Rachel Wagner
Development Specialist
Telephone # 519-749-9387 x222
Charitable # 869509554 RR0001

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To scan the globe for fresh cultural content and use it to stage experiences that stimulate transformative connections for our audiences.

Program Story

The Underground Studio MakerSpace

"Ideas don't happen upon us - they occur at the intersection of knowledge and experience. They result when people from different perspectives collaborate and challenge each other, because they've been given space and opportunity to do so." - Make It Kitchener Report In an environment that increasingly requires digital literacy and technical thinking, children's access to S.T.E.A.M. learning has become crucial preparation for them to strive in tomorrow's economy. A 2013 Let's Talk Science Report reported that less than half of Canadian high school students graduate with senior S.T.E.M. courses. This is contrary to the fact that 70% of top jobs require expertise in the S.T.E.M. disciplines. Young girls typically begin to lose interest in S.T.E.M. subjects between grades 4-6. The National Science and Engineering Research Council claims that only 3% of Canadian women have chosen a natural science and engineering occupation as a career path, compared to 10.5% of men. MakerSpaces foster lifelong learning by encouraging learning by doing, and help users process higher-level concepts. The blending of art with science, technology, and math skills lends itself to a broad range of interests, strengths and grade levels, preparing children for success in many subjects. The Underground Studio MakerSpace programs will provide children and youth the concepts, tools and creative space to hone, fail and test with guidance from real makers and educators on site. Program impact on children and youth will be:
  • Confidence using technology - coding, 3D printing and more
  • New skills acquisition - soldering, woodworking, deconstructing, program solving, leadership and social skills
  • Access to mentorship through a community network of makers and educators
THEMUSEUM's MakerSpace programs will evolve and respond to Ontario curriculum changes, community interest and technological innovations. Due to the breadth of hands-on learning offered, the estimated percentage of participants reporting new skills acquired is over 75%. With the addition of more workshops, updated content for grades 1-12 and continued marketing outreach to surrounding cities in southwestern Ontario, we anticipate attendance will grow gradually each year.

Donation Impact

Your donation will support program costs including: tools and material, consumables, staffing, equipment repairs and replacement, and keeping admission rates at an accessible rate for all families. Your donation can also be used to subsidize admission for children and youth in the community who need a little extra support. Here are some examples of how your donation could help:
  • $13 - Safety first! This amount will purchase one pair of safety goggles so that our makers' little peepers are protected.
  • $20 Glue guns are an essential tool for all Makers, young and old. This amount will provide hours of gluing power for a young person designing a new house for their toys, building a spaceship or making a present for their parent.
  • $50 - With this amount, you can provide a digital caliper, a professional grade tool used for making precise measurements across a variety of materials. Planning and precision is a key skill learned by kids in The Underground Studio.
  • $150 - Hammers are an essential part of any Maker's Toolkit, and we need lots of them. A gift of this amount provides us with all the hammers we need for The Underground Studio's Makers.
  • $2,000 - A 3D printer is the ultimate must have in a maker space, and this amount can provide us with one so that all the Maker Kids who come through our program have the opportunity to learn how they work, and create.
  • $10,000 - The Glowforge LaserCutter can help you make anything out of anything! A cutting edge piece of technology, this is a tool that cuts various to the exact dimensions you choose. It will be a truly unique and useful addition to The Underground Studio.

Giving Opportunity

By supporting the costs to maintain the tools and mentorship needed to grow and learn creatively you are investing in the children of Waterloo Region's present and their future by opening doors that may not have been opened otherwise to explore science, technology, engineering and math. Gifts to The Underground Studio are being collected to ensure all children and youth can access programs at an accessible rate and continue to invest in equipment and tools as they improve.
  • Individual Donations - Whether you would like to make a one-time gift, or a monthly gift, we welcome your interest and support of this program.
  • Sponsorship - There are opportunities for sponsoring aspects of The Underground Studio. Reach out to us, and we'll work together on finding something that works for you and your business.
  • Volunteer - If you or your business has relevant skills, resources and mentorship capacity that can benefit the goals of the project, we'd love to meet with you and discuss your involvement.