The Eureka! Factory, headed up by Terri & Steve Willingham, who work with an amazing collection of community associates, is a consultant and experiential learning event production team. The Eureka! Factory specializes in public makerspace development, educational and hands on learning event producers and program planning. The team has brought empowered learning and living events and programs to thousands throughout Tampa Bay area for the last four years, and is happy to be partnering with St. Petersburg College-Seminole Campus to bring a bigger and better event to the Tampa Bay area.
Eureka! Factory tells us more about their work here.
GCMCC: What do you make?
EF: We design public makerspaces and develop programs and projects we feel help inspire the spirit of innovation and invention to help move us from passive consumption to active creation. Some of the makerspaces we’ve designed and helped bring to fruition in Tampa Bay include the HIVE at John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa, the Foundry at Land O’Lakes Library and the Makerspace at Regency Park Library, also in Pasco County Library System. We’ve also consulted on numerous other projects, and provided professional development for library staff and educators. We have been the drivers behind Gulf Coast Maker Con since it got its start as Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire, and we also help produce ROBOTICON Tampa Bay.
GCMCC: Why do you feel what you do is it important?
Today more than ever we need critical thinkers, and curiosity driven, adaptive learners who can learn, relearn, unlearn and do it all over again, as needed, every single time needed. Going forward, it’s becoming more important to know how to learn what we need to know – how to teach ourselves or find the information we need for ourselves, to take ownership over our own knowledge and skills development – than it is to have command of rote memorization. We believe the programs and projects we help design are critical components for developing the skills needed for both making a living and having a meaningful life in the 21st century.
GCMCC: What are you showcasing at Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con?
EF: Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con! We’re showcasing the awesome makers and doers of Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast; people who exemplify self-reliance, creativity, empowered curiosity, imaginative problem solving and innovative solutions to everyday challenges.
GCMCC: Why do you believe Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con is important?
EF: Dean Kamen said it best, in describing why he created the FIRST K-12 youth robotics program, of which we’re big fans and supporters, and which will be prominently on display at Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con: We get what we celebrate.
If we only celebrate sports and entertainment, we will starve on the nutrient poor fodder of the titillating nonsense that passes for news and information in popular media. If we celebrate empowered self-reliance, hands on DIY problem solving, and the joy of unbridled creativity, however, we immensely improve not only our intellectual diet, but our personal well being and the well being of our neighborhoods, towns and nation.
Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con is a celebration of the innovative spirit we want to see everywhere!
Come meet the crew at Eureka! Factory and all the great Makers and Comic Con exhibitors and demos we’ll have on hand throughout the day at Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con March 24!
General admission tickets are FREE! And there are a variety of options for exhibitors. Click the image below to save your spot today!