June 19, 2014

Public Libraries Partner with KID Museum to Create County’s First “MakerSpace” for Children, Families

Young maker Vanya Gorbachev, a student at Parkland Middle School, explains the workings of a 3D printer to (from left) County Councilmember Mark Elrich, County Executive Ike Leggett and museum supporter Carol Trawick representing the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation.
A three-year agreement just announced between Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and the new Kids International Discovery Museum (KID Museum) will bring a nationally recognized model of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and arts programming for children and families to the region.

To be housed on the lower level of Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, the “MakerSpace” will offer opportunities for local children and families to explore what they can make using a wide range of materials, tools and technologies.

The 7,500 square-foot space will feature a digital media lab that integrates electronics, textiles and recycled materials, and 21st-century tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters. Trained staff, plus resident artists, scientists and inventors, will facilitate projects and exploration in both “open make” drop-in sessions and more structured workshops.

Activities will be geared toward elementary and middle school children, ages six to 14, and special programs are under development for school field trips and programs aligned with school curricula.