Margate’s newest hi-tech workspace The Geekery aims to help develop science, technology, engineering and maths skills in Thanet.
Founded by self-confessed tech geek Matt Mapleston the co-working space welcomes technologists and novices alike with learning opportunities, workshops, seminars and more.
The Geekery consists of four permanent work desks for tech professionals and a well-equipped workshop with 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC milling machines. The machines can be used to create or copy almost any object within hours by building up or cutting out materials with sub-millimeter precision.
Mini-copies of The Geekery’s members have even been created, by scanning them to make a computer model and printing them out in biodegradable plastic made from corn starch.
The community will have access to the workshop during allocated times encouraging a knowledge in tech and providing skills for those with an interest in the subject.
Matt says there are three key technology issues in Thanet:
- Lockdown has seen a huge rise in people able to work remotely now considering moving out of cities. Thanet needs co-working spaces to attract, support and retain these people and their economic impact.
- Digital and Engineering skills are in great demand and more education and job opportunities in Science Technology Engineering & Maths subjects could be created in Thanet with the right access to expertise, facilities and tech-focused community events.
- The digital divide is the gap between people who have full access to digital technologies and those who do not. Digital skills that were advantageous to employability, health and wellbeing, have become essential during COVID-19. Internet non-users and those with fewer digital skills are more likely to be in lower socioeconomic groups and 9% of children have no access to a laptop, PC or tablet.
The Geekery has ambitions to work on all three of these issues, with co-working as the starting point.
Matt, who also plays ukulele at the Fez micropub in Margate, has more than 25 years engineering experience. He moved to Margate with his young family in 2017 and started the Thanet Technology group running networking events and providing tech support to artists and organisations.
He added: “If anyone is interested in getting involved in the community there are welcoming meetups via Zoom on the last Thursday of every month with fascinating presentations and general chat about tech. If you are interested in visiting the space, we will be hosting monthly demonstration workshops from August.”