Teaching a class using the DI Lab

We can support your course as long as it:

  • Is related to design, innovation, making, engineering;
  • Is offered within the UW-Madison College of Engineering. If not, contact us to discuss – we do host some non-engineering courses (maker-contact@engr.wisc.edu);
  • Does not conflict with an already scheduled event;
  • Does not exceed our capacity. In general about 20 to 25 students is the max depending on the activity;
  • Has been scheduled with sufficient notice (one week or more depending on the details).

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Can I have my class meet in the Makerspace?

You’re welcome to use the Makerspace for a few of your lab sessions subject to availability. However, the Makerspace is not well suited as a regular meeting space (e.g. every M-W-F from 1-2:30pm). It’s best to ask your students to use the Makerspace on their own time during regular hours (e.g. spread out the use throughout the week).

Let us know your needs and we’ll do our best to help.

Please email us ahead of time to ensure space and equipment is available: maker-contact@engr.wisc.edu


What are ways I could integrate the Makerspace into my course?

We recommend that you:

[1] Tailor your labs around the Makerspace equipment. Provide students freedom and flexibility on particular lab assignments. Encourage them to collaborate with others and be creative using the Makerspace. Decrease the structure of the assignment so students may choose to deviate if motivated to do so.

[2] Have your lab sections meet in the Makerspace once to introduce the students to the equipment. To prepare, we can train you and/or the TAs of your class so they can run the class with minor support from the Makerspace staff.

[3] Encourage students to come back on their own time to leverage the staff and equipment within the CoE shops. It’s difficult for the Makerspace to support groups >~ 25 on a regular schedule, though we can accommodate a very large number of students spread out over the entire day and week. If specialized or a significant amount of assistance is needed by your students, please have your TAs hold office hours in the Makerspace (for your students only). Our student staff can help train your TAs so they know how to use the Makerspace equipment and can assist your students as needed.

[4] Leverage the workshops offered within the Makerspace: Each week we offer workshops on topics that might align directly with the learning objectives of your course (e.g. 3D printing, microcontrollers/electronics… and we’re always open to new ideas); feel free to advertise these events as supplemental instruction for your students. Events / workshops are posted here.

Does the Makerspace have instructional content I can use for my class?

Yes! We offer instructional content for most of the equipment in the space (e.g. 3D printers, laser cutter, electronics, etc.). These “Learning Modules” may be used by instructors and/or students freely without approval.  Click here for the Canvas page where all the content except the quizzes is available. Please contact us if you have any questions and/or would like help migrating one or more of these Learning Modules to your Canvas page: maker-contact@engr.wisc.edu.

You could also encourage and/or required your students to attend Makerspace Workshops (link).

Will the Makerspace staff teach my lab?

  • In short, no; however, our student staff will:
    • Train you and/or your TAs beforehand on the Makerspace equipment.
    • Be available in a limited capacity during your lab to ensure you have the equipment needed + oversee safety.
  • You and/or your TA will need to:
    • Generate the instructional content yourself or use the Makerspace “Learning Modules” – see above.
    • Teach the content to your students.

The instructor and/or TA team will need to come into the Makerspace beforehand to be trained by our shop staff on the relevant equipment. This will allow the instructors/TAs to give demos and be the first source of support. Makerspace staff is available to help though it’s not possible to provide the complete instructional development and delivery for all of the classes using the Makerspace.

*While the instructor and/or TA must handle any instructional activities during set lab times, instructors are welcome to assign modules to their students and have their students come in during Project Support times (listed at the bottom of each equipment page) for assistance from the Makerspace student staff.

Can my class reserve space or equipment for my class in the Makerspace?

To use the laser cutterwaterjetCNC routeror to schedule a touryou must make a reservation. All other equipment doesn’t require a reservation, therefore you can just walk in and get started, if the steps above have been completed.

If you anticipate a large number of your students using the Makerspace, please contact us so we can coordinate: maker-contact@engr.wisc.edu

May the students in my class use the equipment in the Makerspace (without paying a fee and/or obtaining formal training)?

Only during your lab session when you and/or your TAs are present and leading the instruction. As long as you and/or the TA are leading the instruction, no Permits or Materials Fees are required by your students. However, if your students will come back on their own outside class time, they must have the appropriate permit(s) described here.

*You and/or your TA must receive prior training from the Makerspace staff.

Can my class have a tour of the Makerspace during class or lab time?

We would be happy to provide a tour to any UW-Madison course at the Makerspace.  Makerspace tours typically take 15-20 minutes and cover the equipment used in the space, our collaborative work areas, and resources available to users. If your class is 10 people or fewer, no reservation is needed – just come to the front desk and ask for a tour – simple as that! If the desk worker has stepped away, please ring the doorbell mounted on the desk and wait for them to return.

If your class is larger than 10 people and/or you have a question regarding tours, please contact: maker-contact@engr.wisc.edu

If you want your students to experience more than a short tour, please see the options listed above: Project Support, Workshops, etc.

We look forward to seeing you at the Makerspace!