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Design of a Comprehensive System to Benchmark Makerspaces

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Teaching In and Through Design, Maker Spaces, and Open-ended Problems

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Amit Shashikant Jariwala Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Amit Jariwala is the Director of Design & Innovation for the School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Production Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India, with honors in 2005. He received a Master of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2007 from IIT Bombay, India. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2013, with minors in Entrepreneurship. At Georgia Tech, he is responsible for enhancing corporate support for design courses, managing design and fabrication/prototyping facilities, coordinating the design competitions/expo, and teaching design courses, with a strong focus on creating and enabling multidisciplinary educational experiences. His research interests are in makerspaces, evidence-based design education, and advanced additive manufacturing processes.

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Nicholas Greenfield Georgia Institute of Technology


Emily Orton Georgia Institute of Technology

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Industrial Systems Engineering BS with a concentration in Analytics

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Rohan Banerjee Georgia Institute of Technology

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Candidate for B.S. in Mechanical Engineering concentrating in Automation & Robotics, with a Minor in Computational Data Analysis. Interested in industrial automation, product design, high volume manufacturing, and renewable energy.

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Makerspace, a term coined in the early 2000s by MAKE Magazine, is an umbrella term for many organizations that share a common goal; to support creative self-efficacy. Makerspaces can be understood as the 21st-century evolution of libraries - communities allowing members with shared interests to collaborate on developing ideas while socializing the financial burden of equipment access and upkeep. A makerspace can look very different from place to place, with some being located in public spaces like libraries or classrooms. Others can be privately owned facilities, either open to the community or for-profit enterprises charging access fees. Assessing and benchmarking these spaces' capacity and capability can be difficult due to their wide variety of attributes. There is rapid worldwide growth and evolution of makerspaces that frequently outpaces research efforts resulting in a lack of comprehensive analysis.

Creating a comprehensive framework for assessment will enable makerspaces to utilize a common language for comparison on like terms, allowing for more streamlined collaborative research to assess capability, safety, social impact, and economic contribution. A thorough literature review was conducted on makerspaces. Numerous attributes of makerspaces and maker communities were then sorted into broader dimensions. These dimensions include assets, culture, influence, and sustainability of a makerspace. The authors propose numerous data streams that could be utilized to quantify these makerspace dimensions. This assessment framework will enable future researchers to look at holistic data and influencing factors, encouraging more structured investigations on the many impacts of makerspaces on their members and community. Makerspaces are an unrivaled tool in hands-on experiential learning, and by creating a common framework, research on educational impacts can be shared among previously disparate efforts.

Jariwala, A. S., & Greenfield, N., & Orton, E., & Banerjee, R. (2021, July), Design of a Comprehensive System to Benchmark Makerspaces Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36916

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