Makerspace has installed a slot car racing track for teens to try when it re-opens. (Submitted photo)

Makerspace encourages creative Parksville Qualicum Beach minds to join online discussions

Group looking for residents interested in 3D printing, more

The creative minds at the Oceanside Community Makerspace Society are not letting the coronavirus stop them from promoting their science and technology projects to people of all ages in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Although their doors are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their latest electronic newsletter to fans and members indicates they are turning to online discussion groups to pursue their objectives.

Initially, they are looking for residents interested in 3D printing, micro computer programming for the ‘Arduino’, or interest in working out how to get energy generated from rainwater on their roof to join online discussion groups and get projects started.

“It’s as easy as a click on a button or just a simple email to oceansidemakerspace@gmail.com to join in,” says the society’s president, Jim Bennett.

“With both our 3D printing and our Arduino program groups, we intend to help people online get introduced to the subject and do some work at home on an initial project that can turn into a real printed item or working mini-project when our facility opens again …. or they’ll be able to email us their design and we can create for them to pickup (outside our building) during the shutdown.”

READ MORE: B.C. schools Zoom to online education amid COVID-19

There is no charge to current non-members.

As well, Makerspsace has created a group for teens in the Parksville Qualicum Beach and area to work on various projects. It will also allow them to learn how to use some of its equipments including its recently installed slot car racing track when it re-opens.

Bennett said for now, they might have online racing events to get them hooked and also encourage the keen ones to design their own slot car online, which Makerspace can print for them for a future race.

This is where creative thinking comes to play. They had been laying the framework for the TeenClub before the coronavirus hit.

“One of the silver linings is that it forces creative thinking on finding other ways to meet objectives and sometimes that can be a good thing,” said Bennett.

Local teens are being invited to join online discussion group about projects they might want to work on while the school doors are closed. Bennett said they might decide to build a model remote-controlled airplane together or a sumo robot as one has already suggested.

“It’s a great time to launch this online experience for creative minds,” says Bennett. “And, while the online discussion and learning groups are limited to for three of the four areas of focus… it’s the one we’re really excited about right now with school being out”

The public can also find Oceanside Community Makerspace Society of volunteers at http://oceansidemakerspace.ca

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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