Three weekends ago, I took part in a fantastic workshop at the Metrix Create:Space here in Seattle. The workshop was an introduction to electronics, where we learned the basics about voltage and current, along with constructing circuits using resistors, capacitors, and potentiometers. Although I've tinkered with things like Arduino and the Make Controller in the past, this 4 hour workshop gave me a stronger foundation upon which my future tinkering can rest.
The Create:Space is very much a child of the tinkering generation, and the people there have done a commendable job fostering a space where people can come to learn, tinker, break things, and make things. Case in point: just beyond the soldering room and the two MakerBots is the vending machine. Not exceptional at first glance, until you realize this vending machine is stocked with Arduino boards, Wii Nunchucks (cheap accelerometers!), lock-picks, and strawberry Pocky.
Create:Space offers hourly walk-in rates which allow you full access to tools, space, and materials. You can also become a member, which includes all of that, plus time with one of the MakerBots. Never-mind the fact that you're supporting one of the most unique collab spaces in the city.
Their calendar of workshops changes monthly, but if you have any interest in getting your hands dirty with electronics, Arduino and/or Processing, soldering, 3D printing... this is a great place to check out.
We employ many of the same ethos at the HAX lab here at Hornall Anderson, which I think is why I felt so at home at the Create:Space. There's no reason we can't take cues from this great resource in becoming part of the tinkering and making community here in Seattle.
Create:Space website: http://metrixcreatespace.com
Workshop calendar: http://bit.ly/auRtEY