Makerspace Summit Coming to SoCal in April

Two community college organizations will be hosting a "makerspace summit" in Irvine, CA in April to share best practices in building college maker communities. A preconference will help community colleges go international.

"make/SHIFT," as it's called, will include keynoters, breakout sessions and networking events. It's being hosted by California Community Colleges CCC Maker, California Community Colleges Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy and the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship. The event will take place April 25-26, with the preconference on April 24.

General sessions will include presentations by Dale Dougherty, head of Maker Media, mothership for the maker movement; Stephanie Santoso, director of US2020, which is building a community of organizations to deliver quality STEM education throughout the country; and Van Ton-Quinlivan, former executive vice chancellor for workforce and economic development in the California Community College Chancellor's Office.

Attendees will be able to sit in on sessions from three tracks: makerspaces and their impact in community colleges; entrepreneurship in the community; and "impact," setting up the community college campus culture for innovation and sustainability.

Student projects will be showcased, along with "Makermatic," a team internship conducted in a college makerspace to solve challenges for employers while developing students' entrepreneurial and innovation mindset.

Also, attendees will have the chance to learn about open educational resources made available through HP Life, Skills Commons and other sources.

During the preconference, the Michigan State University Center for International Business Education and Outreach (CIBER) will share new community college internalization benchmarking results and case studies on successes and failures in reaching global audiences.

"This national event will connect educational makerspaces, entrepreneurship programs and partners in workforce development innovation," said Carol Pepper-Kittredge, statewide project director of CCC Maker, in a statement. "College makerspaces positively impact student access, equity and success by engaging students in their own learning, developing hands-on and entrepreneurial skills and connecting them with employers."

A $17 million grant several years ago from the CCC Chancellors Office has funded the setup of 24 CCC "maker" colleges to plan and develop makerspace communities that reflected each college's unique ecosystem. So far, the project has drawn participation from 23,000 students, funded almost 300 internships and seen recruiting by 700 employers.

To learn more about the event, visit the conference site on the NACCE website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.