New Makerspace brings added opportunity for student creation and learning

Podcasts, programming, and YouTube videos; just a few things students can look forward to creating in the brand-new Makerspace found within the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons.

Located on the second floor of the Shelton Learning Commons, the Makerspace boasts areas for crafting such as quilt making, sewing, and knitting, as well as a studio for shooting videos and recording podcasts. The space even has a 3D printer and programmable robots for those with an interest in the computer sciences.

After several months of developing and creating, students, faculty, and staff, came together for a grand opening event Thursday, Jan. 24 to celebrate the college’s newest creative space. During the event, Director of Library Services Jess Bellemer provided tours and shared how the space might be used.

Adding the Makerspace was a natural addition for the recently reimagined Shelton Learning Commons, Bellemer said.

“To be a learning commons means facilitating learning experiences beyond just providing information through a collection of books and journal subscriptions,” she said. “I wanted to lean into the concept of a learning commons [and offer] exciting, new experiential learning opportunities.”

For example, Bellemer said that students taking the Appalachian Literature class who read about a character who quilts can now visit the Makerspace and learn how to quilt themselves. Furthermore, a Wildlife Rehabilitation program student who learns about 3D printed prosthetics to help injured animals can come in and print 3D prosthetics they designed themselves.

The Makerspace will also serve as a venue for events featuring local and regional artists, crafters, and speakers. In addition to their learning in the classroom, this will give students the chance to learn not only on real equipment, but also by the hands of those currently doing it in the field.

"I cannot wait to see what projects the Lees-McRae community decides to create," Bellemer said.

The Makerspace project was made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-18-0034-18).

Learn more about the Shelton Learning Commons here

By Nina MastandreaJanuary 29, 2019
Campus LifeAcademics