Makerspaces are ready for the taking!

Have you seen the Makerspaces in the new Central Courtyard building? Or rather their placeholders as they are yet to be claimed and used by creative minds and hands. Interested? Now is the time to get in touch!

What are makerspaces?

Makerspaces are ‘workshop-type’ places that can be used for design, prototyping, running events and challenges, teacher-training, etc. The first one opened about 20 years ago at, you guessed it, MIT and since then a growing number of universities worldwide added Makerspaces to their infrastructure (Niaros, Kostakis, & Drechsler, 2017).

Fast forward 20 years, and most Sydney-based universities now seem to have Makerspaces (e.g. UNSW, UTS, Western Sydney University). It is exciting that MQ students, too, have a central place now for individual or group projects.

Makerspaces potential

Makerspaces hold a lot of potential. Prior research suggests that Makerspaces can make learning more authentic (Martinez & Stager, 2013), promote self-directed and collaborative learning(Hynes & Hynes, 2018) thanks to peer-to-peer and social environment (Pettersen, Kubberød, Vangsal, & Zeiner, 2019).

Makerspaces also can enhance student and staff experience (O’Connell, 2015) and promote innovation (Dos Santos & Benneworth, 2019).

Finally, Makerspaces have also been reported to have both practical and socio-emotional benefits; specifically, they seem to have improved students’ creative competencies (Saorín et al., 2017) , self-efficacy and confidence in their design ability (Hilton, Tomko, Murphy, Nagal, & Linsey, 2018).

Although currently being used by students for study spaces, the Makerspace rooms have so much more potential.

Do you have an idea on how you could use this room?

Stake your claim today!

So, if you or your colleagues might benefit from using these spaces – do not hold back. Get in touch with Craig Oliver from Property (Asset Manager, Learning and Teaching).

Email: craig.oliver@mq.edu.au

Makerspace rooms are currently equipped with stainless steel benches with stools and have capacity for up to 30 people.

Bring your own equipment and materials and get creative with your students!

References

Dos Santos, E. F., & Benneworth, P. (2019). Makerspace for skills development in the industry 4.0 era. Brazilian Journal of Operations & Production Management, 16(2), 303-315.

Hilton, E., Tomko, M., Murphy, A., Nagal, R., & Linsey, J. (2018). Impacts on design self-efficacy for students choosing to participate in a university makerspace. Paper presented at the DS 89: Proceedings of The Fifth International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2018), University of Bath, Bath, UK.

Hynes, M. M., & Hynes, W. J. (2018). If you build it, will they come? Student preferences for Makerspace environments in higher education.

International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 28(3), 867-883. doi:10.1007/s10798-017-9412-5.

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn. Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. Torrance, Canada: Construting Modern Knowledge.

Niaros, V., Kostakis, V., & Drechsler, W. (2017). Making (in) the smart city: The emergence of makerspaces. Telematics and Informatics, 34(7), 1143-1152. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2017.05.004.

O’Connell, B. (2015). Going from curious to maker: New user experiences in a university makerspace. Paper presented at the VentureWell. Proceedings of Open, the Annual Conference.

Pettersen, I. B., Kubberød, E., Vangsal, F., & Zeiner, A. (2019). From making gadgets to making talents: exploring a university makerspace. Education+ Training.

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