The Impact of Makerspaces on Engineering Education
AbstractMakerspaces are gaining more ground in universities and other educational institutions as a novel approach to boost creativity, innovation, and provide more opportunities for experiential and hands-on learning experience. Albeit being multidisciplinary, and open spaces in nature,
Makerspaces still lack integration to the curricula of engineering schools. With increasingly competitive markets, there is a need to educate future engineers with necessary skills to be more creative and to be able to compete in today’s global market. A twophase study was developed to study the integration of the Makerspace concept in engineering schools. The first phase was based on interviews with five North American University Makerspaces that vary in size, objective, business model, and management structure to identify best Makerspace practices in preparation
of the establishment of the University of Ottawa’s Richard L’Abbé Makerspace. The second phase was a survey administered to engineering students who have used the Richard L’Abbé Makerspace since its opening in the fall of 2014 to assess its impact on their engineering competencies, in particular design skills, problem analysis, communication and team
work skills, investigation skills, and entrepreneurial skills. This paper aims at studying best practices of Makerspaces on campus and their impacts on
engineering education and on the development ofdesired skills and competencies for engineering students.