A coworking makerspace brings endless possibilities to the creative. It has even served as a collaboration destination for father and son creators Bryan and Nathan Britt.
The Britts first heard about theCO last October as a Jackson Christian School (JCS) teacher asked his student Nathan to be a part of theCO’s second annual celebration of theCOtoberfest.
“He got to display the catapult basketball game he had created for a project at school in their science class makerspace lab,” Nathan’s father Bryan said.
Since then, the father-and-son team have used theCO to create everything from fidget spinners using 3D printers and signs using the CNC router. It is the environment, Bryan says, that makes the difference.
“One thing that really stands out to us is [. . .] the incredibly kind people who work there and who encourage us both in our areas of interest,” he stated. “They genuinely seem interested in helping people succeed and learn how to take whatever your brain can think of and then use technology and engineering to make it happen."
The greater joy they have is being able to create together.
“We love going there together and having projects we can work on,” Bryan explained, “like the cutting boards Nathan laser-engraved for family Christmas presents last year or the logo and lettering we made on the CNC router for the JCS softball locker room.”
For Nathan, it means a chance to work on skills outside of the classroom.
"It gives him tremendous opportunity to apply his gifts in the areas of engineering and mathematics and to use technology we normally would never have access to, like 3D printing,” the proud father shared. “It also gives him people who are able to answer the questions he has because he's already learning stuff with computer-based programming that is over my head. It's exciting to see him dream up all the different kinds of stuff he could do at theCO and then actually take steps toward making those ideas a reality.”
CO:members agree that it is encouraging to see a father and son work so well together. Austin Thompson enjoys seeing a fellow father take interest in his son’s passions.
“They are the epitome of what everyone thinks a father and son should be,” Thompson said.
theCO’s facilities manager, Dan Drogosh, sees great promise in what the Britts’ presence in the makerspace may produce.
“Nathan is an extremely smart kid,” Drogosh explained. “He’s the kind that you only have to tell once and he understands the whole process. . . . Nathan also has the natural curiosity to learn the machines and tools we have here at theCO, making him a perfect candidate for a budding entrepreneur. His dad is always right there to support his projects to completion . . . .”
Nathan is even looking to build a life-changing invention for his dad, who has to wear a speaking valve for his trach 24/7.
“The oxygen delivery is not very efficient when I put the speaking valve on,” Bryan explained. “We figure there's got to be a better way, so why not design it? The people who bring my oxygen supplies each month said to let them know if we figure anything out and that we could even present it to their company for more large-scale production so it could benefit more people.”
The most recent project the Britts have brought to theCO has meaning for their family. As mentioned earlier, Bryan and Nathan used the CNC router to create the Recovery of Life sign for Bryan’s wife, the director of clinical therapy at this local counseling center.
“They outgrew their space and moved locations this spring,” Bryan said. “They needed a sign for the front yard of the house they bought on Highland Avenue. I’m really proud of the work she does there and wanted to volunteer some help. It was a big challenge, but we were excited with the way it turned out!”
More than signs, fidget spinners, and life-changing innovation, the Britts are making memories at theCO. Happy Father’s Day!