RU Makers begin MakerSpace journey

The inaugural RU Maker-themed University 100 course met in the Peery Hall MakerSpace to inspire hands-on exploration and problem-solving.

The course, which will be utilizing the MakerSpace to build things along the way, incorporates MakerSpace concepts and technology to create a cohesive unit amongst the classmates.

The inaugural MakerSpace lab session was led by MakerSpace work-study peer instructors from various disciplines across campus. The peer instructors only requirement was a motivation and desire to learn the technology.

“It’s enthusiasm,” said Physics Professor Rhett Herman. “That’s the key. The whole idea behind this group is that we don’t care if you’ve got the technical skills or not. If you’ve got the motivation, that’s what does it.”


Ivelianys Mena Perez, a work-study peer instructor, works with Radford University students.

That motivation drove the work-study peer instructors to build the space’s 3D printers in the MakerSpace from kits purchased by the university - used by the RU Makers University 100 course.

“The class allows me to work with amazing technology that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do elsewhere,” said freshman Alex Anderson. “That’s the reason I joined the community.”

The peer instructors, who built the printers, are teaching the students enrolled in RU Maker University 100 course how to use the 3D printers.

“When you’re able to teach someone else, it makes you know the material better,” said peer instructor Ivelianys Mena Perez. “It’s helping expand my knowledge and know that I can make other people learn it as well.”

Mena, and her colleagues, will be teaching the students how to use the printers, as well as how to use the software required to effectively print 3D objects.

“Today, we are teaching them basic knowledge in the application SketchUp and how to make that object print 3D,” Mena Perez said. “We’re also teaching them how to interact with the program called Cura, the 3D printing software we use. We’re just teaching them the basics today.”

The first day in the classroom is just the beginning for the RU Maker University 100 course.

“During the semester, we’ll teach them more complicated aspects of the software as well as teach them how to print more complicated 3D objects,” Mena Perez said.

Oct 5, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749