The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

New Maymester course will use makerspace, 3-D printing to teach

The course will be held in BeAM makerspaces and will be an introduction to using the fundamentals of design in a makerspace facility.

Roxana Perez-Mendez, a studio art professor who specializes in sculpture, will teach the class. She said the course will be available for Maymester as well as next spring.

“We’re slowly rolling it out to see: Do we need more materials? Do we need more space? How can students work between various different projects in this collaborative environment of the makerspace?” she said.

Sophomore Liam Kelly said he would be interested in taking the class.

“It sounds really cool and allows for expression in a relatively new medium,” he said. “I would also like to become familiar with 3-D printers, so doing that while expressing myself sounds great.”

Kelly said he has heard about the makerspace facility before.

“I’ve never used makerspace technologies, but I’ve always wanted to,” he said. “I would take the class just for that opportunity.”

Perez-Mendez said students will have the opportunity to use many different types of technology.

“BeAM maker facilities run these makerspaces, have their own staff and provide technical support for students and faculty who utilize those spaces, so you’re able to walk in there with a design idea and they will help facilitate your process,” she said. “So, it’s a great support team, and if one person doesn’t know the answer, someone else will and will be able to help you bring your piece to fruition.”

First-year Ike Crickmore said he would be excited for the opportunity to use makerspace technology.

“I have friends who have made things in makerspaces, and they sound really cool,” he said. “They allow people to make a lot of really awesome things. If I was here this summer, I would definitely take the class.”

He said he is happy the Univeristy is mixing these disciplines.

“Makerspaces are really cool because they allow you to engage with both of those things,” he said.

Perez-Mendez said the course will give students tools that will be useful in the future.

“This class will challenge folks with creative thinking but should also hopefully spark the entrepreneurial spirit and also open students’ minds to their future potential in terms of entering the workforce with a creative background,” she said.

She said she hopes the course will encourage design thinking through hands-on experimentation.

“I think what this course will do is it will help bridge some knowledge gaps that some students may feel they have, like working with these makerspace technologies,” she said. “It will also increase the potential in terms of the number of students who would be interested in utilizing these spaces.”

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