Makerspace opens doors to students

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By Rumasa Noor

Do you know of a place where creative people can socialize and work together on common interests? Makerspace is that place. It is a community center that works as a non-profit organization, gives people opportunities to socialize and work together on mutual interests.

Whitewater Makerspace Consultant David Buggs describes it as “a social club where people come together and share their knowledge and learn things so that they are able to make and do.”

Buggs said it is important to pass on the knowledge so it won’t have to be rediscovered in the future. He also has offered his help to students who want to build things and has encouraged them to come to Makerspace.

“Makerspace serves as a community and culture more so than just a resource center that provides material things; it serves as an area where you can collaborate with other people. It helps make concepts a reality,” freshman Austin Kadulski said.

Kadulski, who is a part of the entrepreneurship organization, CEO said his organization decided to have its weekly meeting at Makerspace to expose the club to the resources that are available there.

A small group of UW-Whitewater students went to Makerspace to see what it is all about. Buggs gave everyone the introduction to what Makerspace is and showed them all the machinery and explained its uses. He demonstrated some of the machines as well.

They have things like 3D printers, CO2 laser etcher, south bend machine lave, and wood working lave. They also have electronic equipment, test equipment, wood planer, wood joiner, table saw, electronics work bench, test equipment and many other useful pieces of equipment.

Megan Matthews, professor of arts management and business management, said she is looking to develop a creative enterprise program with the college of Arts and Communication in connection with the College of Business. She wanted to find out more about Makerspace to encourage her students to visit. She believes Makerspace can be a great place for business and art students to work together and create materials.

Matthews sees it as an additional space that connects students to the community where they can try things and meet new people whom they may not come across otherwise. She also is holding an entrepreneurship toolkit workshop at the Innovation Center on Nov. 22. The workshop will have people who are running different creative enterprises from different educational backgrounds work with participants to help them start their own business.

Chief of marketing, CEO Zach Rosen, planned it as an activity for its board organization. Rosen said Makerspace encourages students to work on their ideas.

“A lot of students in our organization want to build physical items, and this is a perfect place to do that,” Rosen said. “It allows students to go and actually build their ideas; so many times people get caught up in the mental aspect of it. This allows them to put it in a physical manner and actually have their idea in front of them.”

Dr. William Dougan has been a driving force for students, encouraging them to check out Makerspace.

Sophomore Emmett Storts went to Makerspace on the persuasion of Dr. Dougan. Storts said he likes Makerspace’s potential.

“Right now, if you look at it, it looks like a big mess with lots of smart people but if you give it time, and more people will help out, it will turn into something,” Storts said.

Students can become members of Makerspace by paying a $20 monthly fee or through sweat equity, which means that they can help out at Makerspace and can become members for free. Makerspace is not age specific; people of all ages from school children to retirees are welcomed there to share their knowledge with each other.