#TinkerThursdays : The Value of Making through Makerspaces and Fab Labs in Universities

The Makerspace @ the Libraries is a creative space (physical and virtual) for making and building projects, operating as a hub for training workshops on a wide range of topics. Shifting it’s gears online, the Makerspace started to offer its dialogue session entitled, #TinkerThursdays last March 04, 2021 with the theme: The Value of Making through Makerspaces and Fab Labs in Universities.

Partners from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ American Spaces Philippines were also present in the activity. In her welcome message, Pauline Anderson, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, underscored the importance of the maker movement in any learning environment.

For the first #TinkerThursdays session, the team gathered together starters, founders, and incorporators of Makerspaces and Fab Labs from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia to talk about makerspace, the maker movement, fab labs, and how to bring these creative spaces in universities.

To open the pioneering session, the panelists invited were important figures and contributors in this emerging movement. Resource persons were: 1) Amirul Firdaus Zilah, Program Coordinator American Corner UMK, Senior Librarian, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan; 2) Archie Velasco, Director, Fab Lab Mindanao, Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology; 3) Ronnell Oropesa, Technical Staff, Fab Lab Bicol, Bicol University; and 4) Joseph King Wiharjo, Founder, Fab Lab Bandung Indonesia.

The session gave the participants an introductory knowledge about makerspaces and fab labs as well as a general idea about the challenging issues one might encounter at the onset of such projects. The added value that these kind of spaces and programs contribute to the university was also highlighted.

Jose Eduardo Barretto, a student leader from the Organization for American Studies, ended the session with his insights as he emphasized the importance of such spaces in fostering creativity and collaboration in student learning.