Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Makerspace Demonstration this Saturday

In short, a makerspace can be defined as a place of hands-on learning, but its full definition will also depend on the environment in which it is deployed. Concepts underlying makerspace activities, such as collaboration, shared expertise, experimentation, problem-solving, creative exploration, to name but a few, translate into engaging and productive learning environments. Within the context of an academic institution, a particular value can be imparted to a makerspace culture by the occurrence of cross-disciplinary interactions.

As part of a current initiative to explore the role of academic makerspaces at UFV, the Library and Faculty of Applied and Technical Studies would like invite UFV faculty, staff, and students to a unique opportunity to observe a demonstration of makerspace activities facilitated by local educator and GearBots founder Dereck Dirom. UFV attendees are also invited to bring their children.

 GearBots is a robotics engineering program for ages 9-15 that provides an engaging and innovative way to promote science, technology, engineering, arts and math skills. A number of other skills are also developed, such as problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, time management, organizational, and design.

This event will focus on demonstrating the skills needed to learn how to code a robotics device, with past and current GearBots students offering to assume the role of teachers for UFV observers-turned-participants. Electronics activities and 3D printing will also be demonstrated. UFV attendees are encouraged to reflect on this event as a specific demonstration of what an increasing number of university students in the very near future will be capable of and what kinds of learning options they will be expecting from a post-secondary educational environment. This event is also an opportunity to meet other interested UFV parties and begin or continue discussions about the many ways makerspace concepts and activities can augment the courses, programs, and general educational experience at UFV, including how existing University resources might be leveraged to this effect.

The Faculty of Applied and Technical Studies partners with and supports the GearBots program in a number of ways, including space allocation in the Trades and Technology facility for ongoing GearBots robotics and coding workshops and initiating a GearBots presence in the roster of UFV summer camps on both the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses.

This event will take place in the Abbotsford campus Library from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 4th.

For more information about this event please contact Martin Warkentin (martin.warkentin@ufv.ca)

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