November 24, 2021By Lance Baily

International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces Helps Maximize Academic Learning Impact

Building a shared makerspace, or innovative DIY prototyping development space, in a healthcare simulation lab can offer simulationists increased hands-on opportunities. To help provide insight on this topic, the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) has become the preeminent annual meeting for the academic makerspace community. Over a four-day span each fall, over 350 faculty, staff, learner, and industry leaders gather to share makerspace knowledge, experience, and inspiration in order to maximize impact on the academic learning experience and alumni success. In 2021, ISAM announced that the yearly symposium would be postponed one year due to COVID-19. The next symposium is now scheduled for November 6 to 9, 2022.

This event focuses on how higher education makerspaces impact the efficacy of student learning in fields that include science, engineering, mathematics, music, entrepreneurship, medical/biomedical, architecture, mathematics, literature, and more. These spaces have demonstrated an ability to foster highly beneficial interdisciplinary interactions and supportive peer communities that extend beyond the boundaries of a makerspace. Conference sessions will feature paper and poster presentations, videos, panel discussions, and Q&A opportunities around the following higher education makerspace topics. The symposium program is planned as follows:

  • Sunday, November 6, 2022 – Welcome Reception
  • International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces 2022
  • Georgia Institute of Technology – Georgia Tech Hotel – 800 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, GA
  • Monday, November 7, 2022 – Main Program
  • Tuesday, November 8, 2022 – Main Program
  • Wednesday, November 9, 2022 – Workshops
  • ISAM 2022 Additional Activities (Additional Activity Registration Required)

As the nascent field is fast-growing, ISAM stresses that now is the time to gather people and knowledge together so that resources are best used to rapidly and broadly infuse makerspaces into higher education. Helping to achieve this, workshops will be offered at ISAM 2022 on Wednesday, Nov 9, 2022 (with each activity requiring pre-registration). The workshops are titled “ISAM 101: Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace” and “ISAM 102: Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping.”

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Ultimately, ISAM was created in 2016 to make this happen. The symposium is designed to gather and make available, knowledge and best practices. This information may be used to form student maker communities, get students excited about using these spaces, perpetuate a culture of safe, fun, and responsible use, measure/maximize educational and social impact, and to select appropriate practices, programming, safety policies, training, staffing, and equipment. ISAM believes in providing a balance of different approaches to creating, running, and maintaining makerspaces that yield measureable impact. This is facilitated via:

  • Short courses that cover principles and practices.
  • Invited experts that provide insight into emerging areas, concepts and research.
  • Technical papers & poster presentations that disseminate the most recent advances.
  • Community discussions around core topics and new developments.
  • Community building and networking/making events.
  • Industry booths to exhibit and learn about the latest technologies

Note: The ISAM Event App will detail the Event Schedule and the Sponsor Workshops, and include all Papers and the associated presentations, all Posters and the extended abstracts, and all Videos, as well as connections to Sponsors. The Event App will be available for download prior to the event so that you can plan your visit. Additional activities have limited capacity and there will be no registration at the door. Prior registration is required for admittance. No exceptions.

ISAM 2022 Conference Topics

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ISAM invites submissions for three presentation opportunities: paper presentations, poster presentations, and video presentations. These submission must be focused around the following topics:

  • Educational Research to Understand the Values of Making
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Studies of Making
  • Supporting and Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • User Engagement, Curriculum Development, and Programming
  • Literature Surveys relevant to Academic Makerspaces
  • Emerging Hardware and Software Tools for Makers
  • Community and Industry
  • Defining Success: Metrics, Data Collection, & Impact
  • Funding Models, Revenue Streams & Sustainability
  • Makerspace Mission, Vision, Goals & Core Values
  • Management & Staffing Models
  • Navigating Policies and Politics to Promote Campus Collaborations
  • Role of Libraries in Promoting Academic Making
  • Space Design, Workflow, Equipment, and Safety & OSHA Regulations
  • Spaces for Industrial Design, Art, Architecture, Jewelry, and Fashion
  • Training, Documentation and Competency Certification

Submissions that include research results, such as hypothesis-driven experiments, surveys and interviews, quantitative assessments, novel models, and literature citations will be given preference for oral presentation, but ISAM invites all submissions to share and learn at ISAM 2022. The Poster and Video tracks invite experience reports, best practices, project reports, implementation reports, and works-in-progress. One of the poster sessions will showcase student projects completed in makerspaces and we explicitly invite such submissions.

Authors should submit an initial draft paper of up to six pages in length (using the provided template) by May 30, 5 PM EST. According to ISAM, initial drafts should clearly state the contribution, methods, cite relevant literature, and any include results and analysis obtained thus far. Where work is ongoing, authors should clearly describe what steps they plan to complete before the re-submission deadline on July 11.

The program committee will review initial submissions and notify authors with one of three decisions: accept; revise and resubmit, or reject. Authors invited to revise and resubmit papers must submit a revision that addresses the comments of the reviewers by July 11. After this deadline, the program committee will review submitted papers again, and decide whether these papers will be accepted or rejected. Papers that were not accepted during the review process will be invited to submit to the poster track.

ISAM is a collaborative effort of the Higher Education Makerspace Initiative. The Higher Education Makerspaces Initiatives (HEMI) is a collaborative of leading universities focused on solving the challenges of academic makerspaces and making their combined learnings available to others. Case Western Reserve University, Georgia Tech, MIT, Olin College, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and Yale University are HEMI members. HEMI is the organizing body for the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces and the soon-to-be published International Journal for Academic Makerspaces and Making.

Learn More About ISAM 2022

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