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The Makerspace space as a space to promote International STEM education

Dr Matthew Sherburne | University of California, Berkeley, USA

The Makerspace space as a space to promote International STEM education

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The University Librarian at University of California, Berkeley has re-envisioned library services. This generation of students do not rely reference books from the library and they tend to be more group oriented. The library recognized and embraced these changes and in so doing seeks to stay relevant to today's students and their educational styles and goals.
As part of this re-envisioning we have founded a makerspace (b.makerspace), by re-purposing a section of the library. b.makerspace started 3 years ago in a small space with little equipment and has grown to house nine student groups, three student led courses (DCal courses), faculty led research projects and an international outreach program.
In this talk I will discuss how the makerspace started and has grown to occupying a significant space in the library. A student-centered approach has been taken in managing the space. This student-centered approach requires the students to take the leadership role in all aspects of the day-to-day operations.
The students have participated in fund raising; grant writing, corporate relations, event planning, and equipment selection and purchasing. As the leaders of b.makerspace they initiate a program with a nonprofit (United Technologies for Kids) in Peru. This program was started at two Peru high schools, that UC Berkeley students visited and outfitted makerspaces. The UC Berkeley students taught the students in Peru how to use the equipment over the summer 2016. UC Berkeley students returned to Peru in the fall of 2016 to prepare the Peruvian students to visit UC Berkeley in early 2017. The students are currently working to start similar programs in the Philippines and other countries. You will also be introduced to the Makergirl program, which is another approach to reach out to individuals who normally are not exposed to makerspaces and its equipment.