A creative adventure at the MILL Makerspace

January 8, 2024

Children work and listen during a MIX event. Photo by Thurlow Hunter 2023
Children work and listen during a MIX event. Photo by Thurlow Hunter 2023

The Making Is Learning Lab (MILL) Makerspace is a new UAF Makerspace supported by the MIX, located in the Center for Teaching and Learning. Recently, the MILL Makerspace hosted an inspiring two-day design event especially tailored to UAF faculty, staff and their children focused on fostering creativity and design thinking. Here’s a summary of the topics the workshop covered.

Day one: Sparking creativity through empathy and collaboration

The overall objective was to introduce the design thinking process and then use that model to build and prototype a light fixture. The workshop started with storytelling and interviewing with a focus on empathy and understanding. This approach laid a strong foundation for the next step: crafting a problem statement.  The first day concluded with students embarked on early-stage prototyping light fixtures, turning their visions into tangible concepts.

Day two: From idea to reality

The second session was entirely dedicated to bringing these ideas to life. The families had access to an array of tools at the MILL Makerspace, including 3D printers, a laser cutter/engraver, a Cricut vinyl cutter, a sublimation printer and a wide selection of art materials. Beyond building light fixtures, this hands-on session was also about building confidence, skills and bonds. The air buzzed with excitement as each group transformed their initial prototypes into fully realized light fixtures.

This event was a celebration of creativity, collaboration and learning. We're excited about the potential for similar events in the future, fostering a vibrant community of innovative thinkers and makers here at UAF.

Stay tuned for more opportunities to create, learn and grow together!

The MILL Makerspace open hours for all UAF faculty, staff and students  are Monday-Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. The Makerspace is located in the Center for Teaching and Learning - 131 Bunnell Bldg. Feel free to contact Zach Cureton-Hazard  at zcureton@alaska.edu with any questions or inquiries about the

makerspace, or just swing by during open hours.