Throughout April, Northwest Indiana has been celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017. Sponsored by the Center for Creative Solutions, "Dream BIG!" has been the theme for many community events.
On Friday (April 21), the Center for Creative Solutions hosted a community breakfast in celebration of regional creativity and innovation. Keynote speaker was Justin Kiel, entrepreneur, newspaper publisher and La Crosse Town Councilman.
Highlighting the morning was the presentation of the Tej Ram Gupta Scholarships to three, innovative students from the A. K. Smith Career Center and the CREO! This year’s CREO! recipient was Spark Labs of the La Porte County Public Library for its extraordinary efforts to promote an innovative culture in Northwest Indiana.
Spark Labs is a library based makerspace. There, people of all ages are encouraged to learn and explore many Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math related topics. Challenging hands-on and fun activities involving robotics, 3D printing and 3D CAD, electronics, jewelry making, solar energy and much more are presented regularly. These activities can develop skills and confidence in advanced technologies leading to future job skills.
Spark Labs is the result of extensive planning and work of many interested individuals including library colleagues and local volunteers. Their work has been recognized on both a local and national level in several articles and presentations, according to Cynthia Hedge, CEO of the Center for Creative Solutions. Spark Labs activities are available in a new, recently opened dedicated makerspace in La Porte Public Library's downtown library, in all branches of the library and in local schools and other public places, she noted.