Lessons Learned in 2015
2015 flew by faster than we ever imagined. When we launched GetMakered Labs, and built out our mobile makerspace in collaboration with the Coast Makers, we'd thought we were doing pretty good getting Maker One road-ready in time for her maiden voyage to LinuxFestNW in Bellingham. We did not know how many stops there would be along the road or if
Kids Come in All Sizes
We learned a lot at that first event especially that while we had targeted scanning kids and quickly came to realize that there were a lot of big kids who wanted in on the scanning action. Luckily, we used industrial strength ball bearings and brought a old piano stool along. We adjusted from doing full body scans to upper torso busts of adults. As anyone over 5'6" would be too tall for scanning inside the trailer.
We found out that we were pretty clueless about accessibility issues. Besides height restrictions, it also is pretty clear that Maker One wasn't going to accommodate wheelchairs with it's narrow doorframe and metal stairs. At OSCON in Portland, we had the good fortune to meet Nicolas Steenhout (@vavroom) who graciously (and patiently) helped us work out a way to scan people in wheelchairs outside of the trailer. We are able to move & re-assemble the scanning studio outside and make decent scans by walking around people with a very steady hand holding the scanner. In 2016, we're going to have to work harder at creating barrier-free environment.
Backing Up is Hard to Do
Being a Mobile makerspace, means moving in all directions including backwards. Driving a fully loaded trailer takes some mad driving skills which have a bit of learning curve. We had a few wild rides before we got the stablizer bar installed post OSCON. Luck would have it that two of the GetMakered crew had loads of experience. We managed to get into some pretty tight spaces including backing into the EMP Museum's Outdoor Plaza at night where we got unbelievable views of the Space Needle for Seattle's Maker Faire.