Curious about Imagine Foundry?
Imagine Foundry is a makerspace designed with kids and families in mind. It is a place for imagination, tinkering, exploration, engineering, creativity, and purposeful play. We provide opportunities for kids to make discoveries, design prototypes, build and construct, solve problems, make mistakes and find solutions, and think outside-the-box. Kids can be inspired, find their passions, build self-confidence, develop perseverance, and collaborate with others. Learn more about Imagine Foundry by reading through the FAQs below.
Where is Imagine Foundry?
We are located in Cookeville, TN at 1225 S. Willow Ave. We are the rear entry and you’ll have to drive all the way to the back of the parking lot. You’ll find our entry doors directly behind the building. Look for our creatively painted windows with our name, Imagine Foundry, spanning the front entryway. If you cannot find us, call us at 615.784.3332 and we’ll help you find us!
What ages is this for?
Imagine Foundry is really a place that any age can enjoy. We are a maker lab, meaning that we have tools, equipment, and materials that all of our guests can use to imagine, design, and create. Younger children will need more help and support while older children, teens, or adults may not need as much help to enjoy the maker lab to its fullest potential. Our “Open Maker Lab” requires that an adult (parent, guardian, grandparent, etc.) stays with any person under 18 years old. Our specialized labs or classes allow for drop off and pick up. Of course, adults can also choose to stay with their kids and take the class too!
How does this work?
The concept of a maker lab may be new for many. Here’s what you can expect when you come to Imagine Foundry’s Open Make Lab. First, you will be greeted at the entry by our staff. We have a waiver form that must be filled out and signed prior to using the maker lab. We have a STEM challenge table in the lobby as well as resource books, a table, and chairs – this will help keep everyone engaged while the adults take care of the waiver form and payment. Next, you will have a short tour and orientation to the space on your first visit. Our staff will show you around the maker lab, explaining the expectations, equipment, tools, and so on. Finally, you will be ready to choose your workstation and start planning your project! We really encourage the engineering design process, which means that you will plan what you want to make, select the things you need, and then get busy making! Our staff is available to help with the use of any tools and we encourage trying new things and asking for help when needed.
What if I don’t know what to make?
No worries, if you want to practice making stuff, but are not sure what to create – we have examples and themes throughout the maker lab that will give you ideas and creations to try out. You can also look through books for ideas and use our computer or tablet to research. As always, please ask our staff for help!
What’s different about the Open Maker Lab and the classes or Specialized Labs?
Much like a storefront, we are “open” for walk-ins between the hours of 11am and 6pm Tuesdays – Saturdays. *We are hopeful that we can add more hours in fall of 2021. During these times, you and your family can simply come by and enjoy the maker lab at your own leisure. If you would like to call ahead and check to see how many open workstations are available, you can do so.
The workshops are classes that you can drop off and pick up or choose to stay with your kids for. They are typically about 1- to 2-hours long and consist of a make ‘n take project that teaches specific skills. For example, if a person wants to learn how to sew, he or she could come to our sewing lab and be taught this skill by an instructor. We also teach skills in our open maker lab, but the specialized lab has potential for more one on one attention and help. In the open maker lab, our staff may spend time working one on one, but also have to monitor the lab and the front lobby.
Do we get to keep what we make?
Yes! Absolutely! We provide the tools, equipment and materials – you bring the imagination and creativity! This is a make ‘n take space – what you create in the maker lab is yours to keep. That said, we operate on generosity from people like you – if you have any items that you want to donate to the maker lab for use, we are always accepting donations and appreciate them so very much! We operate on volunteer power and donations – we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization and need support in order to thrive. This is how we can allow families to come in and make ‘n take items. We want to encourage innovation and help build confidence through this creative outlet.
Don’t see the answer you’re looking for?
If you still have questions about our programs, maker space, or other general questions, please feel free to reach out to us on our contact page. We would love to hear from you!