Minutes from January 20, 2015 Open Meeting-Vocademy the Makerspace

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District

114 S. Del Rosa Drive

San Bernardino, CA   92408


Present: Don Averill,Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Ken Coate, Allison Ellingson, Dick Hart, Matthew Issac, Jay Jimenez, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, Lowell King, Pam Langford, John Mirau, Tom Nightingale, Bev Powell, Brian Reider, Susan Rice, Paul Shimoff, Stan Weisser, and Ray Wolfe. 


Guests:  Ted Alajandre and Eric Johnson.


Announcements:  1) Appreciation was expressed to Paul Shimoff for hosting the reception honoring Bruce Varner & Lou Monville.  2) A majority of the members present voted to extend an invitation of membership to Barmack Law, P.C.  3) A discussion about the roles of various State boards and Commissions with Appointment Secretary Mona Pasquil will be held on January 21, 2015 from 5:00p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Center Stage Theater, 8463 Sierra Ave., Fontana.  For more information please call 909-882-4433. 4) Senator Diane Feinstein’s Los Angeles office, located at 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915, will hold an Open House event on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 from 2p.m. -4p.m.  Please Rsvp to Field Rep. Kevin Chang 310-914-7300.


M/S/P:  Minutes from January 13, 2015.


Susan Rice introduced Gene Sherman, Founder, Vocademy-The Makerspace


Gene Sherman opened Vocademy the Makerspace in 2013 recognizing a need for hands on quality instruction to provide individuals access to industrial arts equipment in order to learn how to make things.


Since industrial arts has been eliminated from school curriculums, there are many who cannot make things and have limited creative thought.  In addition to getting a unique type of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, shop classes gave added value to its students by teaching a kind of thought process unique to the process of making something.  There is a shortage and potential void in our society of people who can make things.         


Our society is focused on higher education and careers in professional arenas often leaving out those that are not cut out to follow college career paths.  Today many of us do not have the tools, knowledge and often the basic concepts of actually creating something.  All that remains in some of our schools is limited Robotics teams that are exclusionary.  Programs are needed to better equip our work force.  Certainly there is a need for more carpenters and wood workers but there are basic needs in many fields.  Learning to build things encourages creative thinking and creative thinking is valued in all careers. 


A striking example of this was recently seen at Vocademy with a group of engineering students working on their senior project.  All of the students in the class had excelled on their projects computer design and engineering but some of the students attended Vocademy to complete their project.  Although they initially struggled having no prior hands on experience, the Vocademy students presented the far superior end product. Book and theory knowledge is important but engineers need to have the fundamentals of how to build things.


Gene Sherman sees Vocademy as a place where people can learn, experiment, and exercise their passion.  His 15,000 sq.ft. workshop provides access to industrial arts equipment, tools, and state of the art technology to people of all ages and abilities.  At Vocademy you can learn as much or as little as you want and can take a class or classes when you want to.  There are no tests, grades or certification of any type.  Those that want to pursue certification or career paths are referred to local trade schools, etc.  Vocademy has extensive schedules of hands on classes ranging from beginner to advanced.  In addition to classes, memberships (like a gym membership) are available for a flat monthly fee and members can come as often as they like.  Located in Riverside, 1 mile from UCR, they are open seven days a week from 11a.m. to 11 p.m. 


Vocademy is actively partnering with both business and colleges and  universities.  Businesses can use his facilities for custom tailored apprenticeships or even as an R & D department.  Students can achieve the needed hands on application they are missing.  Hobbyists can come “play” and everyone can come and learn to make anything.       


Over 130 students have “studied” at Vocademy and they have some 100 members.  Classes offered include welding, 3D printing & scanning, plastics & composites, CAD/CAM graphics, sewing & textiles, wood working, costume & prop making and electronics & robotics.


We often hear that we must think outside the box. Let’s not forget, however, that it is still important to know how to make the box.


A Q & A period followed.


Meeting adjourned at 8:20a.m.