Category Archives: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Makerspace Assignments for Existing Courses

At a presentation to our faculty over the summer, we had the opportunity to share some of the awesome ways our makerspace and its tools and equipment can be integrated into a wide range of academic disciplines. Some of what we talked about is on our assignments by subject page.  We were a little worried that all of the new project ideas could be overwhelming, however, especially when many faculty are interested in working with existing courses. In an effort to make things a little easier to digest, we came up with the following:

How to Integrate the Makerspace into your Courses:

  • Look at your courses and think about how a creative assignment or visualization might help in the understanding of a concept, event, place, etc.
  • Think about times during the course when many students had a difficult time understanding or staying engaged with the content and may have benefited from hands-on work or a change of scenery.
  • Do a library database search to find articles about different ways 3D printing & other makerspace tools have been integrated into your discipline.
  • Do a web search to find content about different ways 3D printing & other makerspace tools have been integrated into your discipline.
  • Contact your friendly makerspace coordinators. We have tons of ideas and are happy to chat about them!

It’s even available as an image, if you’d prefer! We know assignment design is a complex process, but we hope these tips can at least make it a little easier for faculty of all academic disciplines to provide high-tech, hands-on coursework for their students.

Innovation and Prototyping Part 2: Composting

A while back, we shared some of the awesome projects the Innovation and Entrepreneurship students created as their final projects. Another one of the projects combined innovation and technology with learning and sustainability. The students called it Roll the Rot, a playful way to learn about composting and STEM. The compost bin would be used along with a curriculum to teach kids about composting. The dodecahedron (12-sided die, or D12) shape, would make it fun for kids to roll around to aerate the compost. When in the early prototyping stage, the students were able to prototype a small-scale model using the 3D printer. A large to-scale prototype was created with the help of a local plastics company.

Early 3D printed prototype


Final molded prototype

Innovation and Prototyping in the Makerspace

Green Plantern created by I&E students Brandon Polanco, Gus Lowry and George Mavrakis

Students from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship course, In Pursuit of Innovation have spent a lot of time in the makerspace this term creating prototypes for some excellent products.

  • We’ve had students combine 3D printing and sewing for a portable shelter,
  • sew a prototype of a more comfortable sports bra,
  • 3D print a prototype compost bin design that makes composting fun for kids
  • design and create belt packs made from new types of durable materials
  • 3D print a prototype aeroponic planter and cut out the logo with the vinyl cutter

The last project listed has even been made into a Kickstarter project! Be sure to check out the Green Plantern by AIRO. The effort and thought put into this project is very impressive. They hope to make indoor gardening more accessible through their compact aeroponics system.Their campaign runs until December 24, 2017.