Community Shop Class: A Safe Place to Use Tools Safely

Makerspace Workshop
Chad Orcutt of Community Shop Class

In this episode of Make:cast, I talk to Chad Orcutt, the creator of Community Shop Class in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, California. What started out as the ADHD Inventor’s Club in his garage grew into a new space, unlike any makerspace I’ve seen. He saw the space as way to help people, particularly neurodivergent people like himself, learn to use tools safely.  He’s built a shop class for people who have never had shop class or didn’t even know that they had missed shop class.


A recent event at the space featured governmental officials and teen-aged community volunteers


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Video of our conversation.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty