Today’s special post is from Ian, one of the Make It Dayton team, who is heading up this year’s partnership between the Dayton Mini Maker Faire and Barnes & Noble.

It was time for me to “make” another event – naturally in the space of making and education.

Luckily, I knew where to start…

“Science is hard, but making, making is exciting, making belongs to you, making helps develop the mind in so many ways. I would like to see academia take step back and reconsider their framing” said Dr. Emily Fehrman Cory, Director of a local makerspace. Emily is the region’s “go-to” for makerspaces – even forming the Southwest Ohio Makerspace Alliance.

Next on my list was Tom Mitchell, Curious Maker of the Fearless Proto Buildbar. I met Tom several months back when we was kind enough to lend his time and expertise at the Dayton Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire. Walking into the Proto Buildbar I was always itching to experience it, but with limited knowledge, I was hesitant. Tom changed that – “we’re a makerspace that serves coffee and beer. We want you to be comfortable, we want you to learn, we’re here for you. You’re always welcomed anytime.” When the host puts you at ease, you’re only left with one choice – MAKE SOMETHING! Yes, I’ve soldered my own skull pin over there.

And it goes with everything!

When I talk to people in the community and have a chance to mention the Proto Buildbar and or Tom, I always say “Tom is the official spokesperson of accessible makerspaces.” That dude is everywhere, take a look at their social media channels – he’s always at an event preaching the gospel of making.

Jumping back in time for a second…


I told Emily I wanted to create an event around a panel to speak on the topic of developing makerspaces in the classroom – to add an extra layer, I wanted someone to address the process of writing a grant.

Say no more, Emily knew just the place.

She connected me with The Entrepreneurs Center, it was then I had the chance to meet Kim Frazier, Director of Growth Initiatives  – our third and final guest. Kim is big on scaling and measurable economic output, not to mention she has years of grant writing and reviewing experience. We went back and forth on the maker movement and its role in our purpose driven economy. She would like to see more dialogue between educators and business owners – creating a strong workforce development.

Saturday, April 1st from 1:00 – 2:30 we invite you to the Dayton Barnes & Noble (across from the Dayton Mall) to speak with Emily, Tom and Kim about the maker movement, makerspaces in the classroom and advice on grant writing.

Ian Charles Kirk

\ˈmā-kər\ & Member of Make it Dayton


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