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Assessing Impact of Maker Space on Student Learning

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 9

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Magdalini Z. Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Magda Lagoudas, Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University. Mrs. Lagoudas holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. She worked for the State of New York and industry before joining Texas A&M University in 1993. Since then, she developed and taught courses in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology. In 2001, she joined the Spacecraft Technology Center as an Assistant Director where she was responsible for the structural and thermal analysis of payloads. She served as Director of the Space Engineering Institute and in 2010 she accepted a position with the Academic Affairs office of the Dwight Look College of Engineering where she oversaw outreach, recruiting, retention and enrichment programs for the college. Since 2013, she serves as the Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships with responsibilities to increase opportunities for undergraduates engineering students to engage in experiential learning multidisciplinary team projects. These include promoting capstone design projects sponsored by industry, developing the teaching the Engineering Projects in Community Service course, and developing curricular and co-curricular programs at the Engineering Innovation Center which promote innovation and entrepreneurship among engineering students and in collaborations with other colleges on campus and partnering with other institutions across the country.

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Jeffrey E. Froyd Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Jeffrey E. Froyd is a TEES Research Professor in the Office of Engineering Academic and Student Affairs at Texas A&M University, College Station. He received the B.S. degree in mathematics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He was an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. At Rose-Hulman, he co-created the Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, which was recognized in 1997 with a Hesburgh Award Certificate of Excellence. He served as Project Director a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Education Coalition in which six institutions systematically renewed, assessed, and institutionalized innovative undergraduate engineering curricula. He has authored over 70 papers and offered over 30 workshops on faculty development, curricular change processes, curriculum redesign, and assessment. He has served as a program co-chair for three Frontiers in Education Conferences and the general chair for the 2009 conference. Prof. Froyd is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), an ABET Program Evaluator, the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Education, a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education, and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of STEM Education.

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James L. Wilson Texas A&M University

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8 years USAF. 24 years experience in IT, Laboratory Management, Facilities Management and System Design. Received Bachelors from LeTourneau University in Education Technology. Masters from Texas A&M Commerce in Engineering Technology. Currently the Facility Manager of the Texas A&M Engineering Innovation Center.

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Peter Seth Hamilton


Rodney Boehm Texas A&M University

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Rodney Boehm has joined the Engineering Academic and Student Affairs (EASA) team as an Industry Mentor with very broad experiences, including the creation of a telecommunications standard for the fiber optics industry that is still in use internationally over 25 years later, a wide variety of business experiences in an international company, and start up experience that have helped him hone his ability to quickly determine a direction and execute to it.

He is also formerly the Chief Operating Officer for GroundFORCE, a company that specializes in a unique patented construction technology. His extensive experience in running sales, marketing, manufacturing, and large multi-national organizations was applied to introducing this new technology to the construction industry.

Formerly he was a Senior Vice President of Fujitsu Network Communications, headquartered in Richardson, Texas. With over 30 years of experience in telecommunications, Rodney was responsible for developing partnerships with leading network technology providers and driving marketing efforts for optical, access and data products developed by Fujitsu. Along with Yau Chow Ching, Rodney conceived (and wrote the standards for), the SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) architecture, which served as the base for today's North American telephone network. Rodney was Chairman of the T1X1 Technical Sub-Committee (the organization responsible for SONET standardization) from 1990 through 1994. He has been active in SONET's National and International Standardization since 1985. In addition, Rodney has published numerous papers and presentations on SONET.

Rodney began his career with Fujitsu Network Communications in 1989 as the Director of Strategic Planning. He also held the positions of Director of Transport Product Planning, Vice President of Business Management, Senior Vice President of Sales Management, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, and Senior Vice President of Business Development. Before joining Fujitsu, Rodney worked for Bell Laboratories, Bellcore (now Telcordia), and Rockwell International. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University.

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Prasad N. Enjeti Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Prasad Enjeti ( is a member of Texas A&M University faculty since 1988 and is widely acknowledged to be a distinguished teacher, scholar and researcher. He currently holds the TI-Professorship in Analog Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering. His research emphasis on industry-based issues, solved within an academic context, has attracted significant external funding. Up until now, he has graduated 31 PhD students and 11 of them hold academic positions in leading Universities in the world. He along with his students have received numerous best paper awards from the IEEE Industry Applications and Power Electronics Society. His primary research interests are in advancing power electronic converter designs to address complex power management issues such as: active harmonic filtering, adjustable speed motor drives, wind and solar energy systems and designing high temperature power conversion systems with wide band-gap semiconductor devices. In 2000 he was named an IEEE Fellow and in May 2004 received a distinguished achievement award for teaching from Texas A&M University. He is the recipient of IEEE PELS R. David Middlebrook Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society. 2012.

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In today’s global market, advances in manufacturing processes and technology in general have transformed innovation and allow industries to test new ideas for products in a very short time and for costs much lower than ever before. The traditional process of developing and testing new products is changing drastically and engineering graduates entering the workforce will benefit by possessing skills in creativity and innovation. To address this need, universities across the country have recognized the need and have invested resources to develop maker spaces and provide engineering undergraduates with opportunities for experiential and project-based learning to promote creativity and innovative skills. Maker spaces vary in size, resources, programs and targeted population and they represent a significant development in engineering education. In this large public institution, the college of engineering has offered a 20,000 square-foot maker space solely dedicated to engineering undergraduates since 2012. The facility offers students access to: 1) fabrication equipment such as 3D Printers, CNC and manual lathes and mills, and electronic circuit board fabrication; 2) microcontrollers and sensors; 3) collaborative spaces which include studio, conference and meeting rooms; 4) wide range of software tools to support engineering analysis, and 5) experienced professional staff able to guide student’s use of this equipment and tools. Students utilize facility resources for curricular activities such as capstone design projects and extra-curricular programs such as design competitions. Since 2012, the number of students requesting access to the facility has increased significantly with more than 1500 students registered for 2015 fall. To provide students with specific skills and knowledge, often related to the capacities of the maker space, the college launched a series of pop up classes in fall 2015 with the goal to provide students training for effective use of facility resources. The pop up class program has been very successful with more than 750 students registered for 2015 fall semester. This study will assess how utilization of the facility influences student development. While anecdotal evidence suggests facility resources empower participants to pursue more innovative designs, this study is the first systematic assessment of student self-reported confidence and motivation to pursue certain tasks such as engineering design. Findings will contribute to the growing body of knowledge about maker spaces and their influences on engineering education.

Lagoudas, M. Z., & Froyd, J. E., & Wilson, J. L., & Hamilton, P. S., & Boehm, R., & Enjeti, P. N. (2016, June), Assessing Impact of Maker Space on Student Learning Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26298

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