Discover more from MakerEd
Getting a makerspace to be "sticky"
Jason Kennedy and Donnell Layne of Moreno Valley College
For the Make: podcast, I interviewed Jason Kennedy and Donnell Layne of Moreno Valley College who developed and now direct the iMAKE Innovation Center Makerspace on campus. Moreno Valley College is in Riverside, California and it’s a community college with over 70% of its students are Hispanic.
Check out the full episode: Growing with the Future: The Makerspace at Moreno Valley College.
In this excerpt, I asked Donnell and Jason what do you first see when you walk in the makerspace? Initial impressions matter in a makerspace. An empty makerspace full of equipment is not a good look. Donnell’s answer for the MVC Makerspace was that you’d see the students who are congregating there.
Donnell: So we're really lucky. We did an experiment with the culture, right? The culture in the environment to see if we can make it more sticky, meaning that when students walk in, will they stay in?
So when you walk into the space, you see a bunch of color imagery that represent different cultures. You see access to different technologies. We have a radio shack wall. So let's say if you all of a sudden had some great idea and you wanted a Raspberry Pi, you can walk right up to the wall, pull out your own Raspberry Pi and start programming.
If you need help with that programming, that's when you walk over to our front desk and sign up for additional training. We now have these reclining seats that are like beanbags that a lot of the students have taken a liking to. When the students walk in, they see a multitude of students sitting down in these beanbags, working together, talking, planning things, utilizing the equipment and sitting and waiting for some of the things to finish printing out. Jason, you have anything to add?
Jason: Yeah, definitely. This is all built on the backbone of the culture of the makerspace. We've really helped develop the culture through our staff, but really it's our student employees.
We are up to 20 makerspace CTE student employees right now that can work part time. They're all attending Moreno Valley College and they are the heart and soul along with Donnell and I and our three lab techs and learning center assistants get this place running and going.
As Donnell says elsewhere in the interview, the makerspace “is about the people. It’s about the creative nature of those people. And a lot of colors. We're a colorful group in here.”
Students seeing other students — hanging out in the space and working in the space — is what a “sticky” makerspace looks like — a colorful group of creative people.
Just a reminder that the Make: Education Forum takes place this Friday and Saturday.