Makerspace

  • Makerspace News

    What’s New This Term!


    Tech Highlights

    Now that we’re all moved into our new space, it allows us to start working in-depth with several of our new technologies. One of the most notable and quite frankly largest additions to our tech roster is the Whisper Room, an official sound isolation booth perfect for any form of audio recording! Coated wall to wall in sound dampening foam, it couples excellent with our audio tech to produce smooth and clear vocals free of any disruptive background noise.

    These coupled technologies are both dynamic and condenser microphones for a variance of sound quality and provide room for students to dabble and experiment. Each mic is directly connected to an audio interface which is connected to the computer workstation adjacent to the booth, loaded with several audio editing software to balance both vocals and instruments. The booth itself is also hooked up with a remote LED light to illuminate the room for viewing music sheets or scripts with clarity. The computing station also comes with its own mic for two way communication between station and booth to make recording a breeze.

    Located in our audio lab, the booth is open for all to use, so feel free to stop in and give it a try, no matter your musical inclination!


    Collaborations

    Students

    But it’s not just faculty and staff that use the space for their own projects, after all its biggest population is students, so it’s no wonder we have an abundance of their work to choose from!

    Recently, given our new move, students are slowly beginning to trickle back into the space, but a certain group has been consistent in attending every day since our official opening

    began back on the 6th. Students Travis Lewis May, Nick Rutherford, Duke Samaka, and Anjola Komdafe have been making extended use of our esteemed audio lab with great enthusiasm. The group is crafting a collective track demo of their music work, so in many ways this is a double collaboration!

    Each member takes up an individual role, one directing and composing, another providing additional composition regarding beat, the writer, and the audio engineer to form their own small scale production team. They each bring a variety of editing knowledge to the table, boasting skills in both FL Studios and Logic Pro both of which the Makerspace provides.

    They’ve been extremely grateful to the Makerspace for providing a dedicated space to work on audio, as this was not the first time the team came together to create music. Originally they used to house a makeshift studio within one of the member’s dorms in Brock’s own Village residence. With it came the several obstructions of managing their noise levels and picking up the background noise of dormitory life, making for a rather temperamental recording space. Now they can apply their extensive knowledge to create in a fully equipped recording environment.

    If you would like a chance to do a live session of your own in our audio lab, or any lab for that matter, visit our Main Service Desk in the Makerspace and make a reservation any time between 1- 6 pm. You can also email us your booking request at makerspace@brocku.ca with the subject line “Audio Lab Reservation”.

    FACULTY

    Over the past three and a half years we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with students and faculty on a variety of personal and curricular based projects.  We got to sit down with Dr. Karen Louise Smith who has been an avid supporter and user of the Makerspace, and we asked her some questions to learn a bit more about what sparked her interest in using the Makerspace.  She has previously collaborated with the Makerspace for another course she teaches, COMM 3P91 – Information Technology: Policies and Issues where students had to 3D print an object to spark a conversation about a controversy that emerges from an information technology theme.

    What technology did you use in your class to enhance experiential learning?

    I developed a podcasting assignment for the Social Media course (Comm 2P91 / IASC 2P91 / PCUL 2P91) in the fall 2019 semester that was centered around fake news. The students in my course were able to borrow technologies like a Zoom recorder, or snowball microphone, from the Makerspace to record audio clips to use in their podcasts…Read More

     

    Featured Partnerships in Brock News


    Important Announcements

    Social Media – Any updates or news can be accessed via our social media on Instagram @brockmakerspace and Twitter @BrockMakerSpace. Be sure to give us a follow on either (or both if you’re so inclined) to know when we’re throwing something new and exciting your way! Don’t forget to tag us in any of your posts, we’ll be sure to give it a like and feature it on our own pages! Embrace the digital and keep on making, in and out of the space!


    Upcoming Events & Workshops

    MAKERSPACE EVENT THEMES

    The theme this month of January will be Audio, where we will take you through a progression of topics surrounding the capturing, editing, and refining of your audio.

    Event Titles

    • Makerspace Tour: Audio Lab
    • Audio: Basics of Recording for Podcasting
    • 3D Modelling Sound Waves

    Makerspace Event Calendar

    Subscribe to our Experience BU page to stay up to date on our events and learning opportunities.

    There are no events scheduled at this time.


     

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    Categories: Makerspace

  • Faculty Collaborations: Dr. Karen Louise Smith

    Over the past three and a half years we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with students and faculty on a variety of personal and curricular based projects.  We got to sit down with Dr. Karen Louise Smith who has been an avid supporter and user of the Makerspace, and we asked her some questions to learn a bit more about what sparked her interest in using the Makerspace.  She has previously collaborated with the Makerspace for another course she teaches, COMM 3P91 – Information Technology: Policies and Issues where students had to 3D print an object to spark a conversation about a controversy that emerges from an information technology theme.

    Dr. Karen Louise Smith

    PhD, University of Toronto
    MA, Simon Fraser University
    BA, McMaster University

    What technology did you use in your class to enhance experiential learning?

    I developed a podcasting assignment for the Social Media course (Comm 2P91 / IASC 2P91 / PCUL 2P91) in the fall 2019 semester that was centered around fake news. The students in my course were able to borrow technologies like a Zoom recorder, or snowball microphone, from the Makerspace to record audio clips to use in their podcasts. After the students recorded their audio, they could continue to edit their podcasts using Audacity software in the Makerspace. Because Audacity is an open source software title, students could also download a copy of the editing program to work on their projects independently.

    What sparked the idea to collaborate with the Makerspace for this class?

    I wanted to collaborate with the Makerspace on this podcasting assignment so that my students could explore the democratic potential of social media. Through this assignment, I wanted my students to tinker, create, and act as media makers versus consumers online. Podcasting provides a relatively early example of a social media genre, which fostered opportunities for creative expression and self-publishing for internet end users. Creating opportunities for my students to create their own digital media closely relates to my previous research on web literacy and citizenship. I remain hopeful that experiencing the democratic potential of the web is one way in which society can resist disinformation, surveillance, exploitation and some of the negative aspects of our digitally mediated lives.

    What has been your overall experience with working with the Makerspace staff and technology resources?

    The Makerspace offers all of the technical equipment that my students need to create a quality podcast. I hear from students that they appreciate that the Makerspace is available virtually every day during the term for drop-in support. Makerspace staff are also readily available to me as a faculty member when I need assistance.

    Do you hope to collaborate with the Makerspace in the Future?

    Yes, I hope to repeat the podcasting assignment again in the Social Media course in 2020.

    We look forward continuing our relationship with Dr. Smith by supporting her innovative and nuanced methods of incorporating Makerspace technology into her pedagogy.

    Links

    Dr. Karen Louise Smith https://brocku.ca/social-sciences/cpcf/people-in-the-department/karen-louise-smith/#1562268043356-51eb4bbe-b548

    Social Media course https://brocku.ca/webcal/2019/undergrad/comm.html#COMM_2P91

    Audacity https://www.audacityteam.org/

    Previous research https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/6174

    Web literacy https://mozilla.github.io/webmaker-whitepaper/

    Information Technology: Policies and Issues https://brocku.ca/webcal/2019/undergrad/comm.html#COMM_3P91

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    Categories: Makerspace, Uncategorised

  • Makerspace News

    What’s New This Month!


    Makerspace Highlights

    Oh yes, it’s happening.

    After keeping both students and staff alike in suspense, we’ve finally come to bring the good news. We are moving!

    More importantly, we’re moving somewhere BIGGER.

    Yes, the Brock Makerspace is relocating from its humble little home in the James A. Gibson library out into the newly built Rankin Family Pavilion.

    With this added space, we’ll be able to load in new equipment and software previously unavailable to showcase. Things like resin printing, laser cutting, and several copies of technologies already displayed in the old space give students ample opportunity to explore and engage in their creative exploits.  We provide dedicated spaces for each of our varying technologies (audio, video, 3D printing, VR, etc.) so students who wish to pursue a specific type of tech can have a focused environment that gives them the tools they need to create and succeed!

    This new space also provides us with a dedicated workshop lab that is all our own to utilize. And being directly located in the space gives all students and staff immediate access to experiment. Along with the abundance of rooms, our central workstation is now much larger, with plenty of desk space for patrons to tinker and create.

    Read more

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    Categories: Makerspace

  • Makerspace News

    What’s New This Month!

    Technology Highlight

    In October we introduced the Brother LB6950, Embroidery and Quilting machine to the Makerspace. So far students have regularly been utilizing this classic piece of making technology to learn a new skill or work on a personal project. Our new sewing machine is a great compliment to our Cricut Maker which cuts hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate paper and fabric to matboard and leather.

    This month we’ll be learning how best to use the embroidery function of this machine and creating a series of sewing workshops for the new term. Join us on this journey by visiting the Makerspace.

    IMPORTANT features

    Equipment for Loan – All students, faculty and staff have the ability to borrow technology from our loanable equipment catalogue for up to 3 days. If you are an instructor or faculty member in need of equipment for a course or research, fill out our Support Form to get started. We’ll then follow up with you and schedule a time for you to connect with our knowledgeable Makerspace staff.

    Pay for Print – The Makerspace is open and available for everyone to use, including community members! Our new pay for print model allows all users more freedom to print 3D models from online platforms in your desired resolution. More Details

    Upcoming events & workshops

    AS OF DECEMBER 1ST LOANS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AS THE MAKERSPACE IS MOVING LOCATIONS. LOANS ARE SET TO RESUME WITH THE RE-OPENING OF THE SPACE IN THE NEW YEAR!


    Makerspace Event Calendar

    Subscribe to our Experience BU page to stay up to date on our events and learning opportunities.

    There are no events scheduled at this time.


    Featured Faculty Partnerships

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    Categories: Makerspace

  • 3D printing. Not as scary as you think!

    Alex came into the space several times before, but this time he was on a mission.  Determined to solve a design problem for his robotics class, he came to the makerspace to work through some possible solutions using 3D printing.

    As usual we wanted to encourage Alex not to simply download something online but to figure out how to ideate and design his solution.  We encourage this to ensure that students are learning innovative design skills through the process of 3D modelling and printing. Alex shares in his own words how he solved his design problems through the process of 3D modelling and printing:

    I am building a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot for both my robotics class and my machine learning class. I wanted a robot with complex behaviours; one that can learn from its environment. I decided to swap out the low-caliber NXT “brain” that comes with simple programming software, a few MB of RAM and six AA batteries for a BrickPi.

    My problem was that I had to power the Raspberry Pi along with the motors. The motors get powered by 12V NiMH batteries, but these would drain quickly if they also had to power the Raspberry Pi. To counter this, I purchased a heavy-duty portable phone charger. Now this problem was that none of the LEGO pieces fit around the battery nicely without having a lot of space leftover. he closest fit meant that there were an even number of holes in my LEGO pieces, but most of them come with an odd number. This made much of my design asymmetric.

    I stumbled upon a blog written by a person who designed 3D printed lego parts; he had designed one for is Raspberry Pi camera along with other parts (like ball bearings among other things). I was fascinated and downloaded the models. I knew that Brock offered 3D printing services at the Makerspace which I had peeked into a few times before to see what was happening. They recently moved to a larger space and have plenty of printers. I asked to print the part I had downloaded, but they told me I had to design it myself since it was a creative space and they wanted to encourage learning. I offered to learn and they introduced me to TinkerCAD, an online 3D modelling program.

    I ended up using  Fusion 360 by Autodesk and designed the camera case myself. It was a steep learning curve which often involved having dozens of tabs open. I finished one design,was proud of myself, yet I had the whole weekend to consider my work.  I probably designed 6 or 7 cases before I was happy with the final design. I decided I wanted my phone charger and NiMH battery cases to be the same dimension on the outside (with different lengths) so that they would be closely compatible with each other. When I came in the next day, I discovered that my print turned out wonderfully. All of the holes were perfectly sized and when I went to check that all of the sides were compatible, everything fit snugly and perfectly.

    One of the greatest advantages of 3D printing the case was that since the battery is the core of the robot, I now had a large surface with lots of connections and that was sturdy. I also designed it so that the holes were odd-numbered so everything was compatible! I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the wonderful patience and support of the people at the Makerspace. In particular, I really appreciated their willingness to let me print several copies and point me in the right direction when I needed help.

     

    Alex Van de Kleut

    Brock University, 2019

    Neurocomputing, BSc Honours

    Applications of neuronal structures to machine learning algorithms and artificial general intelligence.

     

    It will be exciting to see how Alex approaches problem solving now that he has gained literacy in technology surrounding 3D modelling and printing.  

    Written by

    Tabitha Lewis

    Categories: Makerspace, Testimonials

  • Getting started with 3D Printing

    Have you thought about making something using a 3D printer? If so we can help you get started!

    Step 1: Visit Tinkercad and create an account

    Step 2: Go through the tutorial and learn the basics.

    Here is a great Lynda.com video, you can watch it at your convenience and learn even more.  Just log in with your Brock id.

    Once you are all done, visit the Library Makerspace and we can help you print your design.

     

    Categories: Makerspace

  • Student Spotlight: Taking the First Step: Using 3D modeling to enhance learning

    One of our Brock Library Makerspace champions shared a bit with Ultimaker about her journey to becoming proficient in 3D modeling and printing.

    View the blog to learn more.

    Ultimaker Blog

     

     

    Categories: Makerspace, Testimonials

  • On Display: 3D Printed Artifacts for Classics 2p32

     

    The Department of Classics and The Library Makerspace recently collaborated on an experiential learning project and all are invited to view the results. Replicas of Alexander the Great, the Pharaoh Hetshepsut, and the Venus of Willendorf are on display this week at the Thistle entrance to the Library.

    The works came about as a result of Carrie Murray, Tabitha Lewis, and Jonathan Younker’s work to create a project that would bring technology into the classroom. Students in CLAS 2P32 – Introduction to Archaeology, researched and wrote proposals to choose artifacts held in major museums for 3D printing. The chosen artifacts were printed in class this week.

    Following the exhibit, the artifacts will be moved to a display case in the Cypriote Museum, Department of Classics, and they will be used in upcoming courses.

    Are you interested in learning more about emerging technology? Check out the Library Makerspace in ST211 during Monday to Friday drop-in hours (10 am – 4 pm). Or, take in one of their free workshops listed on Experience BU.

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    Categories: Main, Makerspace

  • Problem-based learning in the Makerspace

    Connecting to the CURRICULUM

    The Accelerated English Language Program (AELP) as part of their curriculum were assigned a problem-based learning task on a bottled water company.  Using an inquiry-based approach, students developed their own question about sustainable design and researched the topic using the library database.  The students developed a business case for their innovative design and prepared a 25 minute business presentation.  As part of the presentation, students produced an actual infused, flavoured sparkling water along with the innovations in the design of the water bottle and water bottle holder.  Once the design was produced, the students went to the Makerspace to produce a prototype of their water bottle holder design.  Students worked on a number of programs before printing their prototype on a 3D printer.  After printing, the students presented their 25 minute business case presenting with the innovations they designed.

    I think the project was successful, as it gave them not only the ability to talk about their ideas, but also insight into the process, which gave them a little more to work with.

    Hand drawn images to 3D models

    Project steps:

    Students took their hand drawn image and scanned it using the Doodlefab.ninja website.  We converted the scanned image into an SVG file and imported it into Tinkercad.  We took our new 3D logo and impressed it into a 3D model of a bottle holder 3D model file.  After exporting the new design we sent it to Makerbot Desktop to prepare it for printing.  Below are the images for each stage.

    Categories: Makerspace

  • Makerspace and EAP at OAIE conference

             

    It was such a pleasure partnering with Brock’s ESL Services to participate in the OAIE Conference, June 18th – 20th, 2017.  This annual conference was filled with great workshops that explored the challenges and celebrated the accomplishments experienced by International Education all over Ontario.  The OAIE conference welcomes educators, administrators, and recruiters who work in EAP programming.

    As a representative of the Library Makerspace, I really wanted to share some of the collaborations with the Brock IELP students, and highlight benefits of the project and inquiry based learning approaches used in our makerspace.  The presentation was well-received from the approximately 30 participants in attendance.  For many, this was the first opportunity to hear about Maker spaces and culture in an academic setting. We received a lot of great feedback about our presentation and people were excited about the possibilities for future experiential learning projects they could incorporate within their institutions.

    One of the conference themes was interdepartmental and community collaboration.  I believe that our proposal showcased a unique collaboration that speaks to the needs of the 21st century learner.  One of the benefits in presenting to a diverse group, was it gave us further insight into how to better design collaborative programming for the future.

    EAP & Makerspace Projects: A Unique Collaboration

    Our interactive presentation introduced four novel collaborations especially designed for international students as they transition into undergraduate studies. The focus was on best practices that can be adopted by participants looking to develop projects that appeal to creativity and add learner engagement, or to departments looking to establish connections across campus.

    PRESENTERS: James Papple, Academic Coordinator, Brock University / Tabitha Lewis, IT Support Technician/Makerspace Coordinator, Brock University

    We hope to share more as we learn and try more.

    Categories: Makerspace