Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

CMC Introduces Expanded Makerspace and New Website

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Randall Library's branch Curriculum Materials Center, located in the Education Building, is a place to connect educators to teaching resources, empower users to think creatively and explore methods in innovation.

Over the summer the CMC was transformed into an enhanced learning zone. In addition to their collection of teaching resources, the CMC now offers advanced 3D technology for doodling, printing, scanning and modeling.  Additional workstations feature spaces for binding, die-cutting, painting, poster printing, sewing and more.

CMC coordinator Kathryn Batten said the goal is to provide an expanded Makerspace that leads to enhanced creativity and exploratory learning.

WCE faculty members have teamed with CMC staff to hold more than 20 classes in the CMC since the start of the semester, with redesigned course deliverables aligned to the creativity options available. Tracy Hargrove introduced possibilities such as the creation of 3D customized math manipulatives to elementary education students enrolled in her math methods course; Sue Jen-Chen assigned readings on the maker movement and fab labs before bringing students in her instructional technology course to explore the new Fab lab in the CMC; Dennis Kubasko challenged secondary science students to use the facility to expand their thinking on what form presentations and assignments can take; and Candace Thompson’s EDN 200 students teamed with CMC staff to re-envision traditional assignments such as “All About Me” essays often required of students on the first day of class.

WCE’s Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education visited the CMC’s makerspace in September. “Our goals were twofold: to consider how we might use the new space in our teaching and to think and work creatively as a department,” said ITFSE chair Donyell Roseboro. Each faculty member created a two square filmstrip to represent themselves and the group began work on a poster to capture goals for students. “We want students to feel inspired when we teach and to be inspired when they create their own learning spaces in the future,” Roseboro said. “Kathryn, Tonia McCoy and Parker Littleton were fantastic in introducing us to the new CMC. It’s a wonderful resource.”

Batten asks class participants and CMC visitors to share feedback on their experiences. She has collected hundreds of responses since the enhanced facility was introduced in August, and the comments have been overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s like a wonderland,” one student wrote. Others commented, “The space is awesome,” “very helpful staff,” “I feel like I just stepped into another century” and “I want to find creative things to do for every subject in my class.” Several students asked if they will be able to use resources in the CMC after they graduate. (The answer is yes, Batten said.)

Batten invites UNCW faculty, staff and campus visitors to stop by the CMC on the first floor of the Education Building to see the beautiful space firsthand. She also plans to showcase projects on CMC’s new enhanced website. “We can’t wait to highlight what people dream up and create in the enhanced learning zone,” she said.

For more information on the CMC visit http://library.uncw.edu/cmc.

For information on Makerspace and Fab Lab, read stories shared by WCE associate professor Sue Jen-Chen:

* Make YOUR space: the maker movement in education

* MIT Prof. Neil Gershenfeld: Unleash your Creativity in a FAB Lab Talk (TED video)

* The maker movement: A learning revolution