Frequently Asked Questions about the Melbourne Makerspace
- How much is it to join?
The monthly fee is $50 for the first member of the household, and $25 for an additional partner or household member (within a reasonable limit). Also, there is a hardship membership rate as yet to be determined. Remember, membership is not required to attend classes.
- Is there an age limit?
We currently can’t accept member younger than 18 in the Makerspace; however, this would only be for the use of the tools in the space. We’ve already had a number of free classes and lectures which were open to all ages, and we intend on continuing to provide a supervised hands-on learning environment with no age restrictions. In our Scratch programming class, for example, we noticed that several of the youngsters were much more experienced than many of the adults, and we welcome any knowledgeable teachers regardless of age.
- Where is the Melbourne Makerspace?
The Makerspace is located at 401 N. Wickham Rd. Suite 135 Melbourne, FL 32935. We are located in one of the offices in the back with the garage bays. See detailed information on the Contact page.
- What equipment can I use at the Makerspace? What ever you are qualified to operate. We will train you if needed.
- There are some events at the space, but some events are at TrepHub. What’s the deal with that?
- Do you loan tools. Yes, limited to using the tools at Melbourne Makerspace.
- Do you allow smoking at Melbourne Makerspace. No.
Teaching a course at Melbourne Makerspace
- Is there a specific format for teaching? (Time limit, number of students, etc)
No specific format. It is up to the teacher.
- How are signups organized?
When you decide on a date and time for the class, we create a Meetup event for the class and direct people to sign up there. Take a look at Melbourne Makerspace Meetup.
- Who covers the cost of materials?
The instructor may charge a per-student fee to cover materials cost.
- If students cover it, does the makerspace collect the money and reimburse, purchase directly, or purchase online?
We have done it two ways so far. The first way is that the instructor purchases the materials up front and then collects the fee from the class attendees. The second is that the vendor is present at the event and students purchase directly from them.
- Is there a minimum number of classes per course?
- You said we’re trying to steer clear of chemistry projects, but casting can be chemically intensive, so is there a specific type of casting that would be preferred?
As long as you instruct students on safety procedures, ensure they follow them, and follow them yourself, you can do whichever kind you want.
We are mostly hesitant about making chemistry a permanent fixture at the space, because we’d need things like a chemical cabinet, eye wash station, shower, fume hood, etc. That’d be too much going on in that little 1000 ft space along with the electronics lab, hardware tools, laser cutter, etc.
Another part of the hesitance is risk reduction. Chemistry is an unknown quantity to most of us, and therefore scary. The alcohol-skin-burny thing is exactly the sort of non-obvious hazard that would shoot us in the foot. So, for your class, please let us organizers know about any sort of potential hazard like that, and announce them loudly to the class multiple times.
- Are hacking and social engineering acceptable genres? (Kept within the law, of course)
The genres are OK, but we’ll need to review the specific subject matter of each class before we approve it. For instance, there has been some interest expressed in lock picking, so I think a subversive streak is there, at least from an academic perspective. So a class on lock picking is fine, but a class on breaking and entering would clearly be over the line.
Likewise, most of what magicians do is social engineering, and no one would object to a class about that. However, a class on getting people to tell you their credit card numbers through lying and manipulation would be socially irresponsible.
So, it’s a fine line and it’s not always clear where that line is, so we’ll have to address it on a case by case basis.
- Is it okay to record and/or live-cast the courses via Google Hangouts?
- Someone mentioned that there might be incentives for instructors, is there?
You can charge what you’d like over and above materials cost. If you do so, the makerspace requires a cut. We haven’t set a percentage that applies across the board or anything, but we can discuss what is reasonable during the class planning.
Keep in mind that the risk in setting it too high is that people won’t sign up.