The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide

— Request the Guide

The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide Preparing Students for Jobs of the Future was finalized in early June 2018.

To request a copy of the Makerspace Startup Guide that will be emailed to you, use the form below. If you want to download the summary, click here: Guide Summary

Makerspace Startup Guide — Tips to Build Your Educational Makerspace

Technological advancements across sectors continue to create jobs that require very specific skill sets, but many of our educational institutions are not evolving fast enough to meet this need. The answer lies in integrating hands-on making, digital design and fabrication, and entrepreneurship skills into our current pedagogies and curricula. Growing a statewide network of makerspaces linked to community colleges can help develop a much-needed workforce for what’s being termed the digital or innovation economy.

In 2016, CCC Maker embarked on a six-month journey of guiding and shepherding 34 California community colleges through the Makerspace Startup Process. Colleges identified the needs of their respective communities, mapped out their extended support ecosystems, analyzed their findings, and piloted student and faculty engagement. At the end of this first phase, each college had a plan of action to build a makerspace community on their campus, as well as documentation to support funding applications.

In the spirit of the Maker Movement, we created this guide to walk you through the process. We believe that the Makerspace Startup Process and all we learned from guiding others through it should be open-source and free for all to use. Below is a synopsis of the building blocks of the process covered in the guide. (You can request a copy of the Makerspace Startup Guide at the bottom of this page.)

Institutional Self-Study
Research existing systems, resources, and data, gather knowledge, and analyze your findings. An honest self-assessment is essential to avoiding predetermined outcomes.

Ecosystem Mapping
Look within your community for potential partners, assets, and resources that can help sustain your makerspace. The key is to seek, identify, and map out who and what comprise your ecosystem.

Logic Modeling
What problem are you trying to solve and what pathway do you intend to use to solve it? Map out the most logical pathway with the resources and information gleaned from your institutional self-study and ecosystem map.

Community Outreach
Invite and engage the community to adopt, maximize, and promote the space. Without the support of a community, a makerspace is nothing but a collection of tools, a room of mere potential.

Two of the most crucial elements in preparing students to succeed in the 21st-century job market and workplace are partnerships with area businesses and a robust internship program. Together they help bridge the gap between education and employment.

Designing a Makerspace
Before you even buy any tools, step back and consider the community they’ll serve. Empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test, and empathize once more. Consider all aspects of the makerspace (inside, outside, online, culture).

The Role of Change-Makers
Change maker, facilitator, agent of change, catalyst: Whatever verbiage you use to identify the movers and shakers, those who are bold and charge ahead (often despite the odds), no makerspace would be possible without at least one, if not an entire team of them.

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