How can we use our new COVID-safe outdoor workshop? Call for ideas

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So, for weekends over the last couple of months hardworking teams of members and friends have assembled outside our arches to co-design a COVID-safe* outdoor workshop (involved a lot of shifting of materials, skip filling, planter building, compost shifting, planting, bike-rack moving, gate latch engineering (ongoing)…among many other tasks)

The result is a brilliant covered workshop area with three benches, power, lighting and a heater

Members have already been using it for personal projects and it’s enabled Woodshop inductions to start again

But…it invites the question of how we can best use this resource, and we’d love to hear suggestions…don’t hold back, we’ll consider everything (?)

  • hands-on workshops? For members and/or local community
  • tech talks and skills demonstrations (the survey showed there’s an appetite for this)
  • more inductions?
  • your brillaint idea?

Bear in mind:

  • 2m social distancing is still required (1m+ if unavoidable), so this means: one person per bench for some activities (where you need to move around a project = 3 people in total), or 2 people per bench if the activity can be achieved on one end of a bench (6 in total)
  • we can look at funding for this

*this is on the principle that ventilation is key to reducing spread of coronavirus, and you can’t easily get much better ventilation than outdoors

A few online features, like live streaming of the work areas, with ability to speak back into the space externally to say hi and talk to makers who are in there doing their stuff.
When booking a slot you choose to enable or disable the facility for privacy as desired.

A device for recording small video + audio segments about projects you are currently working on, all data is stored for later moderation, once permitted goes live through the slms site, social media, yt etc. Touch a fob and the user info is tied to the data.

Since all members are in a database they could have a profile page with all of their streaming/video recordings enumerated with facility of writing a linked blog/project notes.

The discord that was setup for electronics then repurposed half-heartedly for other interest groups was doomed to failure for multiple reasons but the main one is that slms should have had it’s own one for everyone - members and general public alike - to pop into. This should have been promoted via an email and across the social media etc.

This would have been picked up by the global maker community. i figure this is important because the physical space is not scalable but the internet may just about manage to substitute some of the enjoyment that everyone is missing.

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