Mayors of SimCity know that two of the best ways to make your sims happy are libraries and museums. In real life, these two institutions hold similar sway. Waterluvians and Kitchenerites* have great options with the Waterloo Public Library and Kitchener Public Library systems, the Waterloo Region Museum and of course THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener.

Both libraries offer programming and services beyond the traditional stacks on stacks on stacks. Access to 3D printers, computers and coding workshops are the new norm. Libraries are evolving from places to consume to places to create. Last month, the Kitchener Public Library launched a campaign to make its Studio Central project a reality. Studio Central will be a space to create digital content, from videos to podcasts to virtual-reality projects.

Local maker movement leaders including Cam Turner (of TinkerTruck fame) and Brent Wettlaufer and THEMUSEUM recognized the need for a maker space for children earlier last year. Over the months, the duo and other volunteers have been at work building The Underground Studio, a place for guided exploration that gives shape and form to ideas.

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One of the projects you…I mean a child you bring to The Underground Studio…can make

Makers around town can already take advantage of the Kwartzlab’s tools and space. What makes The Underground Studio different is the programming. “The Kwartzlab’s mandate is around access to tools, and they do an amazing job,” said Turner. “Our mandate is to educate.” The Underground Studio is decked out with all the glue guns, 3D printers, and wood shop tools you’d expect – but their secret sauce is the volunteers who dedicate their time.

The Underground Studio will be open to school groups and the general public. On weekends, there will be drop-in sessions where children can learn about different tools and processes. Wednesdays will have Maker Club sessions. In the Maker Club, children will work on an idea over a few weeks and have a finished project they can take home.

THEMUSEUM’s Underground Studio opens to the public with a day of workshops and demonstrations this Sunday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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I just wanna stay in the sun where I see and hear that….D2L presents Night School on Monday, Nov. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Hear Matt Campbell talk about how happy teams make better code (151 Charles St. W., Kitchener). The Waterloo Artisan Market is this Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with 20 vendors and live music at the former Brick Brewery site (181 King St. S., Waterloo). The Art$Pay launch party is on Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Descendants Beer and Beverage Company (319 Victoria St. N., Kitchener). Art$Pay is aimed at making it easy for the community to engage with and support visual artists in our region.

* Also receiving votes; Kitcheners, Kitchenergies, Kitchenerians, Kitchenerds, “Go Kitchener Rangers”, and “please don’t work amalgamation into this”

 

About The Author

Alex Kinsella
Digital Community Manager

Alex Kinsella is Communitech's Digital Community Manager. Part of the tech scene in Waterloo Region since 2004, Alex has worked at GBG, BlackBerry, and Thalmic Labs.