Makerspace Q & A
Cougar News recently spoke with Dr. Greg Reid, executive director of the CPC Library, about Makerspace. Read on to find out more.
What is Makerspace?
Hitting the ground in the spirit of a high school wood shop or metal shop, Makerspace is a do-it-yourself venue offering high tech and many other kinds of resources. Makerspace users invent, collaborate, make things and learn. Makerspace is an implemented district Innovation Challenge initiative. All Collin College libraries are implementing walk-in, staffed Makerspace venues in 2017. The CPC Makerspace has already launched equipment demonstrations which I lead for visiting classes, after arranging the visits in advance with faculty. The open, walk-in Makerspace usage provision is supplementarily forthcoming here. Because district curriculum integration is a primary Makerspace goal, I am very active in promoting Makerspace to faculty and deans.
When and why did you start the video series?
The YouTube videos are very recent additions to the Makerspace sphere. I began creating them in January to provide Makerspace messages to users, specifically on their time and terms. Given that my in-person class Makerspace demonstrations are by nature one-shot, YouTube archives my Makerspace presentation material for user preview/review. At-large, the videos are district library public relations tools, showcasing the library as a place where intellectual products can not only be consumed, but also, via library Makerspace, created.
Which topics are covered and how many are there?
My demonstration series to date consists of five videos – 3D printer, 3D pen, vinyl cutter, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. The vinyl cutter apparatus is used primarily for sign-making. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are credit card-sized, computer-like boards allowing, among many other functions, user-friendly learning platforms for programming. In all instances, the video content offers background information and explanations of applications relevant to the item in focus.
Who is the target audience, and how long are the videos?
Student users of the equipment are first in mind for me. My aim is to present the Makerspace equipment items palatably, yet energetically and inspire in-person Makerspace visits to use the equipment. I also had the faculty side of things in mind; these videos, for example, can be uploaded to a learning management system course shell. There are also distance learning, lifelong learning and continuing education applications. Three of the videos are under five minutes in duration, and the longest video is under eight minutes.
Can I request a Makerspace video topic?
Users can and do request additional Makerspace equipment from me, so I think a new video topic request is fair and reasonable. Let’s talk.
Would you please share a story about a previous event?
A couple of weeks ago, someone I don’t know, who is unaffiliated with the district, sent me a complimentary note about the Raspberry Pi video after viewing it on YouTube. With comments like that I like to think the video series has helped build our Makerspace brand outside Collin College.
Which is your favorite Makerspace video?
The video for Raspberry Pi may have been the most logistically challenging for me to make, yet is the most rewarding. A bit of background: all my Makerspace video creations to date have been a team effort – my smartphone and me. That’s been the extent of equipment and talent utilized. That Raspberry Pi video has two segments I separately filmed and subsequently merged. Filming the concluding segment had me holding the phone unit as steadily as possible in one hand, while narrating and manipulating the Raspberry Pi software with the other hand. YouTube view count to date for the Raspberry Pi video is outpacing the others.
What are your future plans with Makerspace?
Additional staff and student workers will be hired to assist users and to oversee the Makerspace venue. Open, walk-in Makerspace use provisions will subsequently be initiated. Equipment offerings will be supplemented in part via user suggestions. From that particular feedback loop and other formal user assessment tools I have utilized, Makerspace offerings here have already grown significantly this semester.
Who should people contact for more information?
At CPC, Sue Anne Rische, professor of art, and I are primary Makerspace contacts. At SCC, Linda Kyprios and Nichole Boone are the contacts. At PRC, John Mullin is the contact.
Interesting in learning more? Check out these Makerspace video links.