Quelab Executive Summary
Quelab is a collaborative "Place to Make Things", otherwise known as a "Hacker space". The Quelab Vision Statement is:
"A place where digital workers who may otherwise work in (physical) isolation can come together in a shared space and work with like-minded others, who value and/or crave the proximity to people that shared workspaces can provide."
Members have access to tools and work areas to make interesting projects for both fun and education. The "DIY" ethos primary to the general theme of projects.
Public activities focus on fun STEM activities such as robotics, astronomy, rocketry, "green" technology, Linux, etc. One goal is to provide parents with opportunities for fun, hands on projects to do with their children, helping them instil a sense of wonder and joy in science and technology. Participants take their projects home.
Quelab is one year old, in a house at 1112 Second Street, NW. Two major goals is to increase the membership and move into a larger space. A warehouse of 10,000 to 20,000 square feet would allow the construction of individual offices to rent to members (ie local consultants), storage space for member's projects, extensive lab stock for expanded projects, space for large projects or model airplanes, extended machine shop, etc. A large space also allows seminars, workshops, talks, and other types of participatory events.
The current location limits the size of the events, which then limits the number of possible members. Some activities have had roughly 50 people. The house was very crowded.
One means of increasing membership is to hold a workshop for parents and their kids. An example is a one-day event to convert a remote controlled car into a remote controlled boat. The workshop may include a set of hand tools, a soldering iron, and a 3-month membership. Experience shows people will join the community once they participate in a fun activity and have a reason to return.
Quelab is fiscally sponsored project of the School Factory, Inc. a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.