Cabrillo College was one of 24 colleges to receive a CCC Maker Implementation Grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to build an inclusive Makerspace community, provide internships, embed making into curriculum and prepare students with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) skills to succeed in the innovation economy.
At its Board of Trustees meeting, Cabrillo College accepted a $350,000 grant that is renewable for a second year up to a total of $700,000, from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Having won the maximum award amount available to any single college through a competitive process, the grant will create an inclusive Makerspace community, provide internships, and develop curriculum to prepare students with innovation and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in the innovation economy.
Twenty-four colleges received funding to participate in the CCC Maker initiative and collaborate across the state, sharing college Makerspace best practices and developing a model for creating college Makerspace communities.
California Community Colleges are building Makerspaces so students, faculty and staff can interact with others who have shared interests, learn to use classical and advanced digital fabrication tools, make class projects and develop their knowledge through exploration and hands on experiences, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CCC Maker Statewide Project Manager.
For Cabrillo College, this will mean the addition of a new, standalone Makerspace totaling 2,817 square feet. Over the two-year span of the grant, Cabrillo will hire three new half-time staff and will invest an additional $368,000 in new equipment and materials.
Cabrillo’s new Makerspace is slated to open later this fall in a portion of the 1300 Building located just behind Cabrillo’s 3-D Art Building. It will be a new, high-tech playground where all Cabrillo students, especially those in STEAM fields, can collaborate, innovate and co-create.
With the support of existing and new curriculum, students will use the space to prepare for new internships and employment opportunities in regional advanced manufacturing and rapid prototyping, or launch entrepreneurial ventures of their own.
The new Makerspace will also be open to the entire Santa Cruz County community through memberships offered through Cabrillo’s Extension program. Workshops and mentor-led training will promote classical making skills such as woodworking and steel fabrication, as well as contemporary making techniques using 3-D scanners, 3-D printers, laser cutters/etchers, CNC machines including a new large router, Computer Aided Design (CAD), a digital knife, and more.
“The Makerspace will enhance the student experience and will be central to developing connections with industry partners, securing real world work experiences, developing hands-on skills, and supplementing curriculum,” said Dr. Laurel Jones, President and Superintendent, Cabrillo College.
“It will prepare our students to compete in the global economy, and will give our lifelong learners the opportunity to learn new skills, network with others and possibly cultivate an entrepreneurial idea into a startup or launch a second career. We see this as not only a huge benefit for Cabrillo College, but for all of Santa Cruz County,” continued Jones.
The vision of the statewide initiative is to drive innovation in education and prepare California Community College students for success in STEM/STEAM careers that demand 21st Century skills, explained Pepper-Kittredge.
Learn more about CCC Maker at http://cccmaker.com/. For updates on the Cabrillo College Makerspace Grand Opening and eventual membership opportunities, Follow @CabrilloCollege on Twitter and Cabrillo College on Facebook.