Student maker space leaders from across the Georgia Tech campus came together April 10th for the 1st Annual GT COE Joint Maker Space Workshop: “Making a Better Maker Space Community.” The School of Materials Science and Engineering’s Materials Innovation and Learning Laboratory (the MILL) organized and hosted the workshop, with help from their faculty director, Associate Professor Mark Losego. Fourteen student leaders from the Invention Studio, the Aero Maker Space, the HIVE and the MILL attended the workshop.  Attendees gave formal presentations that shared capabilities, operational structures, safety protocols, outreach efforts, and other best practices for student-run maker spaces. Contributed talks to the conference included User Training Systems and Creating Sustainable Knowledge.

The event also included ample time for the student leaders to socialize and ideate on how to further strengthen Georgia Tech’s maker space community and amplify its combined impact. As one of the attendees commented: “Interacting with the other maker spaces was really cool!  Learning how other spaces do things was enlightening."

Feedback on the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of the participants desiring similar workshops to be held each semester.  As another attendee commented, the event helped identify “common problems between all of [the maker spaces],” while also demonstrating the great opportunity to have more collaboration amongst our maker spaces. Attendees are now working to setup standardized forms of communication and information sharing through unified messaging apps and social media platforms; they are also looking to improve the holistic web presence of the maker spaces on the COE website and possibly creating a campus tour for prospective students that includes visiting each of the COE maker spaces. 

After the event, Losego commented, “It is really exciting to see all these talented students get together and generate such strong connections and new ideas.  Georgia Tech continues to be a global leader in experiential education and the ecosystem of maker spaces within COE has unlimited potential to continue to serve as a platform for supporting student innovation and success."