Conner Prairie receives grant for maker’s space

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Conner Prairie President and CEO Norman Burns, left, accepts a $15,000 grant from Mark LaBarr, The Duke Energy Foundation’s government and community relations manager for Hamilton County. (Submitted photo)

Conner Prairie President and CEO Norman Burns, left, accepts a $15,000 grant from Mark LaBarr, The Duke Energy Foundation’s government and community relations manager for Hamilton County. (Submitted photo)

The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded Conner Prairie with a $15,000 grant to help establish what’s become commonly known as a maker’s space.

Maker spaces — becoming popular in museums, schools and community centers nationwide — offer visitors opportunities to learn about and work with different tools and materials to build and create while incorporating and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.

The Duke Energy Foundation grant will help Conner Prairie create a permanent maker space featuring year-round programming as well as develop and prototype new programming and provide opportunities for area teachers to see how the maker movement promotes STEM education.

“Our long legacy of promoting historic trades and crafts makes us the ideal institution to launch a maker initiative in central Indiana,” Conner Prairie President and CEO Norman Burns stated. “This effort draws inspiration from the historic trades of blacksmithing and pottery already alive at Conner Prairie and offers chances for visitors to use historic and modern tools and equipment to pursue their maker-related interests.”

Conner Prairie’s new maker’s program will debut in phases beginning later this year. The Duke Energy Foundation has previously supported the museum financially, most recently with a $250,000 award in 2014 which helped fund the year-round STEM-focused Create.Connect exhibit.


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