For nearly 10 years, Moonlighter FabLab has been nurturing the maker movement and STEAM education in South Florida - through its membership-based makerspace, STEAM educational programs, community projects, and its annual flagship event - Maker Faire Miami. Having just opened a new community space in partnership with The City of Miami Beach in February of 2023, the organization is positioned to scale up efforts for STEAM education and equitable access to advanced manufacturing and technology. To do so, the organization is seeking local champions to help fund this critical work.
Moonlighter is a registered community Fabrication Lab, one of over 1300 worldwide connected to the FabFoundation initiatives and MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. In the past few years, Moonlighter joined the Open Source Medical Supplies Group and helped fabricate and distribute over 18,000 pieces of PPE. Moonlighter also kicked off the first South Florida cohort of the Nationally recognized Making Spaces Program in partnership with Maker Ed and The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, with support from Google and Cognizant. Moonlighter worked with 8 schools and museums to provide two years of ongoing professional development to support maker education. Moonlighter is also partnered with Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and NASA, with support from IMLS, Nation of Makers, Adafruit, Instructables, and SAP Next Gen, where we helped build the first ever makerspace in a botanic garden focused on developing technologies for growing plants in space - as well as host annual maker challenges to crowdsource solutions for various NASA initiatives. Moonlighter's partnership with the City of Miami Beach brings STEAM education opportunities to over 6500 students and professional development programs to 300 educators over 3 years. Moonlighter FabLab is the producer of Maker Faire Miami, one of the main Make: Community featured events of over 170 worldwide - which serves as a platform for highlighting local talent, fostering new collaborations, and sharing skills. This year, Maker Faire Miami celebrated its 10th year in production, featured speakers and presenters from across the globe, worked with all of the local universities to showcase their projects, and provided hands-on maker activities for youth in partnership with local STEAM organizations. Moonlighter Fablab has served over 15,000 youth and empowered over 250 members. Our award winning organization is positioned for expanding its impact in 2024 and needs your support to make it all happen!
Funds from this campaign support:
We offer full scholarships for low-income families to participate in our STEAM programs and camps. This helps us close the digital divide and truly provide equitable access to the tools and opportunities for all. To date, we have provided over $100,000 in full scholarships for low-income youth, children with disabilities, and other underserved communities to participate in our camps, after school programs, field trips, and community events.
Fabrication Labs are physical spaces with a wide range of digital fabrication, manufacturing, and craftsman tools and equipment. Aside from general overhead and utilities, we have to maintain a space with lots of costly consumables and maintenance needs in order to keep the equipment ready for community use. This includes extruders for 3D printers, lenses and laser tubes for the laser cutter/engravers, tooling for the CNC machine, industry standard design software licenses, dust extraction filters, safety equipment/PPE, replacement parts for our general tools and equipment, etc. We write grants to support programs, but there are few funding opportunities that support the cost of maintaining a highly technical space for general community use.
Empowering makers of all ages and abilities with the skills, tools, and opportunities to shape a better future.
Our mission is realized through our four pillars:
Education - via our STEAM Learning Center
Access - via our Shared Fabrication Lab
Collaboration - via our Community Projects
Outreach - via our annual Maker Faire Miami and other community events + activations.
Making Spaces Professional Development Program - In partnership with MakerEd
Reimagining Cities AIR Residency
Summer STEAM Maker Camp - Supported by The Children's Trust, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, and MAKE: Community
Maker Faire Miami - Supported by Watsco Ventures, The Knight Foundation, MAKE: Community, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Addigy, Particle, VDT
GBE Innovation Studio - In Partnership With Fairchild Garden, NASA, and IMLS