S8-O/LT6-4 - Pop-up Makerspace Module in Undergraduate Engineering Studies Inculcating Entrepreneurial Mindset (Short)

1. Innovative Practice Work In Progress
Devina Jaiswal1
1 Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield MA, USA

Makerspace movement is gaining popularity in United States as an active learning technique [1]. It is extremely popular in places such as K-12 classrooms as well as non-profit and profit organizations [2]. It aims at creating a cohesive environment where participants learn while being creative. Additionally, it accomplishes twenty-first century learning objectives including communication and collaboration [3]. Undergraduate STEM education is the most relevant field where makerspace can enhance learning process.  One of the first makerspace laboratory was FabLab in Massachusetts Institute of Technology focusing on designing and fabricating end-tools using 3D printing [4]. While makerspace is an interesting learning tool, there is a gap in its applicability due to availability of funds, physical space and integration with a course [5]. Smaller educational institutes struggle in creating these facilities which can deprive their students from makerspace experience.

This is a Work in- Progress focusing on creating makespace module for lecture course that can be used in any engineering class with minimum budget. The module focuses on entreprenurially minded learning (EML) using makerspace.  The objective is to create a collaborative environment (in this study: juniors and seniors) for design and development of a tissue engineered scaffold prototype using craft supplies. The students were presented with a scenario where they were part of a research team that created a new biomaterial putty. The module was divided into four specific tasks which included (1) investigating the market and finding commercially available tissue engineered scaffolds for nerve, bone and skin, (2) design and develop a scaffold in makerspace environment using play dough as biomaterial and supporting material such as wires, beads and wire mesh, (3) use CAD to develop the prototype and 3D print the final scaffold, and (4) verify scaffold functionality following a test protocol. The module did not require a designated place or expensive material for its operation. The total cost incurred towards the module for a class of 19 students was $100±10. 

In order to assess the impact of the makerspace module, pre- and post-module surveys were developed and administered. The surveys were approved by the Institutional Review Board prior to their use. The survey consisted of couple of technical questions as well as 5- choice Likert-scale questions rating EML skills as well as twenty first century skills. Out of 19 students, 14 students participated in the survey. The results showed significant improvement in the technical questions as well as EML skills.

The first iteration of this module was successfully implemented and it is expected to extend such pop-up makerspace modules in other courses as well. For future, this module can also be implemented as a collaborative makerspace project between high schools and undergraduate students.


  1. Youmans, Kate, et al. 2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). IEEE, 2018.
  2. Wilczynski, Vincent, and Ronald Adrezin. ASME. American Society of Mechanical Engineers Digital Collection, 2016.
  3. Sheffield, Rachel, et al. Educational Media International2 (2017): 148-164.
  4. Halverson, Rosenfeld, and Kimberly Sheridan. Harvard educational review4 (2014): 495-504.
  5. Dousay, Tonia. International Journal of Designs for Learning1 (2017).