Gregg Nowling is no stranger to the Make48 competitions. We first met Gregg in 2021 when his team, The Mallorys, competed at both Indianapolis and Nationals (5th season). Since then, Gregg has volunteered his time as a Tool Tech, most recently in Kansas City for the Sixth nationals.
1st Maker Space generously sponsored Gregg at the Make48 competition. It allowed him to take time off to travel to Kansas City. Gregg has worked in school districts with 1st Maker Space. “Around 8 years ago, 1st Maker Space built a makerspace at the high school where I was a librarian. It was a great partnership and took off after that.”
The 1st Maker Space has a mission to elevate learning by designating a physical space. Their team is composed of a diverse group of educators, engineers, designers, and content experts. They provide training, equipment and curriculum, everything to ensure that, in addition to building a custom makerspace, you're equipped with everything needed to bring STEM learning to life successfully. A few of those models include:
Gregg has since worked with 1st Maker Space throughout the years. “I worked with them when we opened our makerspace at Purdue Polytechnic. They offered to come in and brainstorm with us on optimizing the space. I bought equipment from 1st Maker Space, as well as additional supplies. They’re also just a call away if we run into any issues.”
First Maker Space is there for anyone with questions on building a quality makerspace. Their team is dedicated to creating an effective, engaging space that encourages students' creativity through hands-on learning. “If there are issues with my laser cutter or another shop question, they will talk me through the issue or come out and fix the problem,” Gregg said.
We were happy to hear that 1st Maker Space was Gregg’s sponsor at Nationals. “This is my fourth Make48 event, and at this point everyone feels like family. It’s like getting the band back together, but instead of making music, we’re building the team's great ideas. I knew what the team from Indiana was capable of doing, and the other teams are right up there with them on their level.” The challenge theme was one many could relate to; animal wellness & transportation. Those affected included everyday households, veterinary clinics, shelters, and those involved in disasters.
Gregg, “I would love to see 1st Maker Space get more involved in Make48 competitions. With Make48 focusing on schools more, I think it would be a great opportunity for 1st Maker Space. Some schools may or may not have makerspaces, but I’d love to work with them on ways to make their makerspaces better or even build a makerspace? Possibilities are endless.”
With just a few hours left of the competition, I asked Gregg his fondest memory. “There are so many people here that I've grown to love, and you only see them at the events. Relationships have been formed then fermented over time. Getting to see everyone, the teams, and hearing about the future plans coming down the pipeline for Make48 has been exciting. Working with Jimmy DiResta has been absolutely amazing.”
One of our celebrity judges also made a big impact on Gregg. “The whole reason I’m a Maker and doing this today, is because of This Old House and Kevin O’Connor, who’s been the host for 20 years. When I was a kid, I grew up without my dad around, and there were no real male influences in my life that were making things. But I watched This Old House on Saturday mornings on PBS with my mom. Honestly, if it wasn't for shows like that, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. Back then, there wasn’t HGTV. Watching This Old House made me realize that, ‘oh, I could probably fix this.’. And that just became, well, maybe I can do this. I'm remodeling my fifth house, and all of that goes back to This Old House. At this point, I owe Kevin and This Old House everything.”
Questions on bringing a makerspace to life? Reach out to 1st Maker Space and contact them for a FREE consultation. They partner with architects and engineers to ensure that organizations are maximizing the space and budget. Visit their portfolios to see some of their work https://1stmakerspace.com/portfolio
And as for Gregg Nowling, he plans on getting to as many future Make48 events as possible. “I'm here for life. You're never getting rid of me, Make48.” Don’t worry Gregg, you’re a lifer now! (check out Gregg’s airplane tattoo)
To learn more about 1st Maker Space visit https://1stmakerspace.com/