Cats have nine lives…Project VENTURA is getting another one

Hello World!  My name is Ella Miesner (known as Ms. Miesner to the lovely ladies of Ann Richards) and Ms. Jo has graciously invited me to jump on her blog to help record the next phase of the life of Project VENTURA. VenturaNextProject VENTURA Phase 1 trailer and Phase 2 trailer both were beautifully crafted my Ms. Jo’s 10th grade Engineering class.  Ms. Sauter’s 7th grade science classes jumped in this past school year to help create Garden Ventura for the airstream. Now the trailers are growing to a whole school project! Ann Richards School was recently awarded a grant from Impact Austin to transform one of our classrooms (previously a shop room) into a “MakerSpace” to serve our school and community. MakerSpace

What is a MakerSpace?

To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone.

Our MakerSpace will be have tools, equipment, storage, organization, and resources where students and community members can tinker, test, and build their own innovative designs.


What will we “make”?

When we had our planning meeting about the MakerSpace we brainstormed so many ideas about what students could build.  A house?  A greenhouse? A toolbox?  Where would we put all these things?  How could we build to serve the community?  We had pages and pages of notes… IMAG1276Finally Ms. Jo said, “Why not add to the trailers?  We already have two and there is more to do.” So the next phase of Project VENTURA began.  Given that our girls, those who you have followed on this blog throughout the year plus hundreds more, will have tools, materials, and space to work, what should be the next addition to VENTURA? To help keep us focused, we selected 4 primary areas of exploration for our first year:

  1.  Textiles and Arts
  2. Woodworking
  3. Digital Electronics
  4. D Printing and Laser cutting

(Really focused list…huh?)  With that in mind, we would love to hear your suggestions.  What tools should we be sure to buy?  What projects should we make?  Help us take Project VENTURA to the next level (and maybe it could involve cats, so the post title makes sense)  


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