Emerging Miners of Growth: College Makerspaces
Buying materials for your home is getting easier. With the proliferation of online shopping, where finding the right tool might take a little hunting, the price to prepare you for life in the virtual world is saving you money.
We spend more than four billion dollars a year on gadgets alone, and that money also has the potential to give back by enabling aspiring entrepreneurs to increase their productivity and creativity.
Everyone should have a computer, so why not think about the tools of the trade and resources needed in order to actually produce your products.
And colleges can deliver more to their students than affordable laptops and flexible-type learning tools. Adding makerspaces to campus might be one way to get everyone in your school motivated to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.
Makerspaces enable building projects at your home or in a working studio space, create new ways to experience nature and learn about everyday topics, and provide valuable insights into where the future of manufacturing is heading.
Innovation is not just about innovation for businesses, and in the last five years there has been an increase in consumer interest in “maker” projects. Thanks to 3D printing and micro-machines, anything can be made by anyone in the world, instantly.
With widespread innovation and positive media attention, we are likely to see even more students getting involved in DIY entrepreneurial projects in the years to come.
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health has already shown the educational benefits of maker activities. In 2010, the NIH created the Maker Lab at its Medical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Makerspaces can ignite inspiration in students, resulting in research projects with a meaningful personal lesson each time they create something themselves.
Internships can be profitable and offer exposure to the exciting world of advanced manufacturing through hands-on tasks in a space that encourages innovation, teaches problem solving and provides support, with formal training in the field.
Creating a maker environment has huge potential for landlords. Among the billions of dollars available to be spent on professional spaces, supporting the creation of maker hubs is a smart investment that will pay off for everyone.
For example, teaching students how to make your own recipe for juices is a valuable skill that can be used to make at-home meals more nutritious. This can be particularly beneficial to employers who need experienced and trained employees to execute tasks that require company autonomy and independence.
Businesses can also benefit from the developer networks and curricula that run through maker centers. Some schools are creating them to teach students about money management, while others are bringing the most serious eco-conscious ethic to a number of practical skills, from graphic design to 3D printing.
Being a maker also helps mitigate fears of terrorist activity, not to mention the growing needs for resources in the world. On top of business, if you don’t have time to think about it, you might want to think about the support you’re giving to the planet and the students who benefit from them.
Upcoming incentives from public and private sources help these makers all the way from those early-stage startups to early-stage industrial companies: the entrepreneurial ecosystem might change soon if college campuses begin to take this into account.