Maui Makers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is based on the belief that by working together we can prove that Hawai’i’s future is really what we “make of it.” Organized in 2010 by Haiku resident, Jerry Isdale, this unique group provides the venue, knowledge, and atmosphere to help people create their dreams. “Through educational outreach in the community, Maui Makers has inspired community members to be makers of things, not just consumers of things,” said Isdale. “There are very talented people on Maui. Naturally, these people need a dynamic workspace with access to collaboration and encouragement from others. In addition, participants have access to 21st century tools, fabrication processes and materials otherwise unaffordable or unattainable.”
Maui Makers holds public meetings, classes and a variety of workshops to create and construct things. They establish focus groups centered on various technologies and interests. The Arduino Innovation Group was the first of these to gain a following. Arduino is the name of an open-source electronics platform and the software used to program it. “It is designed to make electronics more accessible to artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments,” said Workshop Instructor Laura Ulibarri. “My interest and connection to Maui Makers is through using open-source software and hardware to build a culture of innovation on Maui. There is a huge opportunity to start a company, get a business up and rolling and learn from others.” Makers encourages people to become entrepreneurs and to pursue careers in design, advanced manufacturing, or the related fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Maui Makers also offers engineering design projects for teachers and students as well as community members. They often partner with Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) to provide resources and support for improving STEM education in Maui County and beyond. “Like MEDB, we want to provide STEM learning opportunities that contribute to Hawai’i’s future viability,” Ulibarri said.
I think we’re on the brink of another revolution, this time favoring craftsmen and makers.
Laura Ulibarri, Maui Makers Workshop Instructor