Rural and remote communities and schools in Wyoming soon will have access to robots, 3D printers, drones, laser cutters and all kinds of other STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) educational electronic tools and equipment. That’s because the University of Wyoming’s Wyrkshop Mobile Makerspace program is ready to roll.
There are three types of mobile makerspaces — crates, trailers and mobile workshops — available to suit rural communities throughout Wyoming. The concept is comparable to the old bookmobile, but with technological equipment — rather than books — on wheels being brought to the doorsteps of schools. There are three maker crates that contain five pieces of equipment; the trailer option includes two 7-by-14-foot trailers where equipment is pulled out to make a pop-up makerspace; and the mobile workshop option is an 8.5-by-28-foot cargo trailer where students can go both inside and outside. This workshop includes all of the equipment in the 7-by-14-foot trailers but in larger quantities.
Equipment in the mobile makerspaces includes 3D printers, a Glowforge 3D laser cutter, LEGO and LEGO Mindstorm, codable kits and toys, ozobots, microcontrollers and electronics, mini drones, sewing machines, a soldering bench, projectors, laptops, iPads and woodshop tools.
Mobile makerspace visits are available at no cost to public libraries, schools, and afterschool programs in rural and remote communities. Makerspaces can stay at a location from one month to six months. To request a mobile makerspace, email Emily Leinen at email@example.com or go to the website for more information. To find a local makerspace, go to www.wyrkshop.org/map.
Startup funding for the project was made possible through support from Gov. Mark Gordon’s Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) initiative. WIP’s goal is to improve Wyoming’s economic prosperity through the coordinated efforts that link community goals and strengths to the state’s strategy for economic development and diversification.