Q&A with MakerBox

Lucy Harris

Maker Party partnerships are a great opportunity for us to get to know organizations who are doing awesome work making and teaching all year round. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, MakerBox is an organization that believes every child should have access to classes and equipment to learn about science, technology, engineering, mathematics and art. We had a chance to catch-up with Jess Weichler from MakerBox to learn more about this exciting organization, how they work, and what they are doing to celebrate Maker Party this year.

Makerbox

What is MakerBox and what do you do?

MakerBox hosts low­-cost classes and workshops along with free community events such as Maker Party. We offer everything from workshops on creating paper circuits to more advanced classes on video game programming and stop ­motion animation. Because we do not have a brick­ and­ mortar space we are able to easily travel to where we are needed and work with other organizations to supplement their programs.

What events will you be hosting or running during Maker Party?

We will be holding a community Maker Party at the Miramar Community Centre on September 13th along with other awesome New Zealand makers. Wellington Makerspace is bringing along their 3D printer, Raroa Normal Intermediate is going to show off some of the amazing projects they’ve been working on this term, and Fabriko is visiting us from Christchurch to share some hands­ on activities.

Why did you choose to get involved with Maker Party?

Maker Party is such a great way to connect with the community and celebrate learning through play and making. Learning should not be reserved for the classroom, nor should it stop once you finish school. Maker Party allows participants to try out new tech and learn skills that they may have never even considered in a safe, supportive space. It’s also heaps of fun!

Tell us what you are most excited for at the event?

I’m most excited to see what everyone is going to make and hoping that maybe I will learn some new things while teaching others!

Why is it important for youth and adults to make things with technology?

Even if someone never plans to become a web developer or an engineer, you can still pick up some amazing critical thinking skills by making. Having a unique way of approaching a problem can provide an edge in less technical careers. Making can also help provide a greater understanding of other subjects, such as learning variables through video game programming.

Why is it important for people and organizations to get involved in Maker Party?

Technology is not going away any time soon, it is imperative that both youth and adults have the skills needed to be good consumers and creators of tech. Maker Party helps to make the skills more accessible and technology less scary.

How can people get in touch with your organization?

Check out or website at www.MakerBox.org.nz or find us on Facebook.

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