About Us

Founded by Makers. Founded by Parents.

While Director of the Design Communications program in the Architecture School at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Bit Space founder and life-long maker Thomas Kearns realized that he could explain a significant portion of what he taught at the college level to his kindergarten-age daughter. Thomas met co-founder Manoj Mahenthiran through a meet-up with the families of that same kindergarten class, and together they launched Bit Space’s first youth-only maker lab in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago in 2015.

A Focus on Hands-On Learning

Bit Space is Chicagoland’s premier maker lab for kids and teens–a place where they can learn to use real tools to build real things. Students work with our guides to learn how to use hand tools, power tools, electronics, robotics, 3d printers, laser cutters, CNC milling machines, computer modeling and design software, computer game development software, virtual reality, and new media to design and build just about anything. We try to live up to our goal of inspiring and guiding the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers by teaching kids and teens to be producers rather than consumers of technology. Our guides are experts from the fields of architecture, design, engineering, and computer programming.

More Than Just a Makerspace

We’ve expanded our mission to bring our unique blend of knowledge and experience to schools around the country. We’re launching a comprehensive maker curriculum, allowing educators to bring design and making into their classroom. We offer a wide variety of professional development and training for educators to support the curriculum. In addition, we are launching a line of modular furniture designed specifically for school makerspaces, and we can custom design a makerspace to fit your school’s curricular goals. We aim to be the one-stop shop for every aspect of K-12 maker education.

“We formed a partnership to have our faculty and students work with Bit Space in the design and buildout of our spaces. We worked closely with their team to make the design and building process a learning experience for everyone. We explored ideas and options while working to meet deadlines. Through it all, Bit Space shared their expertise from other settings to inform our choices.”
Charlie Ableman
University of Chicago, Laboratory Schools