SI 636: Makerspaces, Maker Culture, Maker Tools

Do you wish you could create solutions that are custom-fit to your needs instead of buying other people's products? The maker movement makes that possible. Makerspaces represent a convergence of rejuvenated interest in do-it-yourself (DIY) practice with technological advances that have democratized access to low-cost, open-source resources. Makerspaces (also known as hackerspaces) have their roots in centuries-old practices such as guilds or county fairs. Today's makerspaces are communal or community spaces in which creators of all kinds - known as makers - come together with shared resources to tinker, prototype, swap ideas and expertise, experiment playfully, create, and iterate. Some see the maker movement as a novel approach to manufacturing: lean and nimble, with a rapid, technology-infused pathway from prototyping to manufacture. Others see making as an extension of the human experience, wrapping crafters, coders, artisans, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs under its umbrella, across the novice to expert continuum. Still others see making as a means to survival. Regardless, maker culture is collegial, built on open-source hardware and software and a free and generous sharing of ideas. This course explores makerspaces, maker culture, and the open-source, low-cost microcontroller tools (such as Arduino, Lilypad, and Grove) that accelerate maker tinkering. In this course, you are a maker. Through readings, discussion, design charrettes, and hands-on building, you'll construct insights, strategies, and skills to bring your ideas and inventions to life. Note: given the availability of existing open-source code available online for these platforms, this course focuses less on programming code than on deploying existing code. View syllabus

Credit Hours: 3
Advisory prerequisites:
Required prerequisites: SI 501 & SI 506; (or waivers)

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