Freshman Scholars Program 2014

Exploring Makerspaces Through Robotics and Electronics


Instructor:  Heather Wilson, M.S.L.S.


Project Description:

Students interested in computing, design, electronics, libraries, robotics, programming, gaming, or Arduino.

Throughout the world, makerspaces have been appearing in social centers, schools, and especially libraries.  Featuring everything from sewing to small electronics to audio engineering, makerspaces have been helping visitors learn how to identify good information, implement it, and develop new skills and ideas for others to use. However, most research on makerspaces focuses on public libraries and large research libraries -- very little is known about the positive impact of small, academic library makerspaces on their communities.  In Ferrum's Digital Media Center, librarians have been seeing that a smaller community of interested students allow the library to provide more in-depth maker projects, such as designing and controlling robots.  This project will teach the student(s) how to use Arduino-based electronics to make fun robotic tools, as well as study the unique role that a library makerspace has in a small community of undergraduates.

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson, M.S.L.S.

Heather Wilson is the Systems and Emerging Technologies Librarian in Stanley Library, where she manages the Digital Media Center.  The Digital Media Center provides a wealth of resources for Ferrum's creative community, including audio engineering, 3D printing and modeling, two Adobe workstations, and a digital video lab. Heather's work in this area has led to begin research into the role of library makerspaces on small, academic college communities. She has developed presentations about Ferrum's augmented reality, 3D printing, and video editing programs for national and regional conferences, and she is now researching how small college libraries can benefit from local electronics programs for students.

If you have specific questions about this project, please contact Heather Wilson directly at HLwilson@ferrum.edu.

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