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The Makerspace

makerspace

A Makerspace is a community center where tools are provided to design, engineer, fabricate and learn. All skill levels are welcome and it offers a safe do it yourself environment where failure is just another step in the learning process. Learning may be self-directed or instructor led, and Exploration Commons will provide the staff and guest instructors to assist with all learning styles.

Who may use the Makerspace

The Makerspace is for ages 8 – Adult. Children ages 8 – 11 may work with an equipment certified adult in the use of some machines in the space, but may not operate themselves. Children ages 12 – 15 may operate machinery with the assistance of an equipment certified adult. Persons aged 16 and older may operate any of the available equipment. An Exploration Commons/Library card is required to use makerspace equipment and all users must be certified to use select equipment.

Programs held in the Makerspace will be led by an instructor and may also have age restrictions depending on the equipment used or content of the program. An Exploration Commons/Library card is not required to attend programs.

Will there be a cost to use the Makerspace?

The use of the space is free. However, there will be a cost for some materials if required (filament, wood, acrylic, etc). There will also be programs where we need to charge to recoup expenses.

Hours and Staffing

The entire space will be open and staffed Monday - Thursday, 9 AM - 8 PM, Friday - Saturday, 9 AM - 5 PM. In addition to CCPL staff, we will be working with outside presenters from various industries, professors from Carroll Community College and McDaniel College, Carroll County Public Schools faculty, and local interns and volunteers. Our community has much to offer and we will require their expertise and support to make Exploration Commons a success.

Upcoming Classes and Programs

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Intro to Adobe Illustrator
Exploration Commons
Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Learn the basic features of Adobe Illustrator. Participants will have the opportunity to learn and explore the program through hands-on instruction. No experience is required!

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Create a Personalized Wooden Holiday Ornament
Exploration Commons
Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 16 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Create a simple, personalized wood ornament on our Epilog Fusion Pro laser. We'll learn the basics of using Adobe Illustrator to design for laser and you'll get to watch your ornament being made. Previous laser design experience is helpful, but not required. This class does not result in independent laser cutter use certification.

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Learn to Solder
Exploration Commons
Friday, December 2, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ages: 16 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Soldering is fun and fundamental to a wide assortment of maker electronic projects as well as modern technology. From simple light-up LEDs to complex robots, solder is the glue that holds the technological world together. Join us for a hands-on project where you will assemble and solder your very own electronic dice circuit.

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Intro to Laser Cutting
Exploration Commons
Monday, December 5, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This beginner-level laser cutter class will walk you through the basics of design, machine use, and safety procedures. Customers who successfully complete this program will be certified for use of Exploration Commons’ Fusion Pro 48 laser.

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Hello Python
Exploration Commons
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Interested in learning Python but don't know where to start? Join us for an introductory look at the Python programming language, resources for learning, and a general open discussion about programming.

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Kids Intro to Basic Sewing Skills
Exploration Commons
Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 10 - 16
Registration and more information
Learn the necessary basics to feel comfortable using a sewing machine. This is a beginner-level class; you will leave feeling confident about the next steps to take toward sewing your own projects.

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Engrave a Cocoa Mug
Exploration Commons
Saturday, December 10, 2022 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Ages: 16 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Warm up from the cold with this makerspace/kitchen class! We’ll use design software and our Fusion Pro Laser Cutter to engrave custom designs on mugsThen, head to the kitchen for a hot chocolate tasting.

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Sewing Skills: Sewing Patterns Demystified
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Learn about using commercial and indie sewing patterns, measuring for size, and how to interpret and navigate written instructions. This is a beginner-friendly class, no sewing experience is required.

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Soundscaping: Intro to FL Studio and Roland Keyboard
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Ages: Adults
Registration and more information
Learn the basics of music creation with an intro to FL Studio and a look into a few of the unique features found in our very own Roland FP-90X keyboard. 

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Intro to CNC Routing
Exploration Commons
Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This two-part program will introduce you to the basics of design, machine use, and safety procedures for our Iconic i2015 CNC router. Session one will focus on project design and the VCarve software. Session two covers machine use, including hands-on time with the CNC machine. Customers who successfully complete both sessions of this program will be certified for use of Exploration Commons’ CNC machine.

All program registrants must complete the prerequisite online Iconic CNC Machine Use and Safety Training prior to attending the first session of this program.

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Advanced Laser Cutting: Epilog Dashboard
Exploration Commons
Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
In this session, we will take a closer look at the Epilog Dashboard to gain a better understanding of the Fusion Pro's abilities. Topics include color mapping and camera-based artwork alignment. 

Fusion Pro Laser Cutter Certification is required prior to attending this program.

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Intro to CNC Routing
Exploration Commons
Friday, December 16, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This two-part program will introduce you to the basics of design, machine use, and safety procedures for our Iconic i2015 CNC router. Session one will focus on project design and the VCarve software. Session two covers machine use, including hands-on time with the CNC machine. Customers who successfully complete both sessions of this program will be certified for use of Exploration Commons’ CNC machine.

All program registrants must complete the prerequisite online Iconic CNC Machine Use and Safety Training prior to attending the first session of this program.

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First Anniversary Maker Expo
Exploration Commons
Saturday, December 17, 2022 - 10:00am - 1:00pm
Ages:
More information
We're celebrating our one-year anniversary in Exploration Commons! Stop by any time between 10am-1pm to interact with customers who have created projects and learned new software in our makerspace. Nearly 20 makers will have tables set up in our Large Meeting Room where attendees can see their projects, chat about their experiences in Exploration Commons, and even do some holiday shopping. Several presenters will sell holiday goods at their table!

We will have raffles every hour for attendees that include free program vouchers and handmade goods from our makerspace. 

Purchase some stocking stuffers from our teaching kitchen like chocolate dipped pretzels. Donate at our Spice Drive during your visit (donate spices for our local food banks and shelters). 

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Intro to Laser Cutting
Exploration Commons
Monday, December 19, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This beginner-level laser cutter class will walk you through the basics of design, machine use, and safety procedures. Customers who successfully complete this program will be certified for use of Exploration Commons’ Fusion Pro 48 laser.  

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Making for Good: Adult Bibs and Pillowcases
Exploration Commons
Wednesday, December 21, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ages: Adults
Registration and more information
In our 'Making for Good' series, customers will utilize the skills they've learned in conjunction with technologies in the makerspace to fabricate items for donation to the local community. For this program, attendees will have the ability to practice their sewing skills to create pillowcases, adult bibs, and walker totes (depending on your choice/comfort level), and all items will be donated to Carroll Lutheran Village. 

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Hello Python
Exploration Commons
Wednesday, December 21, 2022 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Interested in learning Python but don't know where to start? Join us for an introductory look at the Python programming language, resources for learning, and a general open discussion about programming.

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Sewing Skills: Speed and Accuracy
Exploration Commons
Thursday, December 22, 2022 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Improve your basic sewing skills with industry techniques and tricks to improve your speed and accuracy. Some sewing experience is encouraged.

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Intro to Game Design with Unity and Visual Coding
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, December 27, 2022 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Ages: 13 - 18
Registration and more information
In this four-session program, participants will explore visual scripting and basic coding in Unity Game Design Engine. On the first day, participants will be introduced to basic coding terminology through an interactive activity. Sessions two through four will be an instructor-led game build of Clive the Cat's Visual Crypting in Unity.

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Edge-Lit Acrylic Sign Making
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, December 27, 2022 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Ages: 8 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Edge-lit signs are a bright and colorful way to display a message or add flare to your room, desk, or workspace. In this program, you’ll laser engrave artwork of your choice onto a piece of clear acrylic and light it up with a provided multi-color LED light stand, batteries included!