As one of the best engineering colleges in the nation, Mines excels in the classrooms at teaching engineering theory. However, subpar workspace and workshops limit the innovation of students. Maker’s Society was created to improve and connect the existing workspaces on campus.
Makers society was formed last year and aims to spur innovative thinking, designing, and prototyping on campus. Up to this semester, their impact has been limited.
“We tried to offer workshops; how to machine, how to 3d print, how to solder, stuff like that. Just hands on skills that we aren’t taught in class,” Founder and President Frank Musick said. “One of the issues we are having, is just having dedicated space. A lot of what we do requires equipment and an area to work on projects.”
President Paul Johnson is in support of the initiative.
“We want to have this hub, a hub that understands what’s going on on campus and tries to support and look for lever relationship between everything going,” President Johnson said.
Prior to spring break, space in the annex was allocated to Maker’s Society to implement they’re plans.
“This space in the EPIC’s annex opened up. They’re going to renovate that back space,” Musick said. “They are going to open it up to the students and the Maker’s Society is going to run it. It’s going to be student managed. Hopefully, run by the students for the students, and give the students 24/7 access. We’re currently trying to get feedback from the students so the space properly represents the need of the students. We want to make it a hub to really connect all the resources already on campus. Be able to say, alright, cool! You have this initial design done. Now go to this place, see this person, learn to use this piece of equipment, and move on from there. They can still utilize our space, but really the goal is to connect all the resources on campus. Right now it seems like everyone’s trying to do the same thing but no one is talking to each other.”
Looking past their current success Maker’s society plans to use their current momentum to receive space in the library once it goes under renovation. Frank explained, “The space is going to be a pilot. It’s going to be a pilot space to demonstrate the need to donors and to the mines community that this kind of space really is needed.”
“We want to help the innovation within student’s blossom and provide them that opportunity,” President Johnson said.
President Johnson looks forward to the future of Maker’s Space. He said he is excited to see students take ownership of their campus.
“We would like to create a network that is run by the student,” President Johnson said. “Here’s your point of contact in administration. But we want you to run it and make sure that it is constantly changing.”
Students can expect for this space developed by fall 2016. The space will be located in the EPICS Annex. To get involved, join Innovation Fellowship, or Maker’s Society.