Author Archives: Angela Vanden Elzen

Makerspace in the News

Our awesome Communications department has been putting together some great content about the makerspace!

Video: This is Lawrence- Makerspace

Blog Post: 2 Minutes With… Kelvin Maestre

Kelvin Maestre ’21, watches as a laser cutter starts its work on a piece of wood in the Makerspace on the first floor of the Seeley G. Mudd Library. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Thanks to our Communications friends for helping us spread the news about the Lawrence University Makerspace!

PLAY MAKE LEARN: Making and Gaming in the Liberal Arts

Poster that includes a venn diagram in the center with a circle for library, makerspace, and game studies, with access to resources, critical media literacy, and technology literacy in the overlaps. Tools to understand the world is in the middle where all circles overlap.
Click on the image to zoom in Flickr, or click here to view a high resolution version.

I (Angela) recently had the opportunity to attend PLAY MAKE LEARN on the UW-Madison campus. It is an excellent annual conference that represents the intersection of a lot of what I do here at Lawrence University- with library instruction, teaching in the makerspace, and teaching game studies. This prompted me to submit a poster to visualize how all of these intersect and share some common themes that are crucial skills for today’s learners. The idea of seemingly different areas of study coming together reminded me of the goal of liberal arts education- so I named my poster “Making and Gaming in the Liberal Arts.” It was wonderful to talk with so many technologists, librarians, K-12 educators, professors, game designers, and graduate students during the poster session (and throughout the conference). While looking at this poster, one librarian pointed out that the library often plays a large role in technology literacy. While those are not connected on the diagram in the poster, I certainly agreed with her. Another librarian commented that perhaps the library on the top could be seen as an umbrella- which I decided was intentional. 🙂

PLAY MAKE LEARN was a rewarding and engaging conference, and I look forward to returning next year!

Makerspaces & Pedagogy: How (and Why) to Integrate the Makerspace into Your Courses

Interested in adding 3D printing and other makerspace tools to your courses, but not sure how? Below is a presentation delivered to Lawrence University faculty about some of the whys and hows of using the LU makerspace with coursework.

View the full presentation (with notes) in Google Slides

Here’s a general outline of the presentation:

  • What is a makerspace and what’s in our makerspace?
  • Why makerspaces?
    • Hands-On, Kinesthetic, Active Learning
    • Problem Solving Process
    • Differentiation of Learning
    • Prepare for Work
    • Wellness
    • Engaged Learning at Lawrence University
  • Challenges of educational makerspaces
  • Examples of uses from projects at LU and elsewhere by discipline/general subject area
    • Studio Art
    • Art History
    • Theatre Arts
    • Film Studies
    • Math & Computer Science
    • Music
    • Humanities
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology & Neuroscience
    • Sciences
    • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Things made by students outside of classwork
  • Things made by student organizations and campus departments
  • Where to find this stuff?
    • 3D print search engines & general repositories
    • Lesson plans
  • Designing
  • How to go about adding this stuff to your classes
  • Discussion

Since we presented this, we’ve also worked on a couple more ways to help faculty add the makerspace tools and equipment to their courses and research:

  • Makerspace Assignment Request Form: By letting us know about the intended learning outcomes and equipment they’d like to use, we can do some research and set up a time to meet to discuss assignment ideas.
  • Faculty 3D Printing Request Form: We’re happy to print objects that faculty may need for their teaching or scholarly/creative work. While faculty are welcome to come over and do their own printing, we know that sometimes this isn’t possible.
One slide from the presentation. Image links to the Google Slide of the full presentation.

More Virtual Reality at Lawrence University!


“One of the reasons I did that project was not only to explore my interest in it but also to give Lawrence the chance to pioneer in an art medium and form that not many schools are doing yet.”
Christopher Gore-Gammon ’17, on creating with virtual reality

There have been lots of exciting new projects and class assignments happening with VR (virtual reality) at Lawrence University! Take a look at the recent Lawrence University News post, “Use of VR tech now reality in classrooms; FaCE grant to ramp up pace” to learn all about them!