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SWTJC opens STEM MakerSpace with ribbon cutting ceremony

Given the rise in COVID-19 cases statewide and in the SWTJC service area, all Fall 2020 Academic and Transfer courses will be offered virtually or remotely via Zoom, Teams, or Canvas Conference. These include classes originally scheduled as regular, in-person face-to-face. Technical Program classes will meet virtually for lecture and meet in-person for hands-on labs, observing safety and social distancing procedures.

SWTJC opens STEM MakerSpace with ribbon cutting ceremony

SWTJC students, faculty, and staff participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the new SWTJC STEM MakerSpace on Tuesday (Aug. 27) in Uvalde.

Uvalde High School representatives and members of the community were also on hand for the opening.

A MakerSpace is a place that provides a hands-on way for students to design, experiment, and invent as they engage in science and engineering.

The SWTJC STEM MakerSpace, located in the Sterling Fly Building is designed to provide a space and opportunity for students to explore their interests using high tech tools and low-tech materials to develop creative hands-on and virtual projects.

According to Krystal Ballesteros, STEMward Bound Grant Manager, the project was a three-month-long expansion that included the renovation of the existing Student Success Center as well as upgrades to technology and furniture.

“The Makerspace movement is generally an area where students can collaborate, think, do, and make, said Ballesteros. “We found it to be an easy fit into the existing Student Success Center, as that is the area where students generally gather to study and work. We are grateful for the collaboration and are excited to see what the future brings.”

This project is part of an initiative written into the 5-year $2.7 million STEMward Bound program funded by the Department of Education Title V Hispanic Serving Institution Grant.

The Student Success Center received upgraded computers, 2-in-1 laptop/tablets, virtual reality headsets, a Cricut machine, and a 3D printer.

Additionally, all of the furniture is mobile and conducive of active and collaborative learning.

The MakerSpace includes two multimedia tables allow for group work, as well as whiteboard tables, and various types of mobile furniture.

There is also a standing tinker table with various tools and resources for creating and making.