Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has added a new dimension to its educational resources.
3-D printers in the campus library are now available to students and the community and that has thrown some creative imaginations into high gear.
And it’s not just 3-D printers, but also lasers for engraving, virtual reality technology. All of that forms what’s called the I-Create makerspace.
It’s an impressive collection of equipment that’s being used to help users develop some cutting edge skills.
“Makerspaces are sort of becoming a bigger part of libraries all over the country,” Sylvia Sanchez, Create makerspace coordinator, said.
Students are often told to strive to reach their potential.
And now, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has yet another resource to help them do just that.
“We’ve been planning it for the previous semester,” Sanchez said. “It started as something small and then turned into a larger project. We ended up converting our entire media computer lab into a makerspace.”
Students, faculty, staff even the Corpus Christi community, have had access to makerspace since the start of the spring semester.
There’s a fun side to playing around with 3-D printers and lasers, but students are also doing some serious learning.
“You know, we’ve had fun,” said David Jones, a makerspace technician. “We’ve had play. We’ve had serious times. We’ve done an ultrasound wand for practicing for her board certifications. We’ve done poseable dragons.”
The high-tech learning environment has had 1,600 visitors since it opened.
And for each of them, it’s been a unique experience.
“We had a nice, slow start and it built up,” David Jones, a Makerspace Technician, said. “But as we got people in here, we had a lot of repeats. Very rarely did someone come in here just one time.”
The lab is currently open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Other features in the makerspace include a sewing machine for embroidery, a large format printer, and even some virtual reality gear.