CCC Makerspaces are Transformative for Students

California community college students will be presenting at the Maker Faire Bay Area on Friday, May 17 in San Mateo CA as well as exhibiting at the CCC Maker booth during the event. They were also the highlight at make/SHIFT — the Makerspace Ecosystem Summit in April. Students become empowered in educational makerspaces by participating in collaborative problem solving, developing in-demand technological skills and demonstrating the entrepreneurial mindset.  

Makerspaces enable diverse, talented individuals to work together to tackle worldwide challenges and change the way we live and work.

Innovation is disrupting society and economic systems at a rapid rate, requiring new skillsets that students can learn at college makerspaces, according to Sierra Community College Superintendent/President Willy Duncan, who led the College Presidents Panel at make/SHIFT — the Makerspace Ecosystem Summit held in Irvine, CA on April 24-26.

Community College makerspaces, which are open to a wide range of students, are one way to equitably prepare people to fill in-demand jobs and solve real world problems.

Advancements in physical, digital and biological technology are driving this era of revolutionary change. “As a result, there has been a shift in the skills needed for future employment,” Duncan noted. “Although this represents opportunity for those prepared to fill the new jobs and improved quality of life for all, it can fracture society by widening the skills gap and possibly create greater inequality,” he explained, citing the work of Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder/Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, and author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Community College makerspaces, which are open to a wide range of students, are one way to equitably prepare people to fill in-demand jobs and solve real world problems,” said Duncan. “Through project-based, collaborative learning experiences in college makerspaces, students develop effective communication skills, learning agility, analytical thinking and perseverance, which are skills identified as necessary to adapt to the demands of 21st century workplace.”

To connect educators seeking new ways to develop  students’ entrepreneurial mindset and innovation skills, California Community College Makerspace initiative (CCC Maker) and the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) hosted the make/SHIFT Summit, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College Associate Dean of Workforce Innovation and Statewide Project Director, CCC Maker.

Seeing the student impact was a gratifying result of building the first statewide network of community college makerspaces.

“Nearly 250 attendees from across the country agreed that makerspaces are transformative for students, faculty and community partners,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “A highlight of the event was the series of presentations from 19 student makers who became entrepreneurs, discovered new skills that changed their career plans and became empowered to innovate. Student makers demonstrated the power of community college makerspaces to be life-changing. Seeing the student impact was a gratifying result of building the first statewide network of community college makerspaces.”

So we have to remove obstacles and help others ask how they make it possible to build a college makerspace community

Dale Dougherty, Founder & CEO, Maker Media and chair of the CCC Maker advisory committee, commended the colleges that have been leaders in building makerspaces in his keynote address. “Now we are seeing the acceleration of change and it’s time to invite more people to participate,” said Dougherty. “Students remember more when they are actively engaged in a learning experience. So we have to remove obstacles and help others ask how they make it possible to build a college makerspace community.”

The first make/SHIFT Summit was a tremendous success, according to Rebecca Corbin, President and CEO, NACCE. “The energy and enthusiasm showed how eager educators are to prepare students with maker and entrepreneurial skills need to succeed in today’s economy,” said Corbin. “NACCE is excited to support the growing national community of maker educators.”

Stephanie Santoso, Director of Maker Initiatives, US2020, indicated that the students’ makerspace projects have the potential to improve our society in her keynote address. “Community college makerspaces are incubators for new ideas and promising solutions to important problems,” said Santoso. “Makerspaces enable diverse, talented individuals to work together to tackle worldwide challenges and change the way we live and work.”

She also announced the Make for All national call to make a commitment to maker education (https://www.makeforall.org/commitments). “Joining a national movement serves as an opportunity to build momentum in your community,” said Santoso. “Go to the Make for All website to make a commitment that will grow the number and variety of organizations and institutions who are working with you to support maker-centered learning.” The commitments will be announced during the Nation of Makers Conference (NOMCON) Conference, June 14-16, 2019 in Chattanooga.

As an open source for maker educators, CCC Maker posts materials on the initiative website (https://cccmaker.com/) including videos about college makerspaces, a Startup Guide and hundreds of college blog posts describing college makerspace activities, curriculum, student projects and community outreach.

Meet CCC Maker colleges and student representatives at the Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo on Friday, May17 from 1-4 PM at the Meeting Pavilion, Center Stage and at booth 70058 during the three day event.



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