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An Overview of The SCU Mobile Maker Lab Outreach Program

July 25, 2016
By Anne Mahacek

This post was was written by Anne Mahacek, the Lab Manager for Santa Clara University's Mobile Maker Lab, a project hosted by their School of Engineering, and sponsored by Makers4Good.

This summer, students, staff, and faculty from the Santa Clara University School of Engineering’s Maker Lab are gearing up for the official launch of their Mobile Maker Lab Outreach Program. The centerpiece of this program is the Mobile Maker Lab, a 28’ trailer equipped as a maker lab, complete with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and a variety of other tools of making. Through the Outreach Program, Santa Clara students are available to visit local schools and after-school programs and will use the Mobile Maker Lab to conduct a wide range of STEM educational activities. The Program will promote a range of engagement, from single visits that showcase maker technologies to longer term multi-visit programs in which the Lab is used to complement classroom and after school program activities. Through the School’s regular Maker Lab, the Outreach Program will also include remote fabrication of K-12 student designs with Santa Clara engineering students helping K-12 iterate their designs. The Program also includes services for local teachers, such as equipment, training, and collaborative development and sharing of curricular materials.

In preparation, the Santa Clara team is busy developing and testing new curricular modules and training teachers on Maker technology. The Mobile Lab is about to be “wrapped” with an artistic design, and final touches are being added to the Lab’s tool suite. The Program’s website is in place, and includes the ability to stream video of 3D printer activities as well as the ability to upload design files for remote fabrication. The Santa Clara team is also finalizing logistic details such as safety protocols and liability waivers in order to streamline the administrative processes involved in conducting school visits. Educators interested in learning more about this program should visit the Program’s website.