Makerspaces Take Root at California Community Colleges

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Makerspaces Take Root at California Community Colleges

If you want evidence that the Maker Movement is creating positive change in education, if you want to see the benefit of makerspaces serving a diverse group of young people who truly value these learning experiences, if you want to see the power of students, faculty and community groups coming together to create and cooperate, then take a look at the California Community Colleges who participated in the CCC Maker program and watch the videos below.  I’ve been proud to be involved in this effort.  Please come meet students and faculty from many of these community colleges at Maker Faire Bay Area

The following summary of the program was written by Karen Fraser-Middleton, Communications Director for CCC Maker

-Dale Dougherty

Could you make a surfboard out of shrimp shells? Can you grow pots for plants out of fungus? What kind of fashions can be created from recycled materials? What could you make to help a musician with cerebral palsy hit the desired keys on a keyboard? These are problems that California Community College students are exploring as a result of their colleges building makerspace communities with funding from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

Through the CCC Maker initiative, a network of 24 college makerspaces emerged in less than three years, each reflecting their unique local communities and responding to the diverse needs of the students, faculty members, makers, partners and employers.  Now, a series of seven videos were developed and they will premier on April 24, 2019 at make/SHIFT, A Makerspace Ecosystem Summit hosted by CCC Maker and the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) in Irvine CA. These makerspaces were the result of the grassroot efforts of students, faculty and community groups who collaborated to grow the maker culture at community colleges.

Through inclusive, welcoming makerspaces, California Community Colleges are now offering new interdisciplinary curricula embedded with making, connecting with partners to deliver internships that make students ready for dynamic careers and demonstrating the value of offering access to making for all students.  These makerspaces are creating opportunities for more young people to develop the skills and mindset for them to become makers, that is, to be innovative, creative and technical.

Below are the seven videos, each one telling the story of the development of the makerspace at a particular community college in California. The videos were produced by Michelle Zamora who was a student at Sacramento City College and member of the college’s makerspace team.  After Michelle produced a video for the Sac City Makerspace, the CCC Maker initiative engaged Michelle to produce videos that looked at the diverse range of approaches community colleges took to integrate making into their culture. Michelle herself emerged as an entrepreneur, a testament to the opportunities that arise from a vibrant statewide collegiate maker community.

The Central Coast Maker Network: A Network of Internal & External Partners

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City College of San Francisco: Connecting & Empowering Students through MakerSPHERE

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The Innovation Center at Folsom Lake College: Making Across the Curriculum

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Butte College Create Space Maker Lab: Taking students from Creation to Career 

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Cabrillo College Fab Lab & Makerspace: Innovating for Good in Our Community

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Sierra College: A Partnership of Makerspaces

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Sacramento City College: Starting An Academic Makerspace

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Look for CCC Maker at Maker Faire Bay Area this year. On Friday afternoon at Maker Faire, there will be presentations from CCC Maker colleges. Exhibits from students and faculty will be on display throughout the weekend.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty