As an institution, how would you define 'maker culture'?

Maker Culture inspires the making of objects using new and emerging rapid prototyping tools and more traditional hands-on fabrication approaches like machining, sculpture and and word working. It can also employ technical skills, electrical, mechanical, civil and environmental engineering design. Meaningful making is the result of following a design process, and for educational purposes and object is the outcome. However that object does not need to be a final product. An early prototype that inspires further iteration and exploration is the most desirable outcome. 

How does your institution foster maker culture?

We have a Fab Lab. It is small and demand is high for what it offers. We are working with the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences faculty to find more applications for the lab in their classes and research, and we are reaching out to faculty in diverse disciplines todo the same. We’ve offered non degree maker classes and are creating proposals for courses that will be included in degree programs.

How are you approaching maker education with your current or future curricula?

We’ve offered non degree maker classes and are creating proposals for courses that will be included in degree programs.

What are the key programs, initiatives or classes that support the development of maker skills?

The University of Vermont Fab Lab, Vermont Fab Lab Workshop (course), Innovate, Iterate, Make: The Art + Engineering in Rapid-Prototype Design (course)

How are your students involved in making? Are there maker groups or organizations on campus organized by students?

Student employees (known as Fabbers) work in the Fab Lab. We are in the process of supporting the creation of a maker student group and we are proposing new maker classes

Give a snapshot overview of the primary facilities, technologies and tools that campus makers have or will have access to?

Vermont Fab Lab Equipment on site includes:

• CAD/CAM software

• 3D Scanning

• 3D Printing

• Laser Cutting and engraving

How does your school engage with the maker community at large?

The manager of our Fab Lab is very active in the maker movement, having started the first maker group in the state, Vermont Makers. We are planning a k-12 maker faire for this fall.

What partnerships (informal or formal) do you have with makers and/or community organizations outside of campus?

Vermont Makers, Champlain Maker Faire, we participate in many conferences in the state and the region that address making in education, teacher education conferences and classes, Vermont Engineering Intiative.

What has been the impact of maker culture on your campus?

It is just beginning, but the interdisciplinary interest in our Fab Lab is perhaps the most exciting development. Rapid prototyping tools like laser cutting, Arduino microcontroller and 3d printing have broad appeal and serving as natural activators to bring together interdisciplinary research and activity. We have hosted a lunch and tour that brought together a core group and together we are applying for grant funding.

What are the success stories relating to your maker culture?

UVM Engineering Build Tiny Renewable Wind Turbine for Developing World: