NSights Blog

DeLaMare Maker Challenge series an opportunity to make, create and connect

Pick up your DIY Maker Challenge kit at the DeLaMare and let the creativity begin

I walk around our library, the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library, a few times per day, as a way to give my eyes a break from my computer. It is eerily quiet as I walk past empty chairs and headphone clad students watching Zoom silently. In the “before times” of COVID-19, my walks would give me energy as I walked past enthusiastic study groups and students building hovercrafts for their Engineering 100 class. With few students trekking around campus, I wondered how we would still communicate with our users and keep them engaged with our Makerspace. Like many other services on campus, we found the need to expand our makerspace outreach efforts to a virtual medium. For us, this meant creating events that linked back to our social media accounts. One of these events includes the monthly DeLaMare Maker Challenge series.

While having events go virtual seems like a great idea on paper, everything has now shifted online and people are zoned out with all of the screen time required in a day. It is absolutely mind-numbing being online all day; where our work, school and social lives have depended on that dim little screen. We just need to take a breath and give ourselves a chance to relax every once in a while. Self-Care is totally on trend right now. And this is where I step in to offer faculty and their students a fun little activity that can help break up your day and put a smile on your face. Take this as an opportunity to retreat from the screen and tap into something new and different.

Stop by the DeLaMare Library, located off of the Quad inside of the Mackay Mines building, during the first two weeks of each month to pick-up a DIY Maker Challenge Kit. These free kits can be found at the Makerspace service desk. They tie into our monthly DIY maker challenge series of events.

Our Makerspace Challenges are monthly themed activities, where participants can take one of our pre-made kits and get crafty. Our kits are simple and have instructions attached for easy making. It is encouraged to go the extra mile, and add some personal flair to each of your creations. Completed creations can be posted on DeLaMare's Facebook or Instagram with #UNRMakerChallenge. By sharing our creations virtually, my hope is to develop a sense of community among University members who may not identify themselves as makers. It Is also a place to collect the vast array of projects, and see how each person put in their own personal twists to the theme.

As the Makerspace and Library Assistant, it is my job is to make the Makerspace a fun and accessible environment. While we have found success with making in the classroom, I want people to come to our space to fall in love with the process of making and not have to worry about being graded on it. Making encompasses so many things, from DIY holiday ornaments to creating vinyl stickers for the club fair.  Becoming someone who “makes” can start small, by taking one of our pre-made kits home. We don’t expect you to make these complex and intricate projects. We do want you to feel like you accomplished by creating something physically from scratch, which doesn’t happen all that often any more.

Anyone can be a maker, and we hope you can find inspiration here at the DeLaMare Makerspace.

Rebecca Glasgow photo
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