Visit to Makerspace@Singapore Polytechnic
The visit to the Makerspace at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Library organised by the Library Association of Singapore’s Programmes and Social Committee on 26 June 2014 received overwhelming response and registration closed within a few days of the announcement. There was much curiosity on what the first Makerspace in a Singapore library would be showcasing.
Mr Kamaludeen Mohammad Rafi, Deputy Director of SP Library shared with the 29 participants that SP Library is re-framing its role to make the library as one of the centres of learning by providing users with opportunities to access new technology, enabling them to explore and experiment, to discover their interests, imagine possibilities, and to learn holistically. With the Poly’s strong emphasis for students to achieve mastery in their areas of training and the growing interest in hands-on and activity based learning, various pilot projects such as RoboPod and Tech lending were introduced in the library and this led to the setup of the Makerspace in October 2013.
Makerspace@SP is an evolving space. SP Library is actively learning from the local maker community as well as overseas makers on how to support the objectives of the institution and help to inspire learning by encouraging tinkering and making. It is an exciting journey and definitely work in progress!
Participants were given the opportunity to try out 3 hands-on activities so as to understand and experience the spirit of learning by making. Dr Yeo Wee Kiang, Maker Coach gave an introduction to 3D printing and 3D design session. Participants were thoroughly engrossed in the session and those who completed the workshop were rewarded with a Vibrobot to bring home. Participants also saw 3D scanning and printing in action and everyone was happy to have a personalised 3D printed name tag as a souvenir.
Raspberry Pi computer, LED lights, using the MaKey MaKey invention kit to turn bananas into piano keys, and applying Kinect technology to google earth travel were some of the other activities that participants were given opportunities to try out.
Cardboard sculpturing was a fun-filled activity for some participants and one group very successfully created the Marina Bay Sands resort structure within a very short time. The guideline to this activity was to create a structure by interlocking H-shaped cardboard pieces without the use of glue, staple or string. A creative design and a strong structure were the requirements given.
The participants enjoyed the visit to SP and had a great time interacting, networking and sharing with each other during the workshop and at tea break. It was a time of making and learning together!
Here are some comments and feedback from the participants:
“I am totally impressed with the Makerspace. I enjoyed the hands-on workshops.” – Catherine Tan, NTU Library
“It was an interesting, eye and mind-opening experience.” – Dexterine Ho, Inno-hands on
“For me the visit here was inspiring and provided new ideas for use of library spaces. I have a chance to network with other library colleagues. I enjoyed the cardboard-making, trying out the kinect travelling on google earth and the DIY electronics session.” – Wong Oi May, NTU Library
“It’s innovative to see how recycled materials are used. Innovations do not necessarily have to be high-tech. It is interesting to know what a Makerspace is. I had fun with the group in making the MBS structure using cupboard materials.” – Cecilia James, Tan Tock Seng Hospital
“Your Makerspace is a good example of making libraries relevant to their institutions. It provides new opportunities for users to learn and explore. We should be proud of our own model of makerspace in Singapore.” – Yit Chin Chuan, NLB
“It was an enlightening and educational visit for me. Enabling serious play in the library is paving the way for the library of the future.” – Max Ng, NLB
“I learned so much from this visit.” – Goh Su Nee, NTU Library
Submitted by Fang Sin Guek
LAS, Chairperson (Programmes & Social Committee)
17 August 2014