The Biggs Family Maker’s Space in the basement of the Upper School STEM building boasts a wide array of “maker” tools that help bring students’ ideas to life. This week, Mr. Brian Purlee, the Upper School Theater Technical Director, Maker and Robotics Coordinator, opened the space up to faculty, staff, and students as “Maker Mondays,” a weekly open shop for community members who want to tinker and create.
“This is our first time trying it,” said Purlee. “When I first started working with this project and getting the space together, one of the things I was asked was to figure out how we could have a larger reach than just the classes.”
With the resources in the Biggs Maker Space, you’re really only limited by your imagination. The workshop has four 3D printers, a laser cutter, a CNC router, a hotwire foam cutter, wood saws, soldering irons, sewing machines, and all of the non-power tools you would find in a fully stocked garage – as well as some you wouldn’t.
“We have many unique tools that help with special projects,” said Purlee, after showing a drill bit specifically made to drill through plastic, and then another bit used to make bracelets.
Those unique tools and the access to them have spurred creativity and ingenuity from our students – such as creating splash shields for football helmets. Purlee wanted MICDS adults and non-club students to have the same opportunity. He’s seen first-hand the craftsmanship of many of the staff members here.
“I’ve talked often with the maintenance crew here, and every one of them has some sort of different crafting skill in that department—it’s just amazing,” said Purlee.
So, whether you are a novice or a craftsman, he wants the space to be a place where you get to try something new—or just have a little fun.
“My hope is that I can excite the students and adults and give them a place to make, or even just come down and put together a puzzle. We can even create the puzzle!”
Maker Mondays are open to MICDS students, faculty and staff every Monday from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.