The THINC College & Career Academy Makerspace is a collaborative area that allows our Engineering and Entrepreneurship students to work together in order to design, create, and develop marketing, promotional materials, and packaging for their products. Students are responsible for the maintenance and daily operations of the makerspace, and are supervised by the Entrepreneurship and Engineering instructor, along with guests from the local technical college and industry experts.
Meet the Makers at THINC College & Career Academy
1. How is your vision for a makerspace innovative?
Our vision is innovative because we are truly combining multiple disciplines in a collaborative, project-based environment. Students not only design and craft the product, but must consider marketing, packaging, graphic design, material cost, time analysis, and sales/profit for their product. We have created a space that will allow Entrepreneur and Engineering students crossover into areas that most CTE courses have not yet ventured, a true hybrid approach.
2. What are you most excited to get started on this summer?
We are the most excited about having our grand opening. We will host an event that is open to the public, and invite media, students, parents, industry, and local colleges, with the hope that we can make the community aware of the awesome opportunities now available through the Makerspace.
3. Can you describe the people who have been involved in your build out?
Our build out process has included a large group of diverse individuals, including sign-making/promotional companies, interior decorators, IT personnel, construction workers, and, of course, teachers. We have identified roles that we did not foresee, but have been very fortunate to have such a large supporting group of business and industry personnel who have been more than eager to help.
4. What has been the most challenging part of the summer build out thus far?
Coordinating the ordering/installation process has been challenging. As with any purchasing system, there are certain timelines that must be considered, and practices, policies, and procedures that must be followed. Trying to request, await approval, purchase, receive, and install an entire makerspace in two months is a huge challenge.
5. Have you made adjustments to your original plan since starting your build out? If so, can you describe how you have changed your plan and what sparked the change?
We have not made any major changes. We have decided to mount a 12′ whiteboard on one wall and to include less storage space to allow for more workspace. We will also be mounting large screen televisions on the walls to provide an awesome visual for the public to observe the design process in action. However, we may not have these installed prior to our video submission.
6. What advice do you have for other schools developing making programs?
Plan ahead and understand that the process will take time to complete. Tools, machines, furniture, and equipment can all come from different companies and vendors, so it is important to allow plenty of time for purchasing, delivery, installation, and training on the equipment. Also, find a local business or industry to help support your plan. Business and Industry can provide valuable support and advice along the way.
7. As you reflect on your progress, of what are you most proud?
The way our team has come together and accomplished our goals. With a few new instructors on board this year, we have worked very well together, and believe that this is one of the reasons for our success.
8. What else do you have in the works for this fall?
We are currently planning a big unveiling for our Makerspace, and hope to have local media, families, and business and industry here to participate in this event.
9. Now that school is back in session, have there been any surprises about how the space has been used?
There have not been any real surprises. We have been very fortunate to have the support and team that we have, and we are very happy with the way things have come together. The students are very excited about this opportunity, and we hope that they can continue to make it a real success.
Learn More About THINC College & Career Academy’s Makerspace
THINC Makerspace Design (.pptx)