second most effective eco-friendly choice when it comes to consumerism, so when you participate in our free Repair Cafe program you are making a healthy choice for our environment. 
  3. Education - Each of our repairs will be recorded and shared online, to encourage you to pick up your own broken lamp, dusty typewriter, or other household goods in need of a fix and give them the ole DIY effort. From robots to tables, our video series will provide insight into basic repairs in electronics, wood, metal, textiles, and more. 

Want to send us something broken? We have developed a quick but necessary process for accepting repairs to ensure 1) that they are realistic objects for repair and 2) that we are not overrun with more repairs than we can handle. Just fill out our Repair Request Form and we will get back to you with a drop off time, if we are able to accommodate your repair.

Finally, we are grateful to The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation for supporting our community outreach initiatives, including Repair Cafe. If you would like to contribute to this effort, you may do so on our Nation of Makers page.

    COVID PPE Response

    Vector Space is honored to be working with so many partners to provide medical accessories and supplies for our local healthcare workers. This page will be updated regularly as needs and progress changes.

    News Coverage

    News & Advance, April 5 - Vector Space in Lynchburg hopes to aid in fight against coronavirus
    WSET, April 6 - Lynchburg's Vector Space 3D prints personal protective gear for medical professionals
    WFXR, April 6 - A Lynchburg company is 3D printing face shields for local health workers
    WSLS, April 9 - Vector Space delivers masks, intubation boxes to Lynchburg medical workers
    WSET, April 9 - Vector Space teams up with Mama Crockett's to give intubation boxes to local hospitals
    WSET, April 30 - Dentists prepare to open after Governor Northam gives the green light

    PPE Needs and Status

    May 21 Update
    As Virginia moves into Phase I and businesses begin to re-open, we have continued to fulfull PPE orders for high-risk individuals and small businesses. The librarians, poll workers, dentists, city employees, and small business owners of Lynchburg are outfitted with face shields and face masks provided by Vector Space and our partners. PPE has also been sent outside of our community to healthcare workers in Richmond, Seattle, and on Friday a batch of 100 shields will be delivered to UVA Medical Center.

    This week we also put our extra transparencies to work on a new prototype for a face mask with clear panel in the center. Called a communicator mask, this design is to allow lip reading for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing. If the prototype is effective, we will produce more of these for individuals and community service organizations that serve hearing impaired populations.

    April 22 Update

    This week we will deliver the last of five intubation boxes to Lynchburg General Hospital. After the first prototype, we redesigned the box to be lighter and easier to transport by adding plastic hinges to create a folding box. See it in action on our Facebook page

    While our local hospital received a large order of face shields from manufacturers, many smaller offices in the area are not able to get their orders for PPE fulfilled. We have continued to step in, providing face shields to dental offices, radiologists, first responders, nurses in residential facilities, and more. So far with our partners we have distributed more than 450 face shields in the Lynchburg area! At Vector Space we have moved from a 3D printed visor to a CNC routed design, which cuts prodcution time from 2 hours down to 5 minutes per visor. There is also less assembly required with this version, while maintaining the necessary protective elements.

    3D printing has proven itself useful for other needs, including mask extenders (to aleviate pressure on the ears for those wearing face masks for extended hours at a time), and bias tape jigs to make the process of sewing fabrics masks more efficient.

    April 9 Update

    Our latest efforts in protecting health care providers during this time are intubation boxes. They protect medical teams during intubation, a procedure that has a high risk of transmitting the virus, but is crucial for Covid-19 patients. Our neighbors at Mama Crockett's Cider Donuts have offered to help fund these boxes with their BOX IT UP campaign. Commercial Glass and Plastics is our excellent materials provider, and the first box (pictured) is already in use at Lynchburg General.

    Vector Space is a drop-off location for 3D printed visors made at home or at your business. Please put clean prints (in a plastic bag or tote) on the loading dock in our Court St parking lot, near (or in) the mailbox. If you need filament, elastic, foam, or clear plastic sheets to assemble your own shields, we can provid them to you.

    Lynchburg Machining is now cranking out mask extenders by the thousands on their waterjet. We have these available and can distribute them with masks and shields.

    April 6 Update

    On March 30 we received a call from a family that works at Lynchburg General, looking for 3D printed face shields for nurses in the non-COVID ICU. We had been watching our Nation of Makers partners come together around the country with initiatives like GetUsPPE.org and the NIH 3D Print Exchange, so we were ready to proceed with approved designs right away. We delivered a batch of 28 face shields and began conversations with local anesthesiologists about prototyping ventilator parts and intubation boxes. Both of these efforts are in the design phase.

    As our community prepares for what is likely to be an increase in COVID-19 cases, medical professionals have requested face shields, fabric masks, and mask extenders. Many partners have stepped up to contribute to the cause as well. 

    We are so grateful for those that have stepped up to offer help with this project. Individuals and organizations have volunteered time and money, fired up their 3D printers and sewing machines, and sourced all kinds of materials to contribute to the cause of getting PPE and other needs to our medical community. Below are some shout outs and ways you can help:

    Framatome Inc., NovaTech, James River Day SchoolLynchburg City Schools, and many individuals are running their 3D printers to create visors and other needs
    Lynchburg City Schools Education FoundationRandolph CollegeCommercial Glass and Plastics, and lots of individuals have sourced and donated needed materials, including transparency sheets, elastic, and 3D printer filament
    Mama Crockett's Cider Donuts is cooking up a scheme to further assist our medical professionals in a big way
    - Many, including Bank of the James, have donated funds to keep this effort going

    THANK YOU!! If you want to help by 3D printing, the design files are in the comments and you can drop printed parts (please label them with the filament type used) at Vector Space, on the loading dock in our Court St parking lot. This goes for sewn masks, too, which we will get to the Junior League of Lynchburg for distribution. Materials can also be dropped here and will be distributed to our partners as needed. Financial donations will go towards materials and keeping our operations running, though many folks are donating their time and efforts voluntarily.

    If your medical office needs PPE or other supplies, let us know. There is a collaborative spreadsheet outlining needs and resources that can be viewed here.

    Making during Coronavirus

    Hello maker community! Our nation is a few weeks into COVID-19 diagnoses, and already reeling from the impact. In addition to your physical health, we encourage you to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. For many of us, that means making! Below are some resources, ideas, inspirations, and ways you can make a difference during this time.

    #LYHMakerWeek

    Beginning Sunday, March 22 and running through March 28, LYH Maker Week will highlight Lynchburg's creative community with an annual social media celebration. Four prompts throughout the week encourage you to share your creative passion. Follow along to see what your peers are making, and join in, too!

    #AntisocialArtShow

    Our friends at Airigami are taking making online, with a virtual art show. Snap a pic of your project and post to instagram with the hashtag #antisocialartshow to join the fun. Again, check out what other makers around the world are creating, and add your own project! You can always tag @vectorspacehq and #lynchburgmakes for local sharing as well.

    COVID-19 Maker Responses

    It's no secret that makers are resourceful. This list, currated by the leadership at Nation of Makers, is a way to use your skills for good during this time of uncertainty. From 3D printed face shields to the N95 mask challenge, there are several ways to get involved in COVID-19 response via making.

    Straight Talk with Starters

    The entrepreneurial hustle can be isolating on a good day. We know you have concerns about your business, and Co.Starters is here to help talk it out. These online meetings are a time for entrepreneurs to come support each other and brainstorm ideas for moving forward. The Makers + Service Providers chat will happen virtually on Wednesday, 3/25/20 @ 2pm EDT. Click here to register.

    Projects for Self-Sufficiency

    Make: has your next coronovirus project idea ready for you. From kitchen hacks to garden starters and more, these tutorials will keep you entertained and taken care of.

    Reach Out

    We're here for you! Start a thread on our Facebook page, in the LYH Makers Forum, or send us a DM. If you need help during this time, get in touch. You can email info at vector-space.org to reach either of the Spontarellis, who are happy to connect you with even further community resources.

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