Creativity flows at Makerspace event

Some students spent their time creating a functional foosball table, while others worked to code robots and experience the world of virtual reality.

The creative possibilities seemed endless during the Faculty of Education’s Instructional Resource Centre (IRC) Makerspace event held at Brock University’s Hamilton campus on Jan. 14.

The hands-on learning experience provided an opportunity to explore a variety of high- and low-tech centres that promote creativity, innovation, collaboration and modern learning skills critical to both present and future careers.

Shannon Welbourn, Library and Media Services Supervisor at the IRC, described the innovative space as a “place to tinker, explore, learn, create and make.

“There’s an element — and encouragement — of trial and error. It’s problem solving and you want everyone to remember that it’s OK to fail because it’s how you learn from the process,” she said.

The learning space encourages people to share their ideas with one another, as “no one is the keeper of information” in the unique environment, Welbourn said.

The recent event was the first of five set to put the IRC Makerspace in the spotlight.

The second is set to take place Feb. 15 during the Faculty of Education’s tech showcase.

“It’s fun to just let go and make whatever you want,” Sarah Harries, a fifth-year junior/intermediate teacher candidate, said during last weekend’s event.

“I started with the 3D printer pens (Saturday) morning and was just making a box, and it evolved from there into so much more.”

Harries feels Makerspace opportunities are important. She has found success in applying similar creative methods while working with children.

“I did a hands-on project in my last block and it turned out really well. The kids became so engaged and I was amazed at just how creative and capable they were.”

Designed for Teacher Education students, the Makerspace offers unique opportunities to enhance knowledge, application and delivery of new and effective teaching and learning strategies.

During the Makerspace event, students also had an opportunity to hear from DroneHub Media founder Bailey Roubos, who spoke about how creativity and trial and error are key components to success.

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