At 1st Maker Space, we’re on a mission to empower children to learn through doing. We believe that by providing makerspaces and engaging hands-on curriculum, we’re helping students discover a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime.
Today’s youth has grown up being able to learn through Googling any answer in an instant. Unfortunately, this kind of learning as an active personal process is not at all what students experience in a standard classroom, where the teacher and textbook are the limits of allowed expertise. 1st Maker Space enables both the educators and students by creating environments that inspire ‘thinkering’. Our goal is to get kids so engaged with projects that they look forward to school.
We know it takes more than just space. If only we could elevate learning simply by designating a physical area. The 1st Maker Space team is comprised of a diverse group of educators, engineers, designers, and content experts. We work with you to ensure that, in addition to building your custom makerspace, you’re equipped with everything you need to bring STEM learning to life successfully.
Time Magazine called the Maker movement important to America’s future and we couldn’t agree more. With an emphasis on 21st-century skills and thinking outside the box, we build markerspaces to help children become highly engaged, lifelong learners and to help educators teach in ways that promote student enjoyment, engagement, and retention.
So what is a makerspace?
Makerspaces are spaces where students can gather to create, invent, and learn. They combine DIY with education. According to Oxford Dictionary, a makerspace is a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. You can learn more about why makerspaces are so important and why we believe making physical things is a fundamental skill that defines us as humans here on our Research Page. You can also watch the video linked below for more information.
Meet The Team
Mary Rinehart joined 1st Maker Space in 2018 as the Education Director where she transformed the business by developing a maker curriculum to launch educators into the makerspace that is aligned to the Indiana Academic Standards. She recently served at the Indiana Department of Education as the Engineering and Technology Specialist where she managed the STEM Certified School process as well as the Indiana Academic Standards revision for engineering, computer science, and IT. Mary has five years of teaching experience and holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Educational Technology.
Mary serves on the Executive Board of a variety of STEM-centered non-profits, including IndianaFIRST and Million Women Mentors. Mary enjoys conductive sewing and is working with her Kindergarten son to teach him how to program using Dash and Dot robots.
Adam Brand, an Indianapolis native and resident maker, started a web design business immediately out of high school and went on to design websites and web applications for hundreds of Indiana companies. From there, he has participated in founding multiple companies from marketing to manufacturing.
As an avid DIYer and skilled craftsman, Adam has never shied away from taking on the most ambitious of maker challenges. He now designs and manufactures most of our maker furniture in the 1st Maker Space shop as Vice President of Operations.
Kim Brand is an Indianapolis born entrepreneur who has started and grown many technology companies since graduating from IUPUI in 1975 with a degree in mechanical engineering technology. In 2013 he co-founded an industrial 3D printing company named 3D Parts Mfg. He aims to bring shop class back to schools and enthusiasm for learning back to classrooms.
He is on the board of EmployIndy and chairs their Youth Committee. He is a member of the Indianapolis Rotary Club and an adjunct professor of Informatics at IUPUI’s School of Informatics and Computing. In the past, Kim served as the technical editor for two maker-relevant "For Dummies" books: 3D Printing for Dummies, 2nd Edition, and Fabrication for Dummies which is soon to be published.
Amber is the Education Director and one of the newest members of the 1st Maker Space team. Amber leads the curriculum development and professional development for 1st Maker Space. Amber spent over twenty years teaching upper elementary in Hamilton Southeastern Schools. During her tenure, she taught a variety of subjects, but fell in love with STEM. She created a classroom makerspace, at the cusp of the maker movement, that was collaborative, problem-based and student driven. Her classroom maker projects gained the attention of Mayor Scott Fadness of Fishers, IN, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Congresswoman Susan Brooks. Amber has an M. Ed. in Curriculum Development and has a passion for developing curriculum and designing lessons that engage students with hands-on learning.
VP of Business Development
Chad joined 1st Maker Space in the fall of 2020 after leading schools and nonprofit organizations across Central Indiana for 20 years. He earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Science Education and holds two Master of Arts Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University as well as Education Administration and Supervision from Indiana University. He served as a public school administrator where he earned the National Blue Ribbon as a School of Excellence from the US Department of Education in 2008. His passion for the maker movement started as a child working in his grandfather’s workshop and later working for his grandfather at a local lumber yard each summer. Chad leads the Business Development for 1st Maker Space, helping schools and community spaces create a unique makerspace, innovation space, or STEM Lab.
Makerspace Designer and 3D Modeler
Ivan Ross serves as the Makerspace Designer and 3D Modeler for 1st Maker Space, where he takes sketches from the team and turns them into 3D models to help our clients envision what a makerspace could look like. Ivan is originally from the small town of Milton, Indiana and graduated from Connersville High School in 2016. From there, he attended Butler University, graduating in 2020 with a BA in History and Political Science and a minor in Education. Presently, he attends Ball State University where he is studying for his Masters Degree of Urban and Regional Planning. Looking towards the future, he is excited to find a job in the expansive field of planning; with a special interest in positions that are rooted in socioeconomic equity, heightened ecological consciousness, and sustainable development. In his free time, you can find him trying to visit every National Park with his girlfriend Megan, listening to music (especially live concerts), trying to finish homework assignments, or reading too many esoteric Wikipedia pages