‘Makers’ in the STEM spotlight on the Iron Range

Maker spaces like this one allow people to use technology to experiment with their own ideas. (FryskLab, Flickr CC).

Maker spaces like this one allow people to use technology to experiment with their own ideas. (FryskLab, Flickr CC).

The Range Engineering Council will host its annual Iron Range STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Showcase this Friday, Oct. 7, at the Hibbing Memorial Building.

Among the exhibitors will be Iron Range Makerspace, the new company seeking to create space for creative people to build and design things using sophisticated technology that few garage tinkers would be able to afford.

The event will be open to school groups from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then open to the public from 4-8 p.m.

STEM careers continue to attract attention as areas where young people can make a good living using creativity toward marketable inventions and in necessary fields. It’s a major focus in education, nowadays, mostly owing to its relatively broad, bipartisan support and potential economic impact.

Iron Range Makerspace continues developing its concept of a membership-supported workspace for inventors, tinkers and craftspeople across the Iron Range. They now host “Makers Talk” sessions, in which people present ideas for discussion, feedback and planning help. Their first session is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Hibbing Tourist Senior Center at 1202 E. Howard Street.

The Makers Talk sessions will begin with two short presentations from members about useful topics, followed by an hour of tutoring available to students of all ages — elementary to college — and even non-students. Membership expertise includes, but is not limited to, teaching, reading, writing, math, science, chemistry, physics, calculus, engineering, resumes, cooking, remodeling, home and vehicle maintenance.

Additional “Makers Talk” sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 1, and Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Maker “Meetups” will take place Oct. 18, Nov. 15, and Dec. 20. These will include updates on the Iron Range Makerspace and added opportunities to talk about projects with fellow makers.

A host of other STEM opportunities, including careers and educational opportunities, will be on display at Friday’s STEM Showcase at the Hibbing Memorial Building.

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