Coach Tay, mentor, Adam Spontarelli, Instructor, and three Empowerment Students ready to skate.
This Spring five teens from the Empowerment Academy, an alternative education environment for Lynchburg City Schools students in need of credit recovery, SOL support, and/or specialized academic assistance, spent three hours each week building skateboards at Vector Space.
Now one does not just walk into a makerspace, even one as well-equipped as ours, and whip out a skateboard. No, these students spent the first four weeks of the project welding together a hydraulic press and pouring a concrete skateboard mold. While boards were being pressed, we skipped ahead to designing the graphics. Students built a custom screen printer and used the vinyl cutter to cut designs created in vector graphics software (Inkscape). Once boards were glued and pressed, it was time to cut them into a skateboard shape on the bandsaw, route and sand the edges, screen print the boards, apply grip tape, and attach trucks, bearings, and wheels. Ta da! Twelve weeks later each student was ready to give their boards a test run at the Riverside Skate Park. Helmets and boards in hand, students walked down to the skatepark followed by a visit to Scene3 boardshop.
With our press already built, Vector Space will be offering a one-week summer camp in July for students to press, design, print, and assemble their own board. Check out the registration page here: https://vector-space.org/skateboard-camp