Makerspace Makes a Positive Impact on Learning

By: Ron McFarland, Ph.D., Dean, School of Applied Technologies

The Makerspace lab at College of the Canyons is equipped with various hand tools and state of the art technology to assist students with learning soldering skills, 3D design, printing and scanning, laser cutting and engraving, robotics, Raspberry Pi/Arduino (small computers) and CNC router capabilities.

Makerspace comes to the College of the Canyons

The College of the Canyons is currently participating in the State-wide Community College Chancellor’s office “CCC Maker” grant initiative. Further, COC is contributing to the statewide Community College Community of Practice for Makerspaces around the state. In addition, COC is actively working with the K-12 schools and industries around the Santa Clarita Valley to form a consortium of Makerspaces in the valley.

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Inspiration for the COC Makerspace

The Makerspace project was inspired from the directive of the Chancellor, Dr. Van Hook, due to the need to implement new ways of teaching in the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) areas. Supporting the inspiration is a national movement to integrate teaching, learning, and engaged activities done in a collaborative way that will ultimately lead to greater student success and job placement.

Community and Student Involvement

Makerspace is designed to foster community involvement, robust teaching and learning, and teacher and student engagement in a robust, engaging environment that provides support to learners in terms of resources, technical assistance, the physical space, and collaboration. We have offered discussions and hands-on experiences in Raspberry Pi/Python programming, Drone Technology, Robotics, and “3D Printing for Instructors”.