STEAMworks Ability Lab

$970 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 30 months
Hi, my name is Richelle Maki and I live in Central NY.  Over the past 15 years I have lived as an advocate  for people who face barriers to FULL INCLUSION in society.  I have worked in many capacities fostering inclusion from from Job training , an adaptive ski school coordinator and providing recreation for people living with autism.  

Far to often I have seen the creativity and ingenuity  of the people that I work with squashed. For various reasons they have not been given the opportunity to participate in creative endevors.  These are activities that they could potently excel at if they are given the chance to do so in an environment that supports their needs.  Because of this, I want to create the STEAMworks Ability Lab.  

STEAMworkswill be a multi -faceted endevor located in Utica, NY that will combine recreation with STEAM Lab activities, Community Driven Adaptive Design and MakerSpace philosophy. STEAMworks will be FULLY INCLUSIVE and will focus on working with people who have a disability such as autism, cerebral palsy,PTSD and other disabilities. ALL individuals will be able to participate in recreation and projects on a daily basis ranging from building simple robots, basic coding, jewelry making, homemade instruments and small scale engineering. Classes offered will be driven by the people who are participating. 

The Adaptive Design component will exist to help families create the adaptive devices that they need to help foster FULL INCLUSION for their children with special needs.  I will be working with the Adaptive Desisgn Associates in New York City ( www.adaptivedesign.org)  to learn their business model of cardboard engineering to provide low cost adaptive solutions to children who need assistive technology. Adaptive Devices can range from a foot rest to personal care items or wheel chair trays.

Finally, with the understanding that geography can make travel to Utica difficult for some families, STEAMworks will work with your community to offer a mobile component where we will bring recreation, STEAM projects or adaptive design activity to the people who live in your community.

I am seeking $30,000 to get this venture up and running.  These funds will help to cover the cost of building space and renovations,and insurance.  It will also Pay for training and purchase materials to create steam projects, computers and iPads, 3D printers, a laser cutter, a CNC machine, small tools and consumables.  STEAMworks will be initially staffed with volunteers with the hope of creating several paid position as time goes by.
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STEAMworks Ability Lab now has its own website! Check it out at
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Today I met with Instructors at both Utica College and MVCC and they are on broad with this project to help teach code. 3D printing and laser engraving, Makey Makey and basic electrical components! Moving along but still need help to fund this project!!
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I ran my first STEAMworks Ability Lab project at the Vernon Public Library. We set up and demonstrated several different types of chain reactions. It was a blast!
STEAMworks at the Vernon Public Library
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STEAMworks will be a place with inclusion being a part of the foundation of the program.
It will not be a place where we will have to "figure it out later" but a place where inclusion is planned from the beginning!
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$970 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 30 months
Created February 28, 2017
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Rebecca Spataro-Kearns
12 months ago
19 months ago
David Symonds
19 months ago

Hi Your project sounds great David & Jane Symonds

Sara B
26 months ago

Not much, but every bit helps right!?

Jeff Shaw
27 months ago

Richelle, Here is a small donation. With all the people you know and everyone you have helped, if everyone gave just a little you will reach your goal in no time. You have touch and helped that many people.

27 months ago (Offline Donation)
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