Tech Valley Center of Gravity — Site of the Troy Mini Maker Faire

The Tech Valley Center of Gravity makerspace will be the hub of the Troy Mini Maker Faire. What is TVCOG — or the CoG, as it is referred to? And what is a makerspace?

The CoG is a membership organization offering space, equipment, education and camaraderie to makers, hackers, crafters, tinkerers and artists. Housed in a beautiful new space in a renovated century-old building in downtown Troy, the CoG also sponsors and participates in maker and STEAM-education events all over the New York State Capital Region.

The goal at the CoG is to support members as they share knowledge and expertise that allows people to do for themselves, rather than just passively consuming, and work to integrate the arts, crafts, and technologies that surround us every day. Members can access the makerspace and its tools and equipment, which include 3D printers, laser cutters, and an entire woodshop, metalshop and welding area.

Bob kids soldering

TVCOG offers presentations, classes, workshops, and meet-ups on a myriad of topics from electronics to chainmaille to welding, and the opportunity to network with folks with the same interests, needs and goals. New this year, the CoG is presenting a series of Hackathons, weekend-long events where participants get to compete to create software or devices on a particular theme. The next event in the series on April 16-17 will focus on the next generation of software, applications and technologies applied to virtual and augmented reality.

The CoG also provides support for small business and start-ups in the Capital Region and helps them connect with local leaders, like-minded businesses and individuals, and tools and resources they might not otherwise have access to. Organizations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses can find affordable shared meeting spaces or private Innovation Spaces and other work space. And it is the site of SPECTRVM, a suite of services for community-based business cultivation. Participating businesses have scalable access to world-class services.

Then there is the THINQubator, the kid-centered makerspace-within-a-makerspace. The THINQubator empowers children and families to think, tinker, collaborate, skill-build, design, and “Make” with a capital M. Through hands-on experiences, kids deeply explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math in an engaging, fun format.

Want to learn more about the CoG? You can become a member, or get news and join the discussion on Facebook. You can also attend a general meeting, stop by during a Social Night or other drop-in events, or sign up for a class. Watch the TVCOG calendar to see what’s coming up — and check it out!

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