CCC Maker Northern Region Meet-up Held in at Hacker Lab, Rocklin

CCC Maker held a Regional Meet-up in Rocklin, hosted by Hacker Lab, powered by Sierra College, on March 3rd. Over 25 representatives from 6 CCC maker Colleges participated along with the CCC Maker project team.

Teams from participating colleges heard presentations from Katie Lucero and Jonathon Schwartz of Sierra College on integrating math in making, Dan Casas-Murray from Hacker Lab on digital badging and the project team on the progress of the CCC Maker initiative.

They also toured the newly opened Rocklin facility and participated in hands-on maker activities including metal work and welding and virtual painting in the VR studio. At 16,000 square feet, the new Hacker Lab includes metal and wood working shops, laser cutting and 3D printing stations, electronics and textile work areas and large co-working spaces and project collaboration areas.

During the workshop portion, CCC Maker college team members worked together with representatives from other colleges. Following a design thinking methodology customized for CCC Maker, they shared the challenges of planning a makerspace linked to their college and suggested ways to make their makerspaces responsive to their regional ecosystem.

To help colleges prepare to take their initial research from the self-study and ecosystem maps into a plan, Amy Schulz from NACCE (National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship) was on hand to offer technical assistance with the Kumu ecosystem mapping application. Teams also followed a process facilitated by the Technical Assistance Providers, Deborah Bird and Salomon Davila to identify the unique opportunities and challenges in their particular community. Examples of opportunities and resources included strong support from the arts in several districts, a new funded drone program, a strong faculty turnout in other colleges. Teams also shared their challenges, realizing in the process that their constraints could actually be used to advantage in their makerspace planning. For example, a small space can become a base to create a maker culture that unites a larger network of existing facilities. A temporary space can free up a college to concentrate on creating community to build capacity in preparation for the larger space on the horizon.

As part of the design thinking approach, college teams defined their problem statement then went on to generate possible strategies for makerspace solutions, called ‘prototypes’, in order to test their ideas about maker curriculum, building an inclusive maker communities, offering student internships and work based learning, and participating with other colleges in a Community of Practice. Teams shared their strategies with an enthusiastic audience, sharing ideas with names like ‘The Ripple’, ‘Maker Mash’ and ‘No Free Lunch’, to great encouragement and constructive feedback. Finally, the colleges committed to follow-up meetings and growing their community of practice within the Northern Region.

Photos by Deborah Bird

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