College of the Canyons MakerSpace awarded $311,432 grant

Visitors watch a mechanical robot move based on a coded script at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus MakerSpace open house in October 2016. The campus celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Source: College of the Canyons 

College of the Canyons has been awarded a $311,432 grant by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to enhance its MakerSpace centers at the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses with additional equipment, courses, training and internships.

“Our two MakerSpace locations have given our students and faculty a place where they can imagine, create and explore,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting and innovative initiative led by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.”

The college was among 24 community colleges that received funding to participate in the CCC Maker initiative and collaborate across the state, sharing best practices and developing a model for creating college MakerSpace communities.

“We are honored to have been selected for this grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to take our college’s two MakerSpace locations to the next level,” said Ron McFarland, dean of the college’s School of Applied Technology.

The vision of the statewide initiative is to drive innovation in education and prepare students for success in STEM/STEAM careers that demand 21st century skills.

“California community colleges are building makerspaces so students, faculty and staff can interact with others who have shared interests, learn to use tools, make class projects and develop their knowledge through exploration and hands on experiences,” said Carol Pepper-Kittredge, manager of the CCC Maker Statewide Project.   “MakerSpace community members collaborate and teach other, enabling students, faculty and business owners to interact in ways not possible in the classroom, enriching students’ education.”

Both of the college’s MakerSpace facilities have been designed as collaborative learning areas that give users free access to tools, materials, technological resources, skills training and a variety of entrepreneurial opportunities.

The MakerSpace mission is to enable community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone.

MakerSpace Valencia opened in May 2016, followed by the opening of the Canyon Country campus location five months later.

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