You know how to brighten up the Friday of Dead Week? Getting your new outreach cart delivered to your office! Even better? Getting it hand-delivered by the senior Engineering students who designed and built it from scratch with their own hands!
We were inspired in part by the Mobile Library cart at Claremont colleges. The initial inspiration came from the small group we have exploring makerspaces and maker culture. That group is headed up by my colleague Margaret, who really deserves most of the credit fort this project. She developed the initial plan and proposal here, and talked to people all over the library to figure out all of our requirements. We found out that the OSU Press unit had an interest in it as an outreach tool, a number of our teaching librarians would use it to participate in outreach events around campus as well as the the Maker group, which has plans to do popup maker spaces.
Students in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at OSU complete a Senior Capstone design project. They choose from a pool of projects that have been submitted, and then work in groups with the clients who submitted the projects to bring the final product to life. Margaret created the proposal for this cart and submitted it to the school for consideration. We were lucky enough to have one of the groups choose our project. Margaret met with them throughout the process, answering questions as they came up and managing the sometimes complicated financial end of things (we paid for the project out of the research and project fund attached to my professorship).
You can see the display area across the front for Press books, 3-D printed objects, or whatever. It’s lockable, if needed.
There’s a battery in there too. It has power enough to run a laptop, and to support the maker activities. Although, we were told that its ability to run a hair dryer for long “depends on the hair dryer.”
It’s waterproof. We are in western Oregon after all. The students tested it by pouring water on it for several minutes – to simulate a steady and significant rain.
Along the back side, there’s a storage drawer and a pretty significant storage cupboard for maker materials, extra books, a laptop, the 3-D printer – whatever is needed.
I’m so excited – they did such a great job. And it’s pretty cool to have something to support learning that was itself the product of a significant learning experience. But, at the end of the day, the best part of the whole thing is always getting to meet the students. Because they’re awesome. And this is a public thank-you to Margaret for making it happen and for including me in that part of it.