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Erbil Makerspace 2019 Review: A Summer of Inventions

Erbil makerspace kicked off activities during the Summer Tech Festival at Re:Coded House with a range of events that introduced people of all ages to the makerspace concept and its capacity for the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Events included:

Intro to Digital Fabrication

Using Digital Fabrication in Architecture

3D Design and Fabrication

Make Your Plant Smart (Combining design and fabrication with electronics)

Inaugural Eco-innovation Hackathon

The final month of the summer, also known as Invention Month, had a series of trainings during a 3-week period. Starting with “The future is 3D”, in which participants learned to design and use digital fabrication machines like 3D printers, a CNC machine, and laser cutters.

This was followed by a week of basic electronics, titled “Make it move with electronics”. Where participants were able to learn the basics of electronics and different types of sensors while trying to use them in different projects.

The final week of training, “Designing for human” focused on design thinking. In which, participants went through a problem-solving session and used the skills they had learned in the previous weeks to solve a real-life problem. Participants visited Zhin Disability Center in Erbil, to understand the unique problems individuals with disabilities face. And once they arrived participants went straight to work fixing wheelchairs that had broken parts.

Using the information, they were given at the Zhin Disability Center, participants used the following week to further design solutions that solved problems that exist within the community. This included designing a special cup holder, pencil holder, and gyroscopic cup holder. But problem solving didn’t stop there. One participant found inspiration from one of their family member's experiences and suggested creating a ventilation system to sense flame and gas emissions from petroleum heaters. The system would help prevent deaths caused by gas emissions. A common occurrence for many in the region that rely on these heaters during the winter.

Although the Invention Month came to an end, as participants returned to university and schools, the makerspace will continue to hold events and trainings for different target groups. With focuses that cater to women, collaborations, and possible partnerships with the local University. With the success of the Summer Tech Festival, the makerspace aims to start more in-depth trainings that may last up to 2 months beginning in early 2020.

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