Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill, like pottery, woodworking, jewelry making or sign making, but didn’t know where to get started? It’s now more accessible, and not to mention easier to begin, than ever.
Nestled directly in the center of Pennsylvania lies one of the coolest spaces designed for creators of all ages — where anyone can make anything.
Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania is a hands-on science center with the mission of creating interactive exhibits to provide a new and improved way of learning for any creative mind.
Discovery Space’s newest branch, called The Rivet, includes a 5,000-square-foot community workshop, where you can practice anything from pottery to 3D printing, and just about anything else in between.
According to therivet.org, “This makerspace is called The Rivet, named to reflect our intention to connect materials, people, ideas and the means for anyone to make anything.”
The workshop offers pottery, jewelry making, woodworking, welding, textile studio, computer classes (Adobe), sign making, 3D printing, laser cutting and more.
With state-of-the-art equipment and technology, The Rivet aims to provide the most up-to-date way of designing, constructing and building.
“Community members can take advantage of open shop hours and classes that teach technical skills, critical thinking and iterative learning. Experimenting with machinery at The Rivet is not dependent on a two-year degree, tuition or industry experience. Taking modern manufacturing and putting it into an informal learning environment is how The Rivet creates accessibility.”therivet.org
The workshop offers four options for accessing the space.
The first is by booking classes, which are either one-time or broken down by sessions. There is also an option to book private classes for more in-depth and attentive skill-building.
In order to access the studio on your own time, some spaces require clearances for your safety. Clearances are available through “clearance classes,” which are obtainable at a minimal cost and provide information regarding safety operations and protocols.
The remaining three options are memberships and pass access to the studio, so you can use the space outside class hours. Options include:
- Day Pass- access to all workshop spaces, free consumable materials and expert help
- Maker Membership- access to all workshop spaces, free consumable materials, automatic monthly billing, expert help and one free clearance class per month
- Sustaining Membership- access to all workshop spaces, free consumable materials, automatic monthly billing, expert help, unlimited free clearance classes and one free clearance class gifted monthly
The typical user experience includes first taking a tour of the facility, where a staff member will guide you through the space. Tours are free and available during open hours.
After the tour, it is encouraged for you to take a class and find your areas of interest.
Then, gaining access to The Rivet is encouraged for you to practice and build your skills outside of class hours. “In conjunction with your access pass or membership and any necessary clearances, [you can] use the tools in the workshop during open hours. [You can even] reserve your tool using the reservation calendar” (therivet.org).
The facility is just a 5-minute drive down the road from Penn State’s main campus. Located at 1224 N Atherton St., the venue is a great option for clubs, sororities, fraternities and general groups to get together for bonding events, socials, etc.
“Our mission is to provide engaging experiences with science and technology that spark creativity and curiosity.”therivet.org
Visit https://discoveryspace.org/ or https://therivet.org/ to learn more about hours of operation, classes, clearances, memberships and passes.