A Makerspace for Students, by Students

Published in MIT News on June 24, 2016, by Alissa Mallison

Initiated and led by students, MakerWorks fosters making with strong engineering focus.

If there is one word that embodies the spirit of MakerWorks, the all-access Department of Mechanical Engineering (MechE) makerspace, it would have to be “students.” Not “maker,” although of course making is the cornerstone of the space; not “fun” or “cool,” although according to members it’s both of those things; not even “prototyping,” despite the fact that a majority of students use it for that.

That’s because MakerWorks, a soup-to-nuts community space offering both fabrication and measurement tools, is run by and for students.

In fact, MakerWorks was student-initiated too. With the support and guidance of Professor (and unofficial MechE “maker czar”) Martin Culpepper and Professor Anette Peko Hosoi, who is also MechE’s associate department head for education, MechE students have recruited mentors, identified equipment requirements, developed safety procedures, solicited funding, managed staffing, designed community events, and much more. The process of developing the shop was a learning experience unto itself...

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