A2 Mobile Maker Lab at Xmas in the City!
Artisans Asylum is going on the road! A holiday pop up makerspace in Boston!
On December 16, A2 Member Mike Dawson and his team set up and hosted a pop up maker space for the families at the Xmas in the city event held at the Boston convention center. The preparations for the event went well, several A2 members and volunteers from the Somerville/Cambridge community pulled together or created materials, equipment and supplies for the launching of the mobile maker lab to create a maker space at this event.
With some cool new lettering on the outside of the van and enough activities for hundreds of kids inside we set off. Early Sunday morning we parked the mobile maker lab in amongst a fire truck, amusement park rides, bouncy houses, llamas camels and more. We started to set up stations making mini Xmas trees which each got led lights to install on top, marker bot fabrication area, stations for making objects to test inside wind tunnels and a play zone to watch your marker bots and/or customize a magnet to add to the van. All taking place while the families and kids had meals and entertainment hidden from view of the wonderland of activities in the next room. Seconds after finishing setting up it was so much fun to see and hear an amazing amount of kids come running into our side of the convention center seeing it all for the first time.
For the next several hours it was non stop kids and adults making light up trees, fun robots using motors, markers, cups, tape and more. The wind tunnels were in constant use again with kids and adults alike making and modifying their flying creations. When we ran out of marker bots which the kids got to take home we brought out materials for making balloon vehicles that were also a big hit. When it was over we took our first breaks and packed the van up ready for another adventure only to find the van wouldn’t start. In true holiday spirit our carnival ride worker neighbor diagnosed the problem whacked the starter with his sledgehammer and mobile maker lab was back on the road!
With the great help and energy of many volunteers it was so much fun to see how much the kids of all ages enjoyed everything. Thank you all very much and thanks to Christmas in the city for putting in such a great day for kids and families that really deserve a great day.
See more photos here!