Chapter Spotlight: Gearbots Makerspace, with Dereck Dirom

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Dereck Dirom



Our Global Chapters Program is a global network of organizations with a shared mission of putting the power of electronics in the hand of everyone regardless of age, gender, technical ability and language. Find your local Chapter or start your own!


Where are you based?

The GearBots Makerspace program is located in Abbotsford, British Columbia.


Tell us more about your organization/space.
We offer a variety of after school courses and summer camps for kids ages nine and up in our community. We focus on teaching coding, robotics, electronics, digital design using our 3D printers and laser cutter.




What inspired you to start a Global Chapter?
After seeing Ayah Bdeir’s TED talk in 2012, we were instantly hooked and could not wait to add them to our program.  When the opportunity came up to join the Global Chapter Program, we jumped at it!


How are you re-inventing your makerspace/ learning space with littleBits?
littleBits are an amazing motivational tool that encourages our students to dream, invent and share their creations with pride. We are constantly amazed by how kids can easily prototype and build complex contraptions.  It has been great to see their confidence grow and their creativity shine when snapping the littleBits together.




Tell us more about your last two events.
We held an #InventAnything workshop on August 28, 2015 at the Port Moody Arts Centre in Port Moody BC as part of our summer makerspace / coding camp for kids ages nine and up. We also held a #HackBack workshop on Sept 5, 2015 at the EcoDairy in Abbotsford, BC.

We have hosted several littleBits workshops this year. Our most recent event was for the “Hack Your Backpack” event at the EcoDairy in Abbotsford BC.  The kids really enjoyed starting the school year off with this creative activity and could not wait to show pictures and videos of their innovative designs to their friends.




What were some of the projects that came out of your event?

Some of the more memorable creations were a crazy space alien bag, a bag with dangling eyes and a mysterious one eyed Martian robot!




What did you learn from hosting this event?
We love how littleBits inspire our students to be very creative with the arts supplies and recycled materials that were supplied.  We love how easy these types of events are to host as the kids are always very motivated and engaged to #Make.  As an educator, it is tons of fun to see our students’ in this type of learning environment.


Who else in your community inspires you?
We are starting to see many Maker families sign up for our programs and we are inspired by their enthusiasm and energy to work together to explore STEAM Education.


What’s next for your Chapter?
Our Chapter will be offering a Spooky Halloween themed workshop in October.


What’s been your favorite thing about being a Chapter leader? Why should others join?
It has been great getting to know our students and fellow community Makers at our events.  We encourage all Makers in our community to join our chapter so we can better support each other.



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