learn / 2021
Build CA's Largest Public Kids' Makerspace
Envision a 4,000 sf makerspace designed just for kids, where youth can develop creativity and collaboration skills. A makerspace serving up to 100 youth at a time from across LA, staffed by educators, makers, and artists as diverse as the city itself. Where youth gain practical skills by building functional projects (Design a Bookshelf!), then use those skills to large-scale collaborative creations (6' Squirrel Robot! A Unicorn Cart!) as wild as their imaginations. All using sustainable materials sourced from recyclables and industrial offcuts.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted children’s abilities to learn in concrete, hands-on ways. In addition, many underserved youth stuck at home have not had the resources/materials to do so. When we are back in person, our children are going to need a place to access their creativity and ingenuity.This is where we come in: In too many schools, particularly in LAUSD, arts education has become a sad afterthought, and students aren’t gaining the STEAM skills necessary for full engagement with our increasingly knowledge-intensive, globally integrated and innovation-based economy. For over 15 years, our unique ethos and methods have been incredibly effective at imparting STEAM lessons in an intuitive way. This new facility will allow us to serve youth in need of a hands-on creative learning environment. We can’t wait to get into our new space, and provide our Tinkering Camps and Classes for those youth who need it most- all while using materials that are sustainable and recycled.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
reDiscover develops the creative potential of LA’s youth using real tools and sustainable materials. The need for reDiscover’s services and demand for our maker programs outstrips the 2,400 sf makerspace we’ve operated in Venice since 2015. To better serve our existing community, reach more underserved children, and stay true to our core competency of creating inspirational environments where all children can learn, make, and tinker, we are moving to a new and larger facility in West LA, with excellent highway access to serve as a regional resource. In the initial move, we will transform 4,000 sf of the facility into makerspaces and a Creative Reuse Materials Warehouse, and have an option from the landlord to double this footprint as our programming continues to grow. This will create the largest public kids’ makerspace in California, perfect for school groups, camps, and classes. The new reDiscover Center will be an anchor for LA’s youth maker community. A place where community organizations and local artists meet and make together, sharing ideas anchored in reDiscover’s vision of a creative, sustainable Los Angeles. Where each year, thousands of young people from all walks of life get deep into learning maker skills, raising their sights to careers in the creative economy, and making something amazing. Vote for reDiscover this year, and help youth in Los Angeles get back to their creative, inventive selves- as we all try and get back to “normal” together.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Our vision is to facilitate 20,000 children per year as they learn to not simply to problem-solve, but expand upon their own solutions; not only to express creativity, but to become experienced makers and tinkerers- learning to design things with their own hands, making something real. Impact: Differentiated makerspaces for different interests and skill levels, ranging from paper and scissors to 3D scanners and CNC routers. Program collaboration bridging arts and maker organizations, including government, non-profit, and industry. Joint programming of our shared spaces to result in new and more robust curriculum used by strategic partners to reach 100,000+ additional youth. Engagement with schools across LA County serving BIPOC youth, providing accessible maker experiences rooted in LA’s richly diverse craft, art, engineering, and maker traditions.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
This expansion into a 4,000 sf makerspace will allow reDiscover to triple the number of youth served annually in our intensive Tinkering Camp Programs, double the capacity to serve the youth in our Tinkering Club program, and allow us to expand the number of LAUSD school trips by 250%. In addition, we serve as a vital space for artists, teachers and parents to inexpensively purchase quantities of recycled and upcycled materials. With new materials processing and storage capacity, we can help to reduce LA’s carbon footprint while providing great maker and arts materials to the community. Our visiting schools can now send whole buses of students, train teachers, and gain access to our curriculum for in-school maker lessons. In addition to tripling the number of youth served, we will be able to open a retail facility to sell maker resources, and serve as a gallery for youth artists. rDC participates in the California Cultural Data Project to track our impact in the community.
Which of the learn metrics will you impact?
- Arts education
- Enrollment in afterschool programs
- Proficiency in STEM
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to PLAY