Community, learning and 3D printing | Information Center


The SDSU Library Computing Makerspace continues to provide students with a resource for creativity and learning.

“Over the past decade, makerspaces have become an essential part of the mission of academic libraries to support educational innovations and opportunities for community engagement.”

Creativity and innovation are two values ​​dear to San Diego State University, and no space on campus exemplifies them better than the IT creative space.

Since 2015, build IT has been a student-run creative space where students can come together to use 3D printers, sewing and embroidery machines, hand tools, and a wide variety of computers and software to create projects as diverse as they can imagine.

Over the past year, SDSU faculty and staff have introduced unique solutions for pursuing academic and extracurricular activities via virtual means, and SDSU’s building IT community is one such example. They have come together through creative efforts and have stayed together through creative use of technology and manufacturing.

“Over the past decade, makerspaces have become an essential part of the university library’s mission to support educational innovations and opportunities for community engagement,” said SDSU Library Dean. Scott Walter. “Creative spaces such as build IT promote not only the basic concepts of information literacy education, such as the role of the student as the ‘creator’ of information, but also the development critical thinking skills as part of “critical creation”. “

With COVID-19 and the closure of the library buildings, the building IT community was faced with a new challenge to be solved: how to keep community and creativity outside of the library space and without the resources that it does. she was offering.

SDSU Librarian Jenny Wong Welch and its staff set out to create build IT Flex, echoing the SDSU Flex program where the university continued to operate through primarily remote operations.

“While emerging technology is an essential part of our mission, it is not all who we are,” said Wong-Welch. “In fact, the essence of the IT build is based on creativity and community. Both can still be represented in the absence of a physical gathering place and access to its emerging technology. “

Each week, the construction IT team presents three new projects that community members can participate in at home: a craft project using materials all over the house, a simple kitchen project, and a tutorial on how to use it. of a new software package. Community participants use some or all of these ideas and then share their results. The ideas came from the students and staff of the group and everyone contributed.

For those participants who wanted to continue working with 3D printing, Wong-Welch was able to accept their programs and print their designs, and students pick up the finished work via Domeside Pickup, as well as the books the students need for their classes. .

The build IT student assistants were delighted to be able to continue their work remotely.

“Working from home for construction IT has helped me meet my financial needs during these tough times,” said Belinda Nguyen. “It also gave me peace of mind as I live with a family that is more likely to be at risk. Time spent working from home taught me how to build a website and use my resources to create amazing crafts.

Although virtual, students continue to use build IT as a resource for learning, scholarship and community engagement.

“As a student assistant working in construction IT, the transition to working online during the pandemic has been smooth,” said Elise Serrano. “We were able to continue working on our media content production and participate in activities aimed at fostering community engagement. I’ve learned that everyone is working hard and doing their best to get through these tough months.

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