Makerspace: Innovation in Mechanical Engineering Education
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The complexity of industrial developments requires engineering students to have hands on experience as well as theoretical engineering knowledge. There is a need for a change of classical engineering curriculums. Makerspaces can be a crucial part of this change. They are introduced as physical locations where engineering student’s curiosity is fed and solutions to problems are found through teamwork. Their use in higher education can also provide an opportunity for students to engage in experiential learning. They can develop a large range of soft skills that traditional undergraduate curriculum is unable to provide, such as planning, teamwork, critical thinking and communication. There are still limited studies about the full effect and impact of these spaces in teaching and learning, from the pedagogical perspective. The aim of this study is to determine students’ experiences with such spaces and examine how makerspaces are contributing to their learning. The results of this study showed that students want more than theoretical knowledge from their engineering education. They want to be able to gain hands on experience while they are learning theory. While designing a makerspace for that purpose, the sustainability and the functioning of these spaces should be taken into consideration. The findings of this study can provide guidance for the institutions that are planning to build a makerspace in their campuses.