Open Works is offering city schools new ways to use its tools - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Mar. 24, 2017 12:49 pm

Open Works is offering city schools new ways to use its tools

The makerspace has a new partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools that offers discounts for classes and memberships. It comes during the school system's budget crisis.

Inside the Open Works ribbon-cutting, Sept. 20, 2016.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

There’s been lots of talk of potential cuts at Baltimore city schools in recent weeks. The system could face a $130 million budget shortfall, and leaders are working to find a fix.

With the uncertainty, Open Works is looking to provide more for the school system. Baltimore City Public Schools signed an agreement that will provide students and teachers with more access to the Station North makerspace.

For students, Open Works will offer programming in the space for field trips, as well as workshops using the space’s tools. The deal also looks to make it easier for schools to request a visit from the Open Works mobile maker van, said Holman.

They’re also opening up classroom and community space to be available for school-related events. Exact prices are still being worked out.

Open Works is also looking to help teachers. Teachers can also join Open Works for $60/month. Open Works is also developing a framework that will allow teachers to take classes at the makerspace as part of their professional development.

“Through our partnership with Open Works, City Schools students and teachers will have even more access to cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art resources, and classes that foster creativity and collaboration,” said Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises.

School system leaders have been supportive of Open Works, but the funding crisis brought a renewed desire to agree on a deeper partnership, said Open Works General Manager Will Holman.

“It took on a different kind of urgency about how can we make resources available to BCPS students and teachers,” Holman said.

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