Make Space for EC Makerspace

Journalist: Frances Wilkinson | Editor: Anjali Boyd | Photographer: Lauren Miller | Videographer: Ricardo Mejia

Makerspace is a hidden gem on Eckerd’s campus. The relatively new club already has two different workspaces in MPC (room 112 and 224), complete with a 3-D printer, woodworking tools, sewing machine, and vinyl cutter. The club’s presidents, Helena Hurbon ’18 and Adrian Kimbrell ’18, have set up the club so that anyone is able to come and utilize this technology.

“The goals of the EC Makerspace are to broaden interests in the Eckerd community regardless of ethnic or educational background, give students hands on research opportunities and the tools to do so, and give both students and staff the ability to embrace science in a hands on way, and finally to grow and strengthen Eckerd’s business bonds within the community,” Hurbon said.

The club meets at least once a month for workshops on the various machines, such as the blacksmith station or 3-D printer. Additionally, all of the club officials are proficient with the tools and have office hours for students to come in and seek help.

When asked about the necessity for the space, Adrian Kimbrell, junior computer science major, said, “Dorm rooms are limiting. If you need to paint something for a class you can [do it here]. If you need to 3-D print something for a business class but you don’t know much about technology, we can help you. So, it’s just allowing people to come in and do what they need to do.”

With this club, the sky is the limit, and everybody is welcome to join in. In order to use some of the equipment, you have to become certified, but any of the club heads can take you through the process. Once certified, you can request swipe access to the rooms and buildings housing the materials to come work on your project at any time.

“If you’re passionate enough about it, you can make it happen,” says Hurbon. Take, for example, Keaton’s idea for a blacksmithing event. “Keaton came in and said ‘I really want to do blacksmithing.’ I said ‘okay, send out a google form’. Within 3 days we got over 200 responses saying people were interested.”

Keaton Hunter, the club’s vice president, was able to hold a blacksmithing workshop thanks to generous funding the club received from an Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) intergenerational learning grant. At the event, both Eckerd students and ASPEC community members had the chance to make “S” hooks. This hands-on learning experience allowed participants to twist thin rods of metal into a twisted “S” that can be used to hang traditional hammocks, hanging chairs, light fixtures, and in other decorative projects. After completing their S-hooks, attendees were be able to take them home and implement the hooks as they saw fit, be it for hammocks or hanging chair.

Want to know more? Email or stop by the Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science (MPC) building to check out the listed office hours.