In this paper, we describe the individuals and factors contributing to the emergence of a community makerspace in a small city in the United States. As research into how makerspaces have come into existence is still in a nascent stage, this single case study is intended to describe and highlight some of the complexities involved in creating such a facility. Based on analysis of onsite observations, interviews of adults connected with the space, and electronic communications, we present a story of how two co-founders of a youth-focused makerspace went from having initial interest in extracurricular activities for their own children to creating a makerspace serving all interested youth in the community. Following the resultant narrative, we also observe that while the co-founders were important agents in establishing this makerspace, awareness of the broad set of social, material, and institutional resources to which the co-founders had unique access helps to explain how this still new makerspace was ultimately established. This observation has important implications for other groups and organizations that are being encouraged to establish their own makerspaces.
Lee, Victor R.; King, Whitney L.; and Cain, Ryan, "Grassroots or returning to one’s roots? Unpacking the inception of a youth-focused community makerspace" (2015). Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 510.