First Arkansas Makers Summit kicks off Thursday

by Todd Jones (tejones1971@gmail.com) 95 views 

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub will host Arkansas’ first-ever Makers Summit on Thursday, October 20 beginning at 9 a.m.

The Hub, along with Winrock International, is supporting the White House’s Nation of Makers initiative. The Nation of Makers is a movement by the White House to support and nurture various aspects of being a maker in the U.S.

The White House hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire in 2014. Joel Gordon, Director of Making at the Hub, was invited earlier this year to participate in the White House’s “Nation of Makers” initiative.

The summit will include several panels in which guests will discuss how the maker movement can impact a community.

“We want to bring the energy of art into the industry,” Gordon said. “We want to bring the tools of industry into education. And we want to bring educators into the cities so that we can all learn exactly what we can do to make our lives better.”

According to a press release, topics for the panels include:

  • The Maker Movement: An overview of the maker movement, including its beginnings, influences, impacts and place in the new economy.

  • Maker Education: A discussion of hands-on education and the influences of the maker movement.

  • Maker to Manufacturing: A discussion about tools, workforce development, fast prototyping and the impact of makers on manufacturing.

  • Maker Cities: A look at the economic development impact of supporting a community of artists, educators, entrepreneurs, small businesses and manufacturers.

  • Various breakout sessions throughout the day will explore topics including arts-based making, makerspaces in the classroom, and scaling your maker business.

Some of the panelists and speakers include Hanah Munzberg, a local student; Sam Dean of the Scott Family Amazeum; Wade Radke, owner of Galley Support Innovations, and Jason Quail, Tinkering Initiatives Manager at Scott Family Amazeum. Mayor Joe Smith of North Little Rock will be giving a speech entitled “Making It Happen in Your City.”

Registration is free. You can learn more and register for the event here.

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