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Teaching and Learning

Engaging Students Across Disciplines in Makerspace Activities (Part 2)

Want to learn more about the BMCC Makerspace? Join Kar Rosen (lab manager) and Anna Pinkas (MEA faculty and Makerspace director) at a Makerspace workshop, May 11 @ 9:45AM on Zoom. We will focus on brainstorming Maker-centered projects you could use in your classes in the Summer/Fall (virtually or in-person). Please come with your ideas and questions. In the meantime, you can follow the BMCC Makerspace on Instagram.

In the first insallment of this blog post, we introduced the Makerspace community and showcased the ways in which students and faculty have been using the BMCC Makerspace. In this second installment, we introduce the online BMCC Makerspace resources and highlight some activities that can be done at home using commonly available materials.

The Makerspace website is a valuable resource at any time, but even more so with the recent shift to virtual teaching and learning. While the physical BMCC Makerspace is closed, you can still use many of our resources and bring the space to your and your students’ homes. Besides providing information pertinent to the physical space (i.e., equipment, opening hours, etc.), the site also includes a list of resources for material and software, suggested reading on various topics, and an ever growing list of guided virtual lessons to continue “making” remotely (more on that below).

Our Learn section can be broken up into two areas: Workshops and Resources.

Workshops have been made on various topics, with more content being added regularly. Each one provides concrete examples of projects and step-by-step tutorials. All of our workshops also provide resource links, or videos for further exploration. We have set it up that you can do this all on your own, or alongside us in virtual lessons.

While some of the workshops can only be completed at the space (i.e: creating rubber stamps with the laser cutter), many can be done at home using ubiquitous tools and materials. Many are paper based, like Pop-Ups, Accordion Books, Bookbinding, or Animated Optical Illusions. Others are more crafty, like Squishy Circuits, or Craft Foam Leather or Metal.

  • Examples of laser etched stamps

 

Some are more software focused, like learning programming in p5.js or Tinkercad (both browser-based), or learning how to use the Adobe Suite by creating Emojis, Icons, Logos, and box templates.

  • A psychedelic code-based abstract art created in the P5.js editor

 

The Resources section is fairly self explanatory: The Materials page lists the materials that can be used with the equipment in our Makerspace, as well as where to purchase them (while we do provide some materials for free, the choice and quantity is limited). Software contains links to open source and/or free software for a range of topics, including digital imaging, prototyping, 3D modeling, coding– anything that will help you bring your ideas to life.

We also have a Stock page dedicated to sites where visitors can download stock photos and vectors, fonts, and other useful media. Most are in the public domain or under a creative commons license, and can be used for personal and commercial purposes– we like to encourage makers to be more mindful about copyright when choosing the materials they use to create.

Our Bibliography contains a suggested reading list for creatives of all kinds. Provided is the name, title, and ISBN so one can find the book for purchase or at their own library. Some of the titles are available as eBooks at the BMCC library

Finally, the last pages are a list of on-demand printing services The BMCC Makerspace is great for prototyping and experimenting with your projects, but if you need a more refined piece or need a large quantity made, we recommend visiting these sites.

Our Equipment page is where you’ll find information regarding the equipment currently available in the space. These include our Ultimaker and Prusa 3D printers, the Epilog laser cutter, Silhouette and Cricut vinyl cutters, Singer sewing machines, and more. Under each of the respective links is detailed information, output guidelines, and walkthroughs for visitors to understand each tool’s functionality and output process. Furthermore, there is information about what physical computing is, and a basic overview of electronics and  programming concepts and tools. This might not be important to focus as of writing; but it’s nice to keep handy for when we are once again open.

Of course, everything mentioned is just what is available at the moment. At the BMCC Makerspace we’re alway adding more books, resource links, and workshops! But all the same, if you’re looking for ideas, or hit a creative wall and need some help, we’re only a click away! We would love to hear from you and help bring  and are also available to brainstorm with faculty; whether it be an activity to have in your class, a workshop for the BMCC community as a whole, or a research project you are working on. We’re just an email away (see below), and once we are able to safely meet again in person we encourage you to stop by the space: room S608, 199 Chambers Street (please just be sure to check our site for the hours first).

For more information, please email us at:

krosen@bmcc.cuny.edu (Kar Rosen – Makerspace Lab Manager)

apinkas@bmcc.cuny.edu (Anna Pinkas – Makerspace Director)

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