Makerspace opens door to students’ creativity

6 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine Libraries have a rich history of providing vital services to communities. Despite more people finding information online, people are still interested in preserving libraries as key components to community growth and development. This is never more evident than on a college campus, and Northern Maine Community College has added a unique twist.

Last semester, The Edmunds Library at NMCC launched a new “Makerspace” to support this effort. The new collaborative workspace is designed for learning, exploring and sharing, and uses tools from high-tech to no-tech.

“The new space is available to students, faculty and staff and is equipped with a 3D printer, virtual reality software and headset, Adobe Creative Cloud software, color printer and Camtasia software,” said Gail Roy, assistant dean of learning resources. “Students will be able to access this new lab and use these resources to learn, experiment, discover, create, design and share.”

These spaces help prepare those who need the critical 21st-century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  They provide hands-on learning, help with critical thinking skills and foster creativity.

These keychains were designed by the Precision Machining Technology students at Northern Maine Community College using the Edmunds Library’s 3D printer. (Courtesy of NMCC)

“We are excited about the possibilities these tools will offer to enhance student learning outside of the classroom,” she said.

Roy said Chris Perry, systems specialist I and adjunct instructor at NMCC, was instrumental in the development of the Makerspace.

“Chris advised us on purchasing the equipment, set up the new equipment, tested it and trained library and college staff,” said Roy.

She also thanked the entire NMCC IT staff and Pamela Buck, NMCC chairperson of the Trade and Tech Department, for their work in creating and providing support to the Makerspace.

At a grand opening event introducing the Makerspace, NMCC Precision Metals Technology students Jonathan Fink, Andrew Dusablon and Robert Hill designed 3D printed NMCC keychains to demonstrate capabilities of the printer.

Makerspaces are also fostering entrepreneurship and are being utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups.  

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