Royal Purple

Q&A with Peter Spangler

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The Royal Purple sat down with Peter Spangler from Wisconsin Makers in Whitewater to talk about the MakerSpace.

Royal Purple: What is a MakerSpace and how did it get started?

Peter Spangler: You name it and we make it. We are a MakerSpace with an educational mission and we are a nonprofit. There were a couple of co-founders, neither of them are with us anymore, and they had connections to Whitewater so they decided to start one here. So the first time I came over here, I looked at it and said “What do you do?” and they said “We make stuff.” Then I asked “What do you call yourself?” and they said “MakerSpace.” Then I asked “What do you call yourselves?” and they said “makers.” So, we have a lot of stuff that can be used to make anything you can think of. We have events here, make projects, and hold workshops.

Royal Purple: Who can participate in MakerSpace projects?

Peter Spangler: Anyone can become a member. And since we are a nonprofit the funding mainly comes from membership fees and the fees hopefully pay for everything. We have a mix of students and professionals. Student memberships are $37.50 per semester. Members can then just come here and use the supplies we have. We have things that are either bought or donated. So, if you like to do hands on things this is where you need to come because this is all hands on.

Royal Purple: What are some current projects that are being worked on?

Peter Spangler: We have an reclining chair that we are going to put on an old powered wheelchair. I bought the reclining chair from a student in Benson Hall and so now we’ll be able to drive it down the street. We also just started working on making a cotton candy machine. We had a group of people watching Youtube videos trying to find something to make and we found we had all the supplies to build a cotton candy machine.

Royal Purple: What are some upcoming workshops?

Peter Spangler: Our next big workshop is going to be an iron pour on April 13th. We will have about 100 people here and we will set it up in the parking lot. It will be our 4th annual. We also have other smaller workshops. Twice a month we do ones on Tuesday nights called Open Make Night where people have two hours to make stuff. Workshops are for the general public and almost all of them are free.

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Founded 1901
Q&A with Peter Spangler