Students use cool tools to solve local problems in summer Makerspace course

Walk by Union South and you might hear the faint buzz of power tools. It’s the hum of creativity in the UW Makerspace next door in Wendt Commons, where students design and build whatever they can imagine in a collaborative environment with cutting-edge tools.

Makerspace is a College of Engineering site where, as the motto says, “limits don’t exist.”

For UW–Madison Summer Term, the Makerspace debuted a course called Design & Make (Almost) Anything, taught by director Lennon Rodgers, shop manager Karl Williamson, and the director of the Design Thinking Initiative in the School of Human Ecology, Lesley Sager.

In the four-week course, students visited farmers’ markets to assess local challenges. They worked on interdisciplinary teams to address the problems through design thinking, using techniques to enhance creative analysis and problem-solving.