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Maker Vault at RCBI Earns Finalist Spot for National Prize

- 12/1/2016
Maker Vault at RCBI earns spot as finalist for national prize

The makerspace – dubbed The Maker Vault – at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) is a finalist in a national contest sponsored by Bernzomatic, a manufacturer of industrial blowtorches, fuel cylinders and other supplies for professionals and hobbyists. The Maker Vault at RCBI Huntington provides an affordable way for innovators across southern West Virginia to access creative, hands-on tools at RCBI to become familiar with its unique blend of leading-edge technology, workforce skills training and industrial expertise. The collaborative makerspace focuses on creating, exploring, learning and making. Housed in a former vault – a holdover from the days when the Huntington building was home to a bank – the makerspace is stocked with tools and technology that includes an X-Carve computer-controlled router, 3D printers, vacuum form mold, and vinyl cutter.

Top prize winners of $15,000, $7,500 and $5,000 will be determined by a national vote in the 2016 Bernzomatic Find Your Fire Community Grants program, which celebrates the creativity and curiosity of makers who want to use their talents to make a difference. In addition to the $15,000 prize, the top winner also receives a visit from do-it-yourself guru Nicole Curtis, star of “Rehab Addict” on HGTV and author of “Better Than New: Lessons I've Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me).” RCBI will use prize money for additional seating, work tables, shelving and specialty equipment. RCBI is part of the West Virginia Maker Network, a statewide group that supports “making” across West Virginia. A project of the West Virginia Education Alliance and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the network was launched with financial support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Chevron.

For information about bringing your ideas to life in our makerspace, contact us at 304.781.1675 or 800.469.7224. Everyone is encouraged to vote online for RCBI’s Maker Vault. You can cast your vote once a day at Bernzomatic.com/Grants