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DTC program introduces new tools for innovation

This semester introduces a new “Maker Space” in the Multimedia Building room 111. The space provides a 3D printer a large-scale printer allowing for banners and other projects up to 42 inches x 100 feet and an Arduino microcontroller, which will allow students to programming and design circuit boards for various projects.

This room has been set up to help students in the many disciplines, including engineering, computer science, art and the digital technology and culture program to provide practical application to the theories learned in class.

The space will allow students to study theory and work with technological innovations so they are prepared to face their dynamically changing fields of study and are ready to offer their own innovation and capable input.

Some projects have already been created in the space. Arduino kits have been used to build electronic drum kits, Bluetooth controlled RC cars, light displays that are programmed to respond to music. The 3D printer has been used for the creation of various 3D prototypes from Maya, a 3D animation-modeling program.

Technology like the Arduino microcontroller and personal 3D printing are being used to educate, design and produce. Recently WSU students presented exhibits to OMSI Maker’s Faire PDX, receiving up to 1000 visitors to their booth.

One of those projects included the Life Renewed, a transmedia, or interactive multiplatform storytelling experience that tells the story of life returning to Mount St. Helens following the 1980 eruption, which is on display at the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center http://www.mshslc.org/.

Another of those Maker’s Faire projects was a simulation created by student Connor Goglin for the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality display headset. You can experience Goglin’s work on the DTC-WSU web page or by visiting

http://www.dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc/gallery/archives/12.11/m_strawn/index.html

The room is also the office of Greg Philbrook, the CMDC’s Technical and Instructional Support Specialist, who states, “The Maker Space serves as the planning headquarters for events… …we prep computers, review works, print posters, and organize tech for said events. It’s really invaluable!”

The DTC program will be offering a class introducing students to maker culture in the spring semester and student can drop by now to check out the space and ask and questions and Philbrook for a quick tour.

Photo Credit: John Combs

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