Toy-Hacking and 3-D Printing Window Shop Brings Science to Bergen Street

By Nikhita Venugopal on March 12, 2013 8:25am 

COBBLE HILL — There’s a window display at 47 Bergen St., where you won’t find dolled-up mannequins or high-end jewelry. Instead, on a recent Sunday afternoon, you would have seen a long table strewn with screwdrivers, wires, computer hardware and stuffed animals. 

The Makery, a pop-up workshop and shop, is the first window-shop resident of the Beam Center, a non-profit learning and youth development organization on Bergen Street.

Co-Founder of the Makery, Jaymes Dec, said the mini pop-up shop, which runs through April 30, conducts workshops in 3-D printing and fabrication, electronics, computer programing, game design and other classes that encourage experimenting with technology.

It’s an “entry point to thinking about science and technology,” said Dec, who has a background in interactive telecommunications.

The Makery also conducts a “toy hacking” workshops where children disassemble a toy of their own and add electronic mechanism, making a teddy bear’s eyes to light-up or a bunny rabbit’s paw to twitch.

“We’re digging into the hood of electronics,” said Hsing Wei, a co-founder of the Makery.

Although Dec and Wei have conducted a number of workshops in the past at schools, libraries and fairs, the Makery officially started last summer with their first pop-up at the Invisible Dog Art Center.

Many people don’t often think of themselves as “makers,” said Wei, and she hoped the workshops would engage the community and show the fun in making.

While the Makery’s workshops are geared toward children ages 8 and above, the co-founders said they want to reach high school, college students, and even organize sessions for adults.

The Makery is also looking for a permanent home to call their home, said Dec, where they can expand with more technology and equipment. Perhaps with a large window like the Bergen Street location, they can “create this window into making,” he said.

It’s about teaching people how to be “creatively expressive with technology,” he said.

The Makery is open on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., till April 30. Workshops are priced at $30 to $50. For more information, visit their website.

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