Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the jaX Makerspace.

Everyone

Faculty


What is a Makerspace?

In simplest terms, a makerspace is a place dedicated to making things. To that end, the jaX Makerspace provides access to equipment and technologies both new and old, as well as the space to plan and execute projects.

Where is the Makerspace?

The jaX Makerspace is in room 2109 in the University Commons building, accessible through the library. Turn right when you enter the library, and look for the jaX Makerspace logo.

When is the Makerspace open?

Current opening hours can be found here.

Why does the library have a Makerspace?

Libraries are in the business of providing access to information. The Makerspace provides a place to apply the information found in the library to create a finished product. Through trial-and-error, persistence, and a spirit of adventure, makers become familiar with new technologies and explore creative solutions that build marketable skills and extend classroom learning.

Who can use the Makerspace?

The jaX Makerspace supports curriculum and student success at University of Houston-Victoria. Like the rest of the library, the Makerspace is open to the public, but community members not affiliated with the university may expect student priority for equipment and higher printing prices. NOTE: Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times in the makerspace and may not use equipment unsupervised.

Can non-students use the Makerspace?

Yes, UHV faculty and staff are encouraged to use the Makerspace. For people not affiliated with the university, see the question above.

 


When should Makerspace instruction happen?

The answer to this question depends on your class's needs.

If you expect students to... Schedule your instruction session for:
...use the Makerspace throughout the semester The beginning of the semester
...use a specific piece of equipment for a single assignment The same week you introduce the assignment
...work in groups on an assignment in a single class session The day and time your class group meets
...develop their project organically using a variety of equipment At least three weeks before the project is due

It sometimes happens that students wait until the last moment to complete their assignment. The Makerspace might not be able to accommodate equipment access for large groups of students without appointments, so it is important for faculty to set the proper expectations. Students are encouraged to reserve equipment as early as possible with enough time to complete their work.

How far in advance should I request maker instruction?

You should request maker instruction at least a week in advance for two reasons. First, instruction requests are met at a first come first serve basis, so you may not be able to get the date or location that you prefer if you wait. Second, the Makerspace Librarian prepares tailored instruction material for each class. It takes at least a week to plan the best possible lesson plan and activities.

Do I have to accompany my students?

It is not required that you accompany your students during a maker instruction session, but it is highly recommended. Your attendance is valued because it shows students that what they are about to learn is important. As the University of New Mexico writes "your attendance helps the librarian seem more like a visiting artist than a substitute teacher." Students tend to pay more attention when their instructor is there and be more willing to participate in the class. If instructors don't show up, students might be tempted to wonder why they had to show up. The Makerspace Librarian always welcomes instructor input during the class, whether it is encouraging students to participate or suggesting technologies for their project.

Why does the Makerspace Librarian ask me for so much information?

When you request makerspace instruction, the makerspace librarian will likely ask you for your syllabus and any assignments that your students will be working toward. The librarian uses the syllabus and the assignment to see what types of sources your students will need, which technologies to choose for examples, and the equipment that will be most useful for your students. Please see the question "When should library instruction happen?" above for more information on meeting students at their point of need.

Who can I contact with questions about maker instruction?

Contact the Makerspace Librarian:
Tom Schilb, MLS
schilbt@uhv.edu
(361) 570-4143

What sorts of topics can maker instruction cover?

  • Comparing different fabrication technologies and in which contexts their use would be appropriate
  • Finding specific types of models, patterns, or instructional resources
  • Developing effective project plans
  • Exploring new creation skills and artistic methods

Where does maker instruction take place?

Maker instruction can take place in the jaX Makerspace, the library's instruction lab (holds 30 students) or in a classroom on the Victoria campus. If the class is too large for the Makerspace, instruction can take place in your classroom. Optimally, students will have access to computers during planning sessions so that they can have hands-on participation in what they are learning. Depending on the nature of the project, more or less physical space may be required.

Will maker instruction take up my whole class period?

It doesn't have to! A typical maker session takes about 50-60 minutes, but the Makerspace Librarian will work with you to determine how much of the class period you would like to dedicate. Topics may require more or less time depending on the content and depth of instruction.

I don't have time this semester to commit any class time to maker instruction. Are there any other options to familiarize my students with maker literacy and Makerspace services?

If you don't have any time to dedicate to face-to-face maker instruction in your class, there are other options for you and your students. The Makerspace Librarian can work with you to figure out what concepts you want your students to learn and then create online tutorials and videos that you can link to on your course content. Instructors may also require students to have one-on-one or group research consultations with the Makerspace staff outside of class time.