SYN Shop: Hacking in Downtown Las Vegas

Whenever I’m visiting a city, I try to arrange my trip to visit the local hackerspace. This past week I was in Las Vegas, touring Zappos and the Downtown Project and a visit to SYN Shop, the Las Vegas hackerspace was high on my list.

Located right in the middle of downtown Las Vegas, SYN Shop has a retail-style storefront just a block away from the famous Freemont street.

My host for my Vegas visit was SYN Shop member, and Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire Organizer, Paweł Szymczykowski. I first met Paweł at RobotsConf last December, so when I knew I’d be in Vegas, I connected with him to arrange a visit.

When we arrived a networking class was underway (note: teaching how to crimp an ethernet cable is a great hands-on activity for a class on networking theory!), with passers-by on the sidewalk looking in to see the class. I did my normal hackerspace visit routine, swapping stickers, and getting my Hackerspace Passport stamped. SYNShop has a new laser-cut cork wall map for visitor pins, so I was able to put the first pin in Florida. I watched as Paweł stuck the FamiLAB sticker high on a pole with stickers from other hackerspaces like HeatSync Labs and NY Resistor. I love how the open sharing of the hackerspace culture is transferred from city to city in person as well as online.

I spent a few hours with Paweł, and SYN Shop founder Jeff Rosowski, better known around SYN Shop as “Krux“. Most of the conversation revolved around the upcoming Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire, as they grow the event and share the maker culture with the rest of the community that is part of the Downtown Project and the rest of Las Vegas. They have a great event planned, and I’ll be heading back to Las Vegas so that I can attend it on Saturday, April 5th.

Check out the slideshow to get an inside look at SYN Shop.

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Ian is a co-founder of The Maker Effect Foundation, a non-profit group organized to amplify the effects of makers within their communities. The Maker Effect Foundation's programs include Maker Faire Orlando, and MakerFX makerspace in Orlando. Ian is also a board member of Nation of Makers, and a member of FamiLAB, Orlando's Hackerspace.

View more articles by Ian Cole


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