U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan and Chevron Officially Opened a New Makerspace at the Aktobe American Corner

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On June 23, 2023 at 11.00 a.m., the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan and Chevron, in cooperation with the S. Baishev Aktobe Oblast Universal Scientific Library, officially opened a new Makerspace at the Aktobe American Corner. 

The U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Daniel Rosenblum, Chevron Eurasia Business Unit Managing Director Derek Magness, and Akim of Aktobe Oblast Yeraly Tugzhanov participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony opening the new Makerspace at the Aktobe American Corner. 

Over fifty guests, including high school and university students, young inventors from all over Aktobe region, educators from secondary schools and academic institutions, USG alumni, and representatives of the Aktobe region education and culture departments attended the opening. Participants of local robotics competitions presented on STEAM-themed topics.  Aktobe high school students showcased their inventions and innovative projects.

The Makerspace, a concept which originated in 2005 in California, USA, is a collaborative workspace, where audiences learn by making, exploring, and sharing ideas. Makerspaces promote skills and learning that lie at the intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) domains.

Ambassador Rosenblum said at the opening, ”Makerspaces have played an important role in supporting STEAM learning for Kazakhstan’s youth, investing in their futures so that they can contribute to Kazakhstan’s development as a leader in science, technology, and entrepreneurship.”

”It is very important to Chevron that we do not limit our investments only to the oil and gas industry. Together with our partners – government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, and universities, Our Goal is to continually enhance Human Capital, through making investments in people. People are the most precious resource we have. Since 1994, Chevron has contributed about $500 million in social investment, initiating more than 400 projects with more than 30 community partners. We support development programs that reach out to thousands of children, teachers and trainers from both urban and rural schools,” said Chevron’s Derek Magness. 

“The creativity center has opened to engage children and youth, to provide them with vocational skills, and opportunities for employment, expand the choice of options in these important domains. We are grateful to everyone who has participated in the implementation of this project aimed at supporting the creative endeavors of our young citizens,” said akim Tugzhanov in his speech.

Makerspace Aktobe is a remarkable lab for creativity. Future users of the Aktobe Makerspace will have a unique opportunity to develop hands-on skills in 3D printing, robotics, electronics, and science experiments. They will be able to use various gadgets and STEAM supplies, benefit from workshops and training programs in computer coding, tinkering, soldering, and more. This platform will engage children, youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds. All programs and workshops at the Aktobe Makerspace are open to the public and free of charge. 

The Aktobe Makerspace is the sixth one opened in Kazakhstan by the U.S. Embassy in partnership with Chevron, in addition to the five existing Makerspaces in Almaty, Astana, Oskemen, Pavlodar, and Oral. In 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan and Chevron entered a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement that aims to bring fully equipped Makerspaces to ten cities across Kazakhstan in an effort to empower local youth through access to 21st century skills. 

Source: U.S Embassy