Makerspace to Support Entrepreneurship
The NCC Makerspace has been established as a hub to empower creativity, critical thinking, and inventiveness among students of all academic disciplines. It was initiated during the 2016/2017 school year, and is now in full operation.
Located within the West Campus, the space was developed to leverage the burgeoning maker movement, and is modeled on the “FabLab” approach originated at MIT. It is equipped with a 3-D printer, CNC milling machine, and laser cutter, as well as carpentry and mechanics tools, worktables and ideation whiteboards. These resources can significantly support degree based projects, pure innovation and experimentation, and out-of-the-box collaboration between disparate areas of study and student clubs. This is all facilitated by a partnership with the Fairfield County Makers Guild, whereby that group’s founder leads technical training and project counseling for students accessing the space.
Opportunities for community organizations to become involved include:
- Naming the central facility after your organization
- Fairs and competitions sponsorship
- Donations to continue enhancing equipment and attracting external expertise
- Project proposals that students can fulfill
- Counsel, resources, and networking for manufacture and commercialization of student-created products
As awareness and engagement with the Makerspace grow, programs and activities will be introduced to further enhance student experiences and capabilities building. These potentially include industry speakers, innovation workshops, competitions, maker fairs, and joint initiatives with makerspaces at other schools. Applicability to entrepreneurship will also be explored, particularly in the vein of opportunities for students to commercialize the output of their projects.