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TXWES Makers Lab: Faculty Uses

How can I use this in my classroom?

It helps to develop a vocabulary that emphasizes the larger learning principles at work:  iterative design, prototyping, STEM learning, design thinking, creativity, problem solving, etc. Now consider how these principles fit your courses.



Subject Areas

Have your class write a business plan for a potential business, pitch their idea, etc. Have the students use the maker lab to develop a prototype of their product. This ties in nicely with the larger library (reference, circulation, etc.): They come to the research desk to gather demographics about their potential customers, they visit the writing center to learn how to write a convincing proposal, they can make a video or practice their business pitch in our small group rooms, then they create an example of their product in the maker lab.  Often, they must revise their plan, which sends them back for more information, better design improvements, etc.

The science and technology community have thrived in makerspaces. Many people assume that STEM users are the only people with uses for the technology in those labs! Most common academic library use: Prototyping on the 3D printer!

  • Design educational games for use in the classroom
  • Use the laser cutter to etch a game board or to make pieces
  • Create and propose after school programs that could be held in the lab and hosted by students
  • MakerBot Certification course ($99)

Various classes study nature writing or works where setting is important.  They study authors who regularly journal, then the students create their own journals in the maker lab, binding paper into a book, sewing a leather cover, and maybe engraving the cover with something personal to them.

  • Create a custom design for a piece of fabric
  • Design a stamp to print on the 3D printer and then use to stamp various materials



Cross Pollinate! Partner with students with other majors to develop an idea: “We’ve been able to pull business students into our program,” Raderstorf says. “Even if you don’t have an idea, a nurse and pre-med student might have one, but they need someone with a business background to round out their team. So we’re really able to help mentor them and build their network.” (VentureWell, 2017)