CCC Maker announced the publication of California Community College Makerspace Impact: Implementation Strategies & Inspiring Stories of Transformation which is available online at no charge.
This fourth educational makerspace publication created by CCC Maker describes how community college makerspaces are preparing students to thrive in an innovation economy using students own stories as well as specific implementation summaries from 10 of the colleges participating in the initiative.
… redefining what it means to be well-educated, especially in terms of a swiftly-changing economy demanding a resilient and adaptable workforce
A $17 million grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office enabled a network of CCC Maker colleges to plan and develop unique makerspace communities described in the the CCC Makerspace Impact publication.
“This publication describes the impact of these makerspaces from the student and college perspective,” said Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Associate Dean of Workforce Innovation, Sierra College and Statewide Project Director, CCC Maker.
“With CCC Maker, 24 community colleges developed makerspaces that served more than 64,000 students with the benefit of support from the statewide network and their industry partners. We hope that the legacy of this initiative will be to inspire others to engage their ecosystems and offer educational makerspaces that encourage students to explore, create and connect.”
The following colleges makerspace development strategies are included:
- Allan Hancock;
- Butte College;
- Cabrillo College;
- City College of San Francisco;
- College of the Canyons;
- Folsom Lake College;
- Moorpark College;
- Orange Coast;
- Sacramento City College; and
- Sierra College.
Deborah Bird, Technical Assistance Provider, CCC Maker, explained that CCC Makerspace Impact highlights the experiences of college leaders who took the risk to establish cross-disciplinary hands-on community spaces with digital tools to close the skills gap.
The inspiration is empowering students to look at problems in a different way, to have a different set of possibilities and to give them access to tools
“Successful faculty leads challenged traditional curricular boundaries and pedagogical practices, built community on and off campus, engaged local employers, and encouraged students to initiate projects across disciplines as well as start entrepreneurial ventures,” said Bird. “The CCC Maker network encouraged participating colleges to lead the way in redefining what it means to be well-educated, especially in terms of a swiftly-changing economy demanding a resilient and adaptable workforce.”
According to Zack Dowell, Folsom Lake College Innovation Center Director, the college makerspace is staffed primarily by students. “The inspiration is empowering students to look at problems in a different way, to have a different set of possibilities and to give them access to tools,” said Dowell. “Empowerment manifests itself in a lot of different ways.”
Clare Sadnik, Makerspace Coordinator and Art Instructor, Moorpark College, indicates that in the Moorpark MakerSpace, she’s seen students develop superior skills in problem-solving, troubleshooting, teamwork, spatial awareness, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning. “We were excited that we would be able to give the students more access to equipment and technology,” said Sadnik. “If they come in and make something really easy, like a button, then their eyes start to open and see all the possibilities.”
Nine students also submitted personal essays on their transformative experiences at their respective college makerspaces and these are included in the publication documenting the impact of educational makerspaces.
The thought that an idea that I came up with could appear before my eyes was inspiring.
Ashley Tamori, Interior Architecture major, Butte College, was introduced to the makerspace when a class assignment required that she create a three-dimensional piece revolving around “clan identity.” “As I watched my design go from the computer to being etched on the wood, I remember thinking, ‘Woah, this is amazing!’” said Tamori. “The thought that an idea that I came up with could appear before my eyes was inspiring. That moment is when I realized how beneficial the makerspace could be to me.”
Connor Challis, Mechatronics major, Sierra College, worked with student Mason Sage to build a robotic hand that is programmed in American Sign Language at Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College. “Makerspaces are conducive to learning and experimenting,” said Challis. “Makerspaces offer the freedom and facilities that let you apply all the knowledge you’ve amassed.”