The current era has grown harsher than ever on fresh graduates with the highly saturated job market and poor value system making finding a decent job even more challenging everyday even with good grades and references. Perhaps this is why the youth nowadays are more inclined to freelance or start a business themselves. Of course the internet is a major factor that has initiated this trend, but even then, for a country like Bangladesh, technological knowledge is still afar. To bridge the gap and create more possibilities, many organizations are coming up with creative solutions to help this generation stand on their own feet.
Last week, we wrote about co-working spaces and how it had changed the dynamics of work environments. Today, we are looking into something more niche - MakerLabs.
MakerLab is a common space providing working environments for local manufacturers, designers, educators including access to mechanical and technical equipments that facilitate their work. While the concept of MakerLab is not that new, it is a still one a lot of people are unaware of.
Edward M. Kennedy Center, popularly known as the EMK Center, launched EMK Makerlab back in November 7, 2015. Like most other activities that are held at EMK Center, EMK MakerLab is also designed to provide a space for the youth to develop themselves. “EMK Makerlab is looking forward to build a Maker Community where youth from diverse sector will meet under one platform to learn, share and collaborate” informed Ahmed Shafa Shovon, Coordinator of EMK MakerLab.
Basically, it is a public place that helps an individual to broaden their scope with the aid of technology and digitalization. EMK MakerLab is a technical skill development platform that offers various workshops and is equipped with a 3D printer, a 3D scanner, MAC PCs, number of high-performance PCs and a Pioneer DJ table. EMK MakerLab is available free of cost to all EMK Center members; annual membership fee to the center is BDT 500.
EMK MakerLab also holds basic computing lessons for children with special needs
Since the beginning of its operation, EMK MakerLab have been collaborating with various organizations to hold workshops and training programs and are always looking for new ventures to collaborate with and extend their services to varied groups. For instance, very recently, a young volunteer group, InclusionX, joined EMK MakerLab to provide basic computer skills to children with special needs. Also, The Tech Academy, popularly known as TTA, has also collaborated with EMK MakerLab to hold their Level 1 Programming and Electronics courses in this facility, along with a new program, Women in Tech. In addition, a free workshop on Graphic Art and Illustration is currently being held here in collaboration with Artycoon.
Apart from these, EMK MakerLab itself organizes frequent workshops on website development, 3D animation, graphic designing and film making. They are also planning to launch a Tech Club for the youth with focus on technology and innovation.
EMK Makerlab supports entrepreneurs and students to 3D print their project/prototype for the minimum cost of BDT 5/gram. In contrast, a similar service would be much more expensive if you had to avail 3D printing commercially. If none of these options interest you, you can always book a time slot to use the AV editing panel if your home PC do not support editing software, or just get into your groove with the DJ set.
An young designer getting the 3D printer ready for printing a prototype (L), a complete 3D printed prototype (R)
Whether you are an individual with stellar product ideas or a start-up looking for ways to bring positive change to the society, you would want to give EMK MakerLab a try. From product designing, model building, making a graphic artist out of you to being a web developer or casual music mixer, they would facilitate you in all. EMK Makerlab is also collaborating with different organizations to do research and development on 3D printed prosthetic arm. So, it is a place where possibilities are as real as your dreams and drive.
The photos used in this article are courtesy of EMK MakerLab.