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.
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!
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.
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.
Makerversity: Postponed until Summer 2021
Due to COVID-19 travel restictions and safety concerns, our Makerversity program has been postponed until Summer 2021. Curriculum and instructors are subject to change, but what will remain is our commitment to exciting, engaging, hands-on experiences for rising college students.
After four years of hosting some of the nation's most immersive and exciting maker camps for Central Virginia students, Vector Space is now opening enrollment to a national audience. We are excited to partner with Cognizant and Randolph College to offer one of the nation's top boarding camps for makers. Our programming combines in-depth examination of materials, and the use of exciting new technologies and some of human kind's oldest fabrication techniques. Each camp is taught by leading maker educators recruited from around the country. Each of our three one-week camps has just ten student spots available, ensuring an amazing personalized learning experience for each camper. Read more below to learn how rising college freshmen can spend the best summer of their lives learning and making at Vector Space.
Makerversity Boarding Camp Schedule
Week 1 - TBD, July 2021
Week 2 - TBD, July 2021
Week 3 - TBD, July 2021
About These Camps
The task of the college student can feel overwhelming. Sent hundreds of miles from home into an environment unlike any they have experienced before, expected to live independently while simultaneously tasked with learning the depths of thermodynamics and calculus. Navigating dorm furniture, food plans, a laptop with decent wifi connection, and parking passes. But at its core, the task is simple: the student must wake up, get dressed, and take notes. Our student to teacher ratio is capped at 5:1, which means these camps of ten students each will be lead by two maker educators who will be assisted by community volunteers and knowledgeable guest speakers. A local cultural guide, versed in art, history, and the culture of Central Virginia, will accompany students to evening activities. To read more about our educational philosophy at Vector Space and how we are changing the future of youth in our programs, click here.
About Vector Space
Vector Space is a nonprofit makerspace: a physical place for people interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math to collaborate, invent, discover, and build the things that interest them. Our mission is to build an open and collaborative community that fosters innovation, creativity, and the pursuit of science-based knowledge.
The makerspace is member-based for adults, and offers workshops for teens and adults. During and after school maker education programs are offered throughout the school year and during summer months. Our classes, workshops and projects inspire members to share knowledge, learn from each other, and mentor others. Each lesson is hands-on and taught by local makers and professionals: professors, engineers, graphic designers, woodworkers, computer scientists and more. Vector Space a is nonprofit organization managed by a Board of Directors and organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Lynchburg, Virginia is a small city of 80,000 residents, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and bordered by the beautiful James River. Like many former trade and manufacturing cities across America, ours is undergoing tremendous growth and revitalization after a devastating mid-century move towards suburbs and strip malls. In the last twenty years, Lynchburg residents are slowing beginning to look back up at the historic facades that have been mostly preserved, and are remembering a history of thriving maker businesses in downtown.
Vector Space is located in Lynchburg’s historic and vibrant downtown district. Locally owned storefronts, coffee shops, eateries, and more offer unique and memorable opportunities year round. Multiple new restaurants and retail spaces are opening each year, while natural beauty remains accessible within city limits on the river, the rails-to-trails bike path, and along miles of beautiful hiking trails. Our home on 5th Street, formerly the thriving center for African American businesses, was once an abandoned retail area with high crime rates but has come back to life with the opening of the makerspace, restaurants, and small storefronts that have either survived the worst or returned to find a corridor almost reminiscent of its bustling past. Lynchburg is the home of five colleges and universities and the median age of residents is 28.7, providing a young audience invested in craft food, local culture, and meaningful objects and experiences.
This program is generously funded by Cognizant's Making the Future program, which seeks to inspire young learners to pursue science, technology, engineering and math disciplines by creating fun, hands-on learning opportunities.
A look at 2019.
Join the Vector Space team and compete in this year’s nationwide Youth Biomimicry Challenge, where we'll take inspiration from nature to solve man-made problems. Learn about different systems and processes in nature and use them to design solutions that mitigate climate change. This project will combine engineering, prototyping, documentation, and record taking, before submitting our project to the official competition.
More information and registration is available at: https://vector-space.org/biomimicry
This semester, four students from the Empowerment Academy spent their Wednesday afternoons at Vector Space launching their own businesses. Trianna, Jayla, Michael, and Jamar each came up with a business idea, acquired materials using their alloted budget, and produced a line of products. Using skills and inspiration gained at the makerspace, spent time identifying a customer, researching the market, and then got to work designing and building their line of products. Some students used digital tools to design and produce their items, while others sketched plans and got to work with hand and power tools. Hear more for each student below, and come see the results of their hard work this Saturday, Dec 14, at the Lynchburg Community Market in downtown.
From Trianna: In my semester at Vector Space I started a business called Glowbies. I went online to find my ideas but I created my own twist. I used acrylic for my design on the laser cutter. I feel like everything was easy except the measurement part and how much time we had, but I had fun. Now that I have done this I want to coutinue my business and create things for the world to see.
From Jamar: This semester we went to different resturants for menu design ideas. We came up with three types for Grey's. Which are wood, plastic, and acrylic. I think they look amazing and restaurants will like it. I learned how to use a laser cutter, and I recreacted the menu using Inkscape.
From Jayla: In my semester at Vector Space we started J.L.C., Jays Luxurious Creations, and my idea was chairs for children. Now that the holiday is coming families will need extra seating and play seats for the kids. My creation is made of wood with comfy seat cushions and the decoration is fun and kid-like. Since i started this program I have gotten better with my wood working skills, using all types of tools, and I plan to go on in the future doing more.
We are excited to announce an expansion, with work beginning next month! Since opening at 402 Fifth Street in Spring 2015, we have expanded once before in 2017, refinishing the unoccupied second floor of the building. Now we will work with landlord Riverfront Warehouse to incorporate nearly 4,000 additional square feet at 406 Fifth Street.
An internal double doorway will connect the two spaces and membership access will include both buildings. The additional space will house a newly expanded woodshop, as well as private office and studio spaces. This additional space will ensure safe working conditions for growing membership numbers and allow for new educational programming. Membership is currently at 92 individuals, with enrollment for new members open again in January. Vector Space serves more than 300 local students in project-based classes and workshops each year. New summer camp offerings will be available this summer, expanding the reach and depth of educational programming.
Are you moving?
What are the plans for expansion?
How can I support this growth?