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Education for Everybody

Our programming operates year-round on a rolling basis to provide direct access to science and technology. We encourage you to explore our programming and discover what opportunity would be best for you.
 
 

 

    We are more than happy to accept an intern who is international, but there are some logistics involved in the process.

    First, we cannot offer a subsidy for the costs of this internship and that includes the travel to and from Grand Rapids as well as your room and board costs while here.

    Second, we cannot provide you with housing. We can assist in directing you to resources to find affordable housing for the duration of your stay. We understand that it can be overwhelming not being familiar with the area and what is “a good deal”.

    Third, we are limited as to what we can do with you for your visa. We are happy to help as an educational organisation for an unpaid internship and to that extent we can assist. You must understand that if you intend to work at a paid job during your stay here, you must get the appropriate visa for it and we cannot help you with that.

    Last, there are not currently any internships that you can do remotely.

    It varies a little bit from department to department as to how much experience is required before an internship starts. In departments such as Audio/Visual and Machining, a baseline in a specific area is required. That can vary wildly – you do not need to be a jack of all trades in your department.

    Some of the engineering internships require less experience.

    If you think you may qualify for an internship please fill out an application.

    We are working on making an inventory available but it is a long and tedious process to make available online.  As you may have noticed, we have a lot of tools. If you are looking for something specific we encourage you to ask.

    For members, you are welcome to keep your lunch cold in the fridge in the café. It must have your name on it and today’s date. If it is left overnight it will be thrown out or eaten. (probably eaten)

    You are also welcome to the microwave, toaster oven, etc but you are responsible for cleaning up after yourself and failure to do so results in removal of privileges in the kitchen.

    Our entrance is the main door on Leonard Street (the only door on Leonard Street!). You can park in the back off of Widdicomb and then walk around to the front.

    You are welcome to log into any WiFi access point that starts with “TGG”. The password for all of them is geeksunited

    By using our wifi you agree to act responsibly.

    We can recommend places for many types of materials – it really depends on what you are doing and how much material you require.

    A basic guide to materials sourcing in Grand Rapids

    Metal, stainless steel & alloys: Alro Metal

    Metal, steel & aluminum: Central Iron

    Plastic, sheet: Laird Plastic

    Plastic, drops & exotics: Alro Plastic

    Wood, hardwood: Woodcraft

    Wood, furniture-grade plywood: Elbenbaas Millwork

    We are nearby many food opportunities. If you are interested in fast food, going north on Alpine will provide a significant amount of major fast food and fast-sit-down food. If you are interested in in more local options, we are only minutes away from downtown. There are many local restaurants east of us on Leonard Street that are fantastic and we would recommend any of them.

     

    At this time we do not have any paid positions open at The Geek Group.

    We do have volunteer openings and internship openings and when time comes to hire people we always opt for from within the organization.

    Before you can use many (if not most) tools, we require training & certification. For many things this process will take less than 20 minutes. For some things, this can be a multiple-day session with tiers. If you already have experience, this process will be smooth and simple. If you’ve never worked with anything like it before, we will patiently demonstrate how to use the tool safely and ensure you are comfortable with it.

    Because of this, the rule for breaking tools is pretty simple: If it was a pure accident, you are not responsible. If you ignored safety instructions, operational instructions or the advice of a staff member, you will be responsible for replacement of the item. Failure to properly seek instruction if you have no idea what you are doing is also grounds for being responsible for replacement.

    We are open Monday-Saturday.

    For members, we are open 10a-9pm.

    For visitors, we are open 12pm-6pm.

    During non-public hours there is limited staffing and we cannot offer full services to our members. However, if you have been trained and certified in equipment you are welcome to use it, if it can be used unsupervised. Most of our members are quite self-sufficient once they’ve been trained on the basics.

    We are 100% LGBTQ friendly.

    We are a safe space for everybody to be themselves, regardless of what that means.

    All of our restrooms in the facility are gender-neutral and you are welcome to use the restroom if you are in the area and need a safe location. There is no need to check in or be a member, there’s a restroom in the lobby.

    As such, we demand tolerance from our members for all varieties of human that participate in The Geek Group. We come from all kinds of backgrounds – different religions, political views, ethnicities,  educational background – and this means there will naturally be something for everybody to disagree on. Respect is absolutely vital and that includes respecting that people may identify and/or express themselves in ways that are unfamiliar to you or different from what you may prefer.

    You are welcome to bring with you in person something you’d like to put through Project Thumper. We cannot promise it, as we have to ensure general safety.

    The best things to “thump” have metal running continuously through them. Thumper works by having a continuous electrical circuit so an item such as a teddy bear would not be able to work.

    There is another rule with Thumper: You thump it, you clean it.

    We are regularly asked how we are different from the various other makerspaces around, or other how-to channels on YouTube, or other groups that in some capacity do similar things.

    We are a non-profit, and that drives the core of our operations. We strive to make everything as accessible as possible. Our costs are as low as we can make them and we offer scholarships for those who cannot afford it. We also offer a volunteer membership as an alternative route.

    Our Tier-2 equipment is as limited as possible, and we keep that to a minimum as well. We truly believe there should be no barrier between you and want you want to learn and do.

    As far as comparing us to other non-profit makerspaces, we really aim to ensure an efficient and satisfying experience. We feel that we’ve seen too many places with a very limited quantity of machinery available, or the times that the machinery is available is quite small. In addition to keeping costs low as a way of removing barriers, we feel that we need to provide as many tools and machines as possible and have them available as easily as possible.

    The most useful donations are general funds donations which can be done either as a one-time donation or through our sponsorship page. This allows us to focus on the most urgent needs as they arise.

    You can help by participating in our IRC and offering advice to other members in that room. There is always something going on in the IRC. There are often major projects being built by the staff that requires research on parts, materials and methods.

    You can also help by sharing content. Social media is our biggest method of exposure, and you can help. Re-post videos, Facebook statuses, twitter messages, etc.

    We value what you can give. If that means a donation, that’s fantastic! If that means volunteering, thank you for your time!

    What matters to us is that you got involved and made a difference.

 
 
 

Interact at Home

You can view our educational content online, as well set up your local membership, book training and equipment, and RSVP to classes and workshops.
 

Testimonials

  • Once again you are a shining example of how people should treat each other. People helping people. Please don’t ever change.

    Gloria Warrick, Grand Rapids Michigan
     
 

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