Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Makerspaces in Higher Education: the UR-Maker experience at the University of La Rioja
Alpha Pernía-Espinoza, Enrique Sodupe-Ortega, Sergio Peciña-Marqueta, Sergio Martínez-Bañares, Andres Sanz-Garcia, Julio Blanco-Fernandez

Last modified: 08-06-2017

Abstract


According to the CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) Syllabus, apart from technical knowledge, labour markets are demanding engineers with personal, interpersonal and system building skills. The current educational system, however, is based on teaching theoretical concepts rather than on practical activities. Makerspaces could become a bridge between universities and industry, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) carriers. Makerspaces, also known as hackerspaces, hack labs and fab labs, are open-access spaces where a community shares tools, machines and knowledge in order to implement an idea. This communication reviews the makerspaces at the world’s top 10 engineering universities and three of the most recognized in Spain. The qualitative data was collected through the universities’ websites. We observed that most of the reviewed universities have outstanding makerspaces for engineering students, generally open to the entire university community. In Spain, the ‘Maker UPV’ was found exceptionally successful in activities and projects performed in spite of their lack of material resources. Lastly, the authors describe their experience implementing a campus makerspace at the University of La Rioja, sharing interesting information about the organization, budget, funding and activities.

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