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The Four Pillars of the Central Coast Makerspace

  • Space:

    the CCC Maker grant is seeking to create a group of affiliated makerspaces across the state, headed by community college staff and faculty.  For us at the Central Coast Makerspace, we have been able to create a symbiotic relationship, trading skilled facilitators and equipment for space.

  • Community:

    these makerspaces serve not just the students of these institutions, but the communities that will help support and sustain them at the end of the grant.  We have been partnering directly with the public library and the Discovery Museum, and indirectly with all manner of people in the Northern Santa Barbara County area.

  • Curriculum:

    the CCC Maker project is also interested in innovating pedagogical approaches to include making in teaching curriculum.  So far, Hancock College has seen several disciplines make use of the makerspace facility on campus: Culinary Arts, Ceramics, and Electronics.  Local k-12 education has also been interested in including makerspaces for their students to engage with.

  • Internships:

    another goal of this project is to aid in the economic longevity of local industry.  The makerspace has found driven students to work in our community partners’ makerspace events.  Local business can see students during these community makerspaces, and the CCC Maker project has a means for industry to have short term internships with our interns, whose costs are sublimated by the grant.

But this doesn’t exactly answer what a makerspace is—the Discovery Museum has this excellent definition that we think encapsulates it perfectly:

“A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library, or museum for making and learning that uses high-tech to no-tech tools. This is a special place for families to explore, ask questions, experiment, and build something together. Many makerspaces have a variety of equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutters, soldering irons and even sewing machines. However, you don’t need all of these machines—or even any of them—to be considered a makerspace. If you have cardboard, LEGO, and art supplies, you’re in business! It’s more of the ‘maker mindset’ of creating something out of nothing and exploring your own interests that’s at the core of a makerspace. Makerspaces also equip children with critical 21st century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM), boost self-confidence, and foster a sense of belonging in our community.”