Krause Center sponsors tech training for women

Adanya Lustig/Town Crier
Clelia Villalta is studying computer science at Foothill College and works in the Krause Center for Innovation’s makerspace on the side. She said her favorite machine is the Carvey, which carves 3-D shapes based on a computer program.

Women will flood Foothill College’s Krause Center for Innovation this month for the center’s first makerspace coordinator certification program.

A makerspace is a place to make something new, a place to be an inventor. But the center’s Innovator in Residence Lisa DeLapo noticed that the people running makerspaces usually all look the same.

“When you go to the maker faire and you see a lot of the people who are presenting, it’s always middle-aged white men,” she said.

So when the center’s staff began to develop a curriculum that teaches people how to run makerspaces, they decided to invite only women to participate in the first training. Thus, Makerspace UniDIVersity was born.

Organizers hope to have as many women of color, women with disabilities and veterans as possible. The training will be led primarily by women and will feature women of color from the community who are leaders in the makerspace world. Later cohorts will be mixed gender.

Participants will learn principles of design thinking and computational thinking, how to create objects using laser cutters and other tools and how to use Adobe Illustrator.

After the weeklong intensive training in August, the women will do some online work and attend four Saturday sessions at the center throughout the coming year. With the training and 18 course units in hand, the participants will be able to run makerspaces in libraries, community centers and schools. The program is primarily funded by the center’s donors – it would typically cost $750, but the students will pay $75 in total.

Some of the participants are currently teachers or librarians, and some don’t work in education but want to start. After the training, they will be able to order equipment, run the equipment and teach.

“I wanted them to have a safe space where they could learn, fail, try again, without a man taking over,” DeLapo said.

The program is set to launch Monday, and women can apply to participate until the day before the program’s start.

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