The Makings of a Makerspace
Pictured above: Tyler Drozdowski and Adam Hallman
The term makerspace is both self-explanatory and hard to articulate. At its core, a makerspace is a place for informal and self-directed learning that provides a workspace for students to tinker, try out solutions and work together to learn from each other. For RDC students Tyler Drozdowski, Adam Hallman, and Chris Rolida, creating a makerspace at the College was a great way to formalize something they were already trying to do.
As students in Red Deer College’s Engineering Technology programs, Tyler, Adam, and Chris were spending significant amounts of time working on a project to build robot kits for RDC’s upcoming summer robot camps, Techy & Robotics and RoboGirls. They were finding it difficult to find a place that was available when they needed it to be. When one of their instructors contacted them about creating a makerspace at RDC, they immediately saw the benefit.
“We needed a place where we could go no matter how early or late and have access to tools and equipment like 3D printers. We also wanted a spot where we could work with different people to get their ideas and input,” explains Tyler. Adam agrees with that sentiment, “Having a physical space is the most important part. Equipment is really nice to have but the requirement is a place we can and work together.”
For their instructor Kevin Frank, RDC’s makerspace provides a huge benefit to students as well as the College. “By being immersed in an atmosphere where students are surrounded by other people working on projects, they will develop their own ideas and start to experiment.” For Kevin, the benefits don’t stop there. “The goal is to have students of all disciplines interacting, working together and learning about each other’s skills and abilities. Also, by opening the makerspace to the community, outside resources and talent will be interacting with our students. The College will grow yet another way to serve as a hub for innovation and collaboration in our region.”
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About RDC: Building on a strong 50 year history, RDC is proud to serve our learners and communities. Red Deer College offers more than 100 different programs (including full degrees, certificates, diplomas and skilled trades programs) to 7,000 full and part-time credit students and more than 18,000 learners in the School of Continuing Education. Named by Alberta Venture magazine as one of Alberta’s most innovative organizations for the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing, RDC is a key location for applied and industry-led research. Our main campus is strategically situated on 290 acres of Alberta’s natural landscape along Queen Elizabeth II Highway. We have also expanded our learning and performing arts space into the heart of downtown Red Deer through our Welikoklad Event Centre and the Donald School of Business.
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