MakerSpace helps build tomorrow’s workforce

Building the workforce of the future is a major priority for Honeywell’s community program.

As part of the workforce development initiative, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Honeywell revealed the new Teen MakerSpace at the Thornberry Unit in Kansas City on June 21, 2018. The new MakerSpace is a place for teens to explore their creativity and engage in STEMM activities while using cutting-edge technology.

Honeywell conceptualized, designed, and funded the project. The new space at the Thornberry Unit features two 3D printers, a laser cutter, CNC desktop mill, electronic equipment, video and photography studio, and an assortment of arts and crafts supplies.

“We designed the MakerSpace to be the ultimate place for teens to gather to create, invent, and learn,” said John Ricciardelli, president of Honeywell FM&T. “We hope they will use the space to not only explore their creativity, but explore possible careers based on the skills they develop in the lab.”

Volunteers from Honeywell spent several weeks installing equipment and getting the technology ready for the teens to use. Some of the first projects created in the space were featured at the reveal event, including cookies made using 3D printed cookie cutters and decorated with stencils produced with a Cricut machine. The teens also wore shirts they designed.

Candy, Vice President of Child Programs & Operations, mentioned that what has transpired in the space in just a couple weeks is amazing. She said it has helped some of their more troubled kids focus and has given them an avenue they didn’t have because they weren’t interested in sports or other activities.

—Ryan Matthews, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Board Member