From our vantage point – the software running 3D printers – we get to see the coolest developments almost in real time.
We get to see new products evolving that will change the world. We get to see businesses taking production back to the local market. And we get to meet talented people who are making an impact every day.
Some of those people are setting up their schools and educational facilities to train the oncoming generation. These academics are building the most impressive makerspaces you can imagine.
Some are building from the ground up, after lining up the resources to do so, while others are retrofitting classrooms, basements, and any spot they can find to create these innovation zones.
We would love to recognize some of these schools and the people behind them. If your school – or your teacher – has gone above and beyond to create a hackerspace for you to learn and explore, to hone your skills and develop new ones – please let us know!
Of course we find the 3D print labs to be fascinating, but a good makerspace will often also include a woodshop, a metal shop, an electronics lab. You’ll find some sort of flex space too – we’ve heard rave reviews of creator rooms with quiet zones for research, for planning, for thinking – and then collaboration zones for sharing ideas, for hashing out plans on whiteboards, for critical thinking.
Another key feature schools build into the design is accessibility. Universities want their makerspace to be loved and used. While some may reasonably have limits or fees, others are open to any student, staff or faculty member – without even charging for materials used such as the 3D printer filament.
Often the students have a hand in running the makerspace, too. Training is provided to use the tools and equipment safely, and students that want to are trained to become trainers themselves.
And that’s what we love seeing! Consider the possibilities for a few minutes. Teams of students, working together, on projects as varied as they are themselves – with the tools, equipment, and mentors available to help them see them through to fruition. Experience gained they’ll be able to use far into their post-graduate life.
So again – give a shout-out to your school or teacher! Tell us about your experience. What did you build? What did you love about the makerspace? What would you improve if you could? Use the form below to submit your nomination!