2019 FYEE Conference

Full Paper: A Makerspace Project for New Transfer Students

Presented at M2C: Learning by Design 2

This is an abstract for a work-in-process paper covering a new class developed at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). UTA is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution with a global enrollment of over 58,000 located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex of Texas. The College of Engineering (COE) at UTA instituted a new introductory course, strictly for transfer students, in the fall 2018 semester. The course goals were to instill a sense of belonging to the COE and the University, introduce UTA-specific resources, introduce engineering disciplines, experience interdisciplinary teamwork, and recognize and develop an engineering entrepreneurship mindset. In order to accomplish the last two course goals, students had a choice of four group projects. Five-student teams were assigned based upon project choice. One of the project choices was to design and build an UTA branded object, using any two pieces of equipment in UTA’s FabLab makerspace. The UTA FabLab is a creative hub for students, faculty and staff at UTA and is located in the Central Library. The space provides access to technologies, equipment, training, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, and inspirational spaces in support of invention and entrepreneurship. In addition to regular progress reports, teams were required to keep and submit a blog of their activities and to reflect on the lessons they learned during the project work as their final deliverable for the project. Students were also given pre- and post-project surveys to assess two specific Maker Competencies. This work-in-process paper will describe the preliminary offering of the course. Specifically the paper will describe the FabLab project, summarize the student self-reported lessons learned, describe the Maker Competencies developed at UTA, analyze the results of the Maker Competencies student pre- and post-project surveys, and discuss the lessons learned by faculty in the administration of the FabLab project.

Authors
  1. Dr. Bonnie S. Boardman University of Texas, Arlington [biography]
  2. Mr. Martin Kendall Wallace University of Texas at Arlington [biography]
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