A couple of weeks ago, Nathaniel (student) set out to replace a (mysteriously) missing piece of his car with a 3D printed part. He carefully measured the remaining bit, modeled the replacement using Tinkercad, which is really accessible and easy to use.  He then printed the replacement part using an Ultimaker 3, which took all of 22 minutes.

After a few minor modifications with the Dremel…

Minor Modifications

…a good fit was achieved…

Replacement Part

…and the car was fixed!

Piece in Place

It’s especially satisfying to see 3D printing used to empower people to solve real-world problems.

On Friday, May 5, the Innovation Center Makerspace Student Advisory group held a planning retreat in the Innovation Center Makerspace.  Rebekah, Nathaniel, CJ and Nicole are four of the college’s most engaged students, and they have been actively involved in the growth and development of our makerspace.

Innovation Center Makerspace Student Advisory Retreat

After some general discussion about planning mechanics – we agreed to continue using Slack (for team communication), Google Drive (for document sharing), and Asana (for project and task management) as our planning and communication toolset – we moved through some brainstorming and discussion in the areas of Operations, Marketing and Outreach, and Makerspace Programs, all in preparation for our fall opening, and all against the backdrop of the statewide CCC Maker Grant.

On the Operations thread, we talked about onboarding of new students, facility and machine access issues, safety and training, facility usage tracking, and protocols around equipment upkeep, maintenance, and supplies.

Moving on to Marketing and Outreach, we discussed the development of an Innovation Center Makerspace brand, including logo, typography, colors and a style guide, and an outreach plan, including the potential for a “makerspace student ambassador” program, classroom presentations, involvement of student clubs and organizations, and activities leading up to our grand opening event in the fall.

Finally, we did some brainstorming around the theme of Makerspace Programming, and generated ideas including hosting coding and other bootcamps, eSports tournaments, mini Maker Faire participation, 1st Friday “What I Make” sessions, the proposed Makers in Residence program, and integration with Science Center and other collegewide activities (like the recent cyanotype activity, March for Science sign making, Social Justice Spring event, and International Workers’ Day march and ceremony).

Feeding our planning efforts are the data from a survey adapted by Nathaniel and Rebekah from one Sierra College has used in their own makerspace planning efforts.  We’re still analyzing the survey results, but my favorite response so far, in answer to a question about what students find appealing about makerspaces:

“Real life application.  We study so much theory and it would be nice to engineer something.”

The student voice is critical in the development of makerspace programs, services, and culture, and we’re lucky to have such a dedicated and engaged group of students to help guide our growth.

The pieces we ordered to build the volumetric display for Chemistry visualization finally arrived!  With the help of CJ, Nathan, and Rebekah (students), Max (Chemistry) got everything cabled up…

Assembly

Using bits from our original prototype, Max fired up a molecule, and it works!

Prototype, a Long Time in the Making

In order to better enjoy the three dimensional holographic molecules, we quickly cooked up a little blanket fort…

Building the Fort

Be Present

It Works!

Now that we have the parts in place, we can move on to developing the enclosure and making the system portable. It’s great to have the space, tools, and people to be able to turn good ideas into working prototypes, and we’re looking forward to making quick progress on this one (finally).

The Royal Chicano Air Force, a collective of local artists, educators, and activists helped the college celebrate International Workers’ Day with a “Making Art, Making Change” event in the Innovation Center Makerspace, followed by a march across campus and a ceremony and film screening.

Stan and his crew arrived in the morning, and set to work preparing the space for communal art making, based on this conceptual sketch…

Concept Sketch

Students from two of Josh Fernandez’s (English) classes did some painting…

Black Lives Matter

and some Ojos de Dios making…

Los Ojos

The crew posed for a picture…

Art Crew

after which a drummer (and a conch player!) arrived to lead us in a procession across campus, bathed in copal smoke…

Drummer Leading

The banner turned out beautifully!

Marching!


More photos from the event…

Taylor and Zainub and Jeremy and CJ (students) and Diane Carlson (Sociology) and I collaborated on a display to accompany the culminating event of the college’s Social Justice Spring events.

Here Taylor and Zainub are creating a physical (and metaphorical) wall from felt and fabric…

Wall Making

We remixed Shepard Fairey’s “We the People” series, then used the vinyl cutter to create large stickers. Diane and I preparing a sticker for transfer…

Sticker Making

…and Diane and Jeremy laying out the words for the display.

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Here’s the wall, about to be torn down…

The Big Reveal

…and here’s the final result, beautifully back-lit:

All Three Panels

A great and powerful wrap-up for an important month-long series of activities. I’m proud of our college!

Earlier this week, Diane Carlson (Sociology) and I held a preview event for Making Social Change, our Sociology + Making course, as part of FLC’s Social Justice Spring events. We decided to create some drop spindles and spin some yarn, based on an activity Erica Tyler (Anthropology) developed as part of last summer’s Making Across the Curriculum faculty professional development program.

We cut the whorls using the laser cutter (which has been christened “Danger Scissors”)…

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Note the engraved design, inspired by Gandhi’s spinning wheel.  Diane cut the dowels using a good old-fashioned chop saw…

Sawhat

…after which she and Erica taught us how to turn wool into yarn.

Drop Spindling

We also walked students through some other digital fabrication techniques, using the same spinning wheel motif source file to create objects using the Carvey, vinyl cutter, and 3D printer.  Looking forward to helping bring this course to life in the fall!

Friday last, Max Mahoney (Chemistry) and Amy Brinkley (Library) hosted a sign making event in the Innovation Center, in preparation for last weekend’s March for Science in Sacramento, and Max shared these photos:

March for Science Sign Makering!

March for Science Sign Makering!

It’s great to see the space filled with students and faculty, making things.

Some photos from the very successful cyanotype photography activity Max Mahoney (Chemistry) and Christa Oberth (Chemistry) and Heike Schmid (Art) led last week, using using the exposure boxes we built…

A view of the internals, and the wiring harness, which was scavenged from a PC power supply:

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Max attaching a heat sink to the light bar. We finished the final box at about 1:45 PM, and the activity started at 2!

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The boxes lined up in the Chemistry lab:

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Fired up and working – students developing their prints:

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A view through the fan port:

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My kodama print:

2017-04-08_09-49-54

We were initially worried about the LEDs heating up, but the fans – poached from some recycled external CPU cooling units, and heat sinks, also from the parts bin – pulled so much air that the aluminum bars (themselves functioning as heat sinks) to which the LEDs were attached were entirely cool to the touch throughout the whole process. The LEDs in these particular units are super bright and powerful, and students were very pleased with the resolution, detail, consistency, and intensity of the finished prints.

The laser was installed yesterday, and while makerspaces are more about culture, community, and possibilities than they are about machines, this thing sure is a sweet machine. 🙂

Laser Learning

Following the install and orientation, we spent the better part of the day cutting, engraving and scoring wood, paper, and acrylic.  Once we got the hang of it, CJ (student) and I decided to push the machine with a test cut through 3/4″ pine.

Ryan and Rick (foreground above) assure me that this much flaring is normal, especially with material this thick (and without air assist, which we’ll probably be adding as funding permits).

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On Thursday, March 16, I facilitated an activity about Equity in the Re/Design of Makerspaces as part of a CCC Maker training about New World of Work.   Presentation materials below…

Slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Zfpj34dwmmuU7bPEU4YmNOKWqH6ZfbPkn1MiquVbcWs/edit?usp=sharing

Re/Sources:
National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2017. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2017. Special Report NSF 17-310. Arlington, VA.
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/

Vossoughi, S., Hooper, P. K., & Escudé, M. (2016). Making Through the Lens of Culture and Power: Toward Transformative Visions for Educational Equity. Harvard Educational Review, 86(2), 206-232.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fa5b/4e88c78f380b4727d445afa33bea5212a21d.pdf

2016 Student Success Scorecard – California Community Colleges
http://scorecard.cccco.edu/scorecard.aspx

Stanford University d.school
https://dschool.stanford.edu/resources

Sarah Kuhn – Professor Department of Psychology & Center for Women and Work, University of Massachusetts Lowell
https://seadnetwork.wordpress.com/white-paper-abstracts/final-white-papers/thinking-with-things-feeling-your-way-into-stem/
http://thinkingwiththings.com/

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