The Possible Project (TPP), a non-profit organization that teaches high school students how to start and run their own businesses through a tailored curriculum and access to technology and mentors from the local business community, announced today the opening of its new 1,800 square-foot student incubator facility, Makerspace, in Cambridge, Mass. In collaboration with the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) and Biogen Idec Foundation, TPP’s Makerspace offers disadvantaged area students access to cutting-edge manufacturing technology and digital arts.
“About a year ago, we observed that a tremendous learning opportunity was being lost because our student entrepreneurs did not have access to the technologies and resources needed to make their own products. Around the same time, makerspaces were spurring a renaissance in domestic manufacturing,” said Becky Levin, executive director of The Possible Project. “We immediately saw a need to bring those resources to TPP to enable our students to design and manufacture their own products in a unique, hands-on learning environment. With the support of our friends at the CHA and Biogen Idec Foundation, we were able to bring this vision to life and are thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of our Makerspace in the Kendall Square innovation district.”
Located in Kendall Square, Makerspace supports a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum, acquisition of technological skills and operation of TPP’s in-house businesses. Students will work with 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and other state-of-the-art equipment, and will have access to computer-aided design software for all types of creation, including manufacturing, digital fabrication, graphic arts, digital photography and electronics.
“The Makerspace will be an invaluable resource for students as they engage in real-world application of The Possible Project’s curriculum,” said Tony Kingsley, chairman, Biogen Idec Foundation. “The Biogen Idec Foundation is committed to making creative, hands-on learning opportunities available to all youth and to supporting the Cambridge community through innovative and accessible programs like The Possible Project. We hope these students will feel inspired by their Kendall Square neighbors and, ultimately, become the next generation of innovators.”
The Possible Project is a three-year afterschool program that works with high school students from Cambridge, Mass., the majority of whom face barriers to success. Students launch and operate their own entrepreneurial ventures, work as part of in-house businesses, and receive significant advising and assistance with post-high school planning. TPP served 150 students last year and expects to increase to nearly 200 students in 2015.
“Makerspace’s proximity to Washington Elms and other nearby low-income public housing developments gives children that live in these communities access to state-of-the-art technology right here at home,” said Gregory Russ, executive director of CHA. “The Cambridge Housing Authority is proud to partner with The Possible Project and the Biogen Idec Foundation, to make the Cambridge area a better place to live, work and grow.”
The grand opening of Makerspace will be celebrated at 10 a.m. ET today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 107 Portland Street facility. For additional details or to attend the ceremony, please contact Megan Dolan, development and communications manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Possible Project
Based in Cambridge, Mass., The Possible Project (TPP) is a non-profit organization founded by Mark and Becky Levin in 2010. TPP teaches high school students with untapped potential how to create and run their own businesses while gaining important personal and professional skills. The Possible Project uses entrepreneurship as a vehicle to impart the characteristics and competencies that make enduring personal and professional success more likely for its students. During the course of the three-year program, students become proficient in leadership, resilience, professionalism, self-confidence, teamwork and a host of other vital skills. TPP is working to close the skills and opportunities gap facing its students by providing resources and support that make them more likely to finish high school, complete education and training beyond high school, and enter careers that will provide them with a living wage. For more information on TPP, please visit http://possibleproject.org/.
About The Biogen Idec Foundation, Inc.
The Biogen Idec Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of peoples’ lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which the company operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. Additional information about the Biogen Idec Foundation can be found at http://biogenidec.com/foundation.