The International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) joins the people, knowledge & inspiration that fuse to catalyze higher education makerspaces which maximize their impact on (i) the student learning experiences and (ii) alumni success. We foster community, networking, interaction and learning between people who are passionate about making. This community includes, but is not limited to, student and faculty advocates, upper administration/leadership, government policy makers, educational researchers and makerspace managers and other practitioners.
Why ISAM? 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. This nascent field is fast growing, and 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. ISAM was created to make this happen.
ISAM will gather, and make available, knowledge and best practices that 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 measurable impact. This is facilitated via:
- Short courses that cover principles and practices.
- Invited experts that provide insight into emerging areas, concepts & 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.
ISAM is a collaborative effort of the Higher Education Makerspace Initiative.