On Tuesday, March 12 2103, Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media and Editor of MAKE magazine, visited campus to talk with Natural Science students during a conversational seminar and to give the Common Experience talk entitled "The Magic of Making: Engaging Students as Makers". Mr. Dougherty is widely regarded for his work as a driving force behind the Maker Movement which encourages people to create and build things with technology rather than being passive consumers of content. During his common experience talk, he described his observations about how creating, or making, appealed to students young and old, engaged their curiosity and often led to academic success. Mr. Dougherty, who is from Louisville, KY, described his career from college into technical publishing, described the maker movement, and engaged with students about the possibilities for creating with new technology such as 3D printers.
Assistant Professor of Informatics Chris Kimmer describes the Maker movement and the technology behind it in his informatics courses, and a 3D printer is available for students to use in Dr. Kimmer's lab. Mr. Dougherty interacted with students who were 3D printing during his visit and also inspired other students to try out the new technology. Some students are interested in starting a makerspace, a place where people gather to work on projects individually or collaboratively, on campus, and Dr. Kimmer, Dr. John Doyle (Computer Science), Dr. Suranga Hettiarachchi (Computer Science), and Dr. Gary Pinkston (Education) submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled "make.edu: Using Makerspaces to Teach Computing at Universities" that is currently under review.