Baltimore organization creates makerspace for urban teens

Digital Harbor image

A student works on a project at the Digital Harbor Foundation’s Tech Center in Baltimore, MD

Maker: Shawn Grimes, Director of Technology, Digital Harbor Foundation

Proudest Maker Moment: “when I built my first 3D printer just over a year ago”

For Shawn Grimes, making is all about learning new things and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

“Everyone can consume, but not enough of us take the daring step to create and make,” says Grimes.

A long time “software maker”, Grimes discovered a hidden passion for hardware and physical making when he signed on as Director of Technology at the Digital Harbor Foundation, which recently launched a Baltimore-based makerspace for young people, ages 12 to 18, called the Tech Center.

“I’ve never thought of myself as good with my hands or tools,” says Grimes. “I like having an undo button.”

As his own confidence grows, Grimes feels the same level of pride watching students discover their own knack for making. Recalling the time he watched a student build a 3D printer, he can’t help but get a little emotional.

“Thinking about how huge of an accomplishment that was for him and the impact that has had on his life still makes my eyes water,” says Grimes.

Representatives from the Digital Harbor Foundation will be on hand at the upcoming DC Mini Maker Faire to talk about how young people can get involved in the maker movement.

Grime’s advice for new makers?

“Start right now! Make mistakes and use the internet for help. Google and YouTube are your friends.”

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