866-266-7496 mediacommons@psu.edu

by Graham Berg
Media Commons Consultant

MAKEiT was about thinking collaboratively with colleagues and students, learning through making and creating solutions using innovative new tools and practices. 80 faculty and staff attendees from 10 campuses, representing 15 colleges participated in activities like 3D modeling and printing as well as rapid prototyping and learning space design and experimentation.

Breakout sessions for the day included:

3D Printing

The Goal: Design a boat that can hold the most pennies before sinking.

Participants were asked to take an existing 3D model of a boat and – given a few constraints – modify it, and make it their own with an online CAD program called TinkerCAD. At the end of the modeling session, their boats were 3D printed from a MakerBot Replicator to be tested in a friendly competition.

Learning Space Design

The Goal: Design a future learning space that maximizes student engagement and communication.

Using cardboard, paper, and markers, attendees were challenged to envision and create an ideal learning space that best suited needs of both students and faculty.

Rapid Prototyping

The Goal: Design a solution to an educational problem by creating and iterating on a physical design.

In an “Iron Chef style” competition, those in the rapid prototyping session used littleBits, LEGO, and other household materials to construct a tool that could be used to enhance learning, and solve various forms of educational pain points.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Goal: Design solutions for classrooms or everyday living by linking together internet-connected devices and objects.

Participants in the IoT session were given an introduction to a variety of devices and concepts, and given plenty of time for hands-on experience. Using Nexus tablets and technology like Philips Hue Lights and Near Field Communication (NFC), they were able to envision solutions to problems, all aided by this new frontier of connectivity.

Faculty, staff, and students can further explore 3D printing and rapid prototyping at the Maker Commons.