- Pushya Chokshi
Nova Scotia Power Makerspace: Emerging Innovation Playground.
Nova Scotia Power Makerspace opened its door to the people of Cape Breton on the 25th of March, 2019 and is witnessing the growth of innovation ever since. The main idea behind the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace is providing startups, entrepreneurs, students, and other creative minds the place, equipment, materials, and most importantly education to let them design their innovation and bringing it to reality. They are ensuring that space is designed in such a way that everyone from children to the elderly and from students to professional creators can make the most out of it. This 4,000 sq.ft. innovation playground is located in the downtown Sydney at 100-37 Nepean Street and is divided into various segments according to its usefulness.
Nova Scotia Power Makerspace has a diverse collection of machinery which are open to its member for the production. There is a tool library to start with, which contains almost any tool that you can think of. The metalworking shop corner provides the capability to any innovator to modify and convert any piece of sheet metal into their dream unicorn. It consists of anything and everything between the small pipe cutters to the humongous sheet molding machines.
There is a huge collection of woodworking tools that allows users to turn their imagination into reality- all you need to bring is a piece of wood that you want to work on and the sky is the limit.
An electronic and robotic lab as the name suggests is focused on the mind of the machinery where you can do anything from coding to circuit prototyping. 3D printing which is considered to be the groundbreaking technology of the modern era is one of the strong fortes of Makerspace. Their collection also consists of the CANCAM machine operating on computer assisted designing and machinery principles. One of their crowned collection is the HELIX machine which uses lasers and aids in engraving, etching, and other designing applications.
There are other countless devices that are at your disposal when you are a member of Makerspace. But the most important part is that they not only provide you with the machinery but they also impart the knowledge that you need to use those machines. Safety is the utmost priority here and these lessons take place on a regular frequency. Most importantly they are usually included in your membership package. The agenda of this organization is to boost talent and growing ideas rather than their own profit.
Mohit Kumar and Frederick Boutilier, ex Cape Breton University students, who are currently working at Makerspace as the technical assistants described to the staff at Caper times how Makerspace is pushing people towards innovation.
Boutiler elaborately explained why it should be not mistaken that only engineers can get the most of it, instead he insists that people from any profession can be a part of this venture. He also gave an example of how even an artist can use this facility for the creation of props by using 3D printing technology.
Kumar added that he used to be an intern at the same organization and found his way to secure a position here after gaining immense knowledge from Makerspace.
Boutiler also says that "there is no prerequisite to join any of the course of your interest, you can gain the knowledge in here and make on hand use of the machinery to brush your knowledge after it’" He also added that most of the skills would just require a single class to gain the basic knowledge of it.
Kumar also explained why there are no course outlines and that Makerspace wants people to just learn the skills they want to, instead of pushing them to learn other things. It’s a place of complete freedom where you can learn whatever you want/
Kumar described the significance of learning the skills and applying it to get jobs. He is very proud that two CBU students who he knows got jobs after securing skills from Makerspace. To this Boutlier added the significance of building a portfolio along with showcasing the prototype model that you can build at Makerspace.
Kumar also talked about how Makerspace is playing its role in bringing the community together by creating social circles and he says that a vast diversity can be found in the family of the Makerspace.
Image source: Nova Scotia Power Makerspace
Makerspace membership prices at $60 per month. There are also special discounts for student, and they can get the membership at $45 per month. There are also various monthly and annual benefits for long term membership plans. Overall, in my opinion, the membership fee is a small price for the knowledge, skill and creative outlet that Makerspace offers.
Nova Scotia Power Makerspace offical website.