The maker movement is a popular cultural phenomenon that is attracting more interest from policy makers and increased public sector funding. The Future Makers team has been investigating how makerspaces can impact and contribute to the local economy as a stimulus for new business generation and STEM education.
This Keystone Project will address the question of what impact do makerspaces have on its local economy as a stimulus for new business generation and to assist existing businesses explore new technologies and products. Secondly, the Project will evaluate whether making activities can enhance STEM education by encouraging interest in STEM and improve STEM outcomes. Thirdly, the Project will explore community connections as facilitated by making activities and investigate how community groups can influence a makerspace’s activities through knowledge sharing.
Importantly, this Project also introduces an over-arching vision to have makerspaces contribute to a circular economy. The Project introduces a breakerspace to compliment the makerspace and will develop recycled plastics materials for use in the makerspace and will investigate new products that can utilize recycled plastics. We expect to develop and demonstrate practical solutions to the re-use of waste materials that can be adopted by other makerspaces.
The team is made up of researchers from AIIM, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and Faculty of Business and Law, and will partner with the University of Wollongong’s Science Space to break new ground establishing inspiring areas of engagement with schools, businesses and the local community, while investigating environmentally responsible practices.
Prof Geoff Spinks (AIIM), Dr Teodor Mitew (ASSH), Prof Sue Bennett (ASSH), Dr Tillmann Boehme (BAL), Dr Chantel Carr (ASSH), Dr Tiffani Apps (ASSH), Dr Karley Beckman (ASSH), Dr Thomas Birchnell (ASSH) , A/Prof Shirley Agostinho (ASSH), Dr Helen Georgiou (ASSH), Dr Adrian Tootell (BAL), Travis Wall (ASSH), Dr Agnieszka Golda (ASSH), Dr Jo Law (ASSH) and Jessica Grozdanov.
This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals: