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Excitement Looms as Makerspace Nears Completion

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The possibilities for H’s new makerspace in the Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center are generating excitement within the HMC community as everyone looks forward to a new space that will be inclusive, creative, playful, sustainable and will build upon the College’s liberal arts environment.

Planning included lectures and workshops that took place during the 2019 Dr. Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series and helped inspire the HMC community to create a culture for its new makerspace. Preparation continues to be an interdisciplinary process involving faculty, staff and students from across the College. HMC representatives visited other college makerspaces to gather ideas and information. An inaugural director, Jeff Groves, was named in July 2020.

Groves, professor of literature and former dean of the faculty, helped launch the makerspace initiative during his tenure as dean. He will oversee the final development and furnishing of the new space and associated media studio and will facilitate planning for the use of these resources. Well-known among students for his workshop in hand press printing, Groves brings his diverse experiences as a maker, teacher and administrator to his new role.

The makerspace will be a ground-floor centerpiece, an all-campus, cross-departmental and interdisciplinary space that, by its very layout, will be welcoming and easy to access for students of all skill levels. In a recent interview with President Maria Klawe for her November 2020 Forbes blog, Groves describes the makerspace as, largely, a student-run space.

“Students will be key in shaping what the place is, in shaping its policies, its programming, and really keeping us evolving over time in new and exciting ways,” he says. “For professors, a makerspace can help us understand how we can have a bigger toolkit for our courses—new and different ways of getting students to encounter the things that we want them to encounter.”

“The space isn’t the key point, beautiful as it will be, and the equipment and machinery and tools we have aren’t the key point,” says Groves. “The key point is the commitment of students to the space. If a few years from now we have a place where there’s a steady stream of students coming into the space, some of them working on projects from classes, some of them just doing things that they want based on their own interest, some just watching and some doing their homework because they like the space, some students just hanging out—if we’ve got that, then we will have succeeded, and it will be a space that will continue into the future in an exciting way.”

For information about the makerspace in the Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center, including giving opportunities, contact Jessica Berger, assistant vice president for development, at jberger@hmc.edu.

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