Mission statement for the Jagdeep Singh Family Makerspace in the Iribe Center, informally known as the Singh Sandbox
A makerspace is a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, learning from and managing failure, iterative design, and challenges that need interdisciplinary approaches have always been important in school and the workspace [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7], although they are often lacking in the undergraduate curriculum. The Singh Sandbox provides all UMD students with facilities and a community that uses prototyping and fabrication (aka making) to teach and promote these skills. It allows students to come up with an initial idea, work to determine how it might be brought to fruition, collaborate with others, pivot and iterate as obstacles are discovered, and learn how to show off their work. These skills will serve students well if they decide to start their own business or develop a new project at a company, and making is a great way to get students moving towards acquiring these skills. A makerspace also provides an opportunity for students to develop skills as mentors, tutors and teammates.
The Singh Sandbox will support but not be limited to the prototyping and fabrication of cyber-physical systems (e.g., systems that incorporate software and electronics and interact with their environment via sensors, motors, actuators, light and sound). It should also support other modalities of making that encourage thinking about art and design, and attract a diverse community of students.
Users of the makerspace are expected to assist in the collection of data about activities in the makerspace, and strongly encouraged to document and share with the campus maker community a portfolio of their work.
In the taxonomy described by Martin Culpepper in his 2016 ISAM paper [8,9], the Singh Sandbox is principally a community makerspace. It supports student-led projects, where no course, research project or advisor is needed to justify a project.
- 1. Models for curricular integration of makerspaces, ISAM 2018, Malcolm Cooke, Craig R. Forest, Björn Hartmann, Aaron M. Hoover, Jonathan Hunt, Marlo Kohn, Martin L. Culpepper, and Vincent Wilczynski, Case Western Reserve University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, Olin College of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Yale University
- 2. Academic makerspaces as preparation for careers in industry, Maha N. Haji and Margaux Filippi, ISAM 2018, MIT
- 3. Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era, 2016, Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith
- 4. Most Likely To Succeed [film], 2015
- 5. Adam Savage's Maker Faire 2016 Speech!, Maker faire 2016, Adam Savage [transcript]
- 6. How ‘Makers’ Make the Classroom More Inclusive, Melina Delkic, NY TImes, 12/12/2018.
- 7. Why We Should Teach Kids About Failure, Cristal Glangchai, entrepreneur.com, 12/21/2018.
- 8. Types of academic makerspaces, their import to the educational mission, and the characteristics of their culture and community, ISAM 2016, Martin L. Culpepper, MIT
- 9. Building community around a student-run makerspace: Project-based social and educational events, ISAM 2016, Maha N. Haji, Nina Petelina, and Katherine Smyth, MIT