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Magic Makers

Once in a while, a new idea comes along that’s a winner—and the makerspace concept is exactly that

Once in a while, a new idea comes along that’s a winner—and the makerspace concept is exactly that (“The City that Hacks,” Feature, Aug. 14)! However, 60 years ago these do-it-yourself activities were part of the Baltimore public school curriculum—and it was called shop class.

Although I have no interest in welding, robot creation, or woodworking, I understand the joy of making things whether it is a dress, a custom-designed greeting card, or papier-mache ornament.

Although all the photos depicted men toiling away, apparently women are welcome. Wouldn’t it be terrific if similar makerspace venues could be developed for sewing, pattern-making, and design for folks like me who are terrified of electricity and large power tools? Half a century ago this too was part of our public school education—and was called home economics.

Since one of the makerspaces is only a few blocks from my home, I plan to visit and see if there is anything I can do to help.

Rosalind Ellis Heid

Baltimore

The article about Baltimore’s “maker culture” was a great introduction to collaborative DIY spaces, especially for families and children. As noted, that educational, fun experience exists beyond the new, startup locations featured in the article. The goals of the movement are consistent with the values and philosophy that many established institutions—like the Maryland Science Center—have had for decades: Science is fun, and learning is enhanced with hands-on, participatory experiences shared with others.

We are delighted that our long-held approach is now emerging, and we are growing along with it. Over the past year, we have revamped our visitor experience to embrace this renewed interest, introduce it to new audiences, and use it for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

Van R. Reiner

President and CEO

Maryland Academy of Sciences at The Maryland Science Center

Baltimore

Voter Fraud

In your Baltimore City Power Rankings last week (Mobtown Beat, Aug. 14), the article states that I voted for the Harbor Point subsidies in a preliminary vote. That is incorrect, I never have. I have only voted against the deal in every vote or in the case of the unethical and process killing committee vote, walked away, not choosing to participate in such a flagrant display of counter democracy. My taking part in that charade or not made no difference to the will of the few over the desires of the majority of the citizens.

Councilman Carl Stokes

12th District, Baltimore City Council

Baltimore

Correction: Mr. Stokes is correct: Due to a reporting error, we suggested that the councilman had voted in favor of moving the Harbor Point bill forward in committee. He did not. City Paper regrets the error.

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