Make STEAM Q on View

Whereas Q stands for: Quizzical, Quantify, Questions, Quirky, Queens, Quintessential, Quantitative…

We from the QC Makerspace, the QC Library, & the QC Faculty Fellows and team involved for the past few years on a National Science Foundation-funded initiative invite you to view the current showcase of making and design thinking projects by students throughout Queens College.

With over 100 2D & 3D objects, art, and artifacts on view from students of ANTH, ART, DESN, ECON, MATH, PHOTO, and everything in-between, I hope you will be inspired by what you see: 3D-prints of 3D-scanned archaeological artifacts, conceptual pitches for community-focused innovation hubs, visual representations of code-as-art, ceramic vessels fabricated from 3D-models & prints, mathematically-generated designs, and more.

I realize many students are busy right now with Finals. If you’re taking a break, wanting to clear your mind, or looking be inspired by newfound forms and ideas, I invite you to stop by the rotunda outside Rosenthal Room 230 – outside the “Lecture Hall” downstairs from the Library Cafe.

I hope you have the opportunity to stop by to view the showcase in person!

This showcase is only a fraction of the work product students produced over the past couple semesters. Which is to say congratulations to all of the students who participated in these courses to help me, the Make STEAM Q team, QC, and the greater maker movement research and understand the impact of making & design thinking on students of a Hispanic-serving institution – also thank you to the National Science Foundation for supporting this multi-year-long research project. We couldn’t have done this without the support and involvement of so many people and all together we hope to Make STEAM Q!

QC Makerspace – Two Exhibitions of Maker-Made Math Art on Display

If you’re at Rosenthal Library this semester, be sure to pad your visit with some time to view two display cases containing maker-made math art.

The contents of both vitrines were fabricated by students of Christopher Hanusa, Professor of Mathematics, during the Fall’21 semester – students of MATH 128 “Mathematical Design” and MATH 250 “Mathematical Computing.” Both classes were also participants in the Make STEAM Q project, an initiative supported by the National Science Foundation.

The sign for MATH 128 (the featured image seen above) reads, “This artwork was created digitally using math and software and then was realized physically using machines in the Queens College Makerspace including the laser cutter, embroidery machine, AxiDraw plotter, and 3D printer.” These excellent artworks showcase the diversity of output options available in the Makerspace in Rosenthal Library. This cabinet also contains a “tattoo” (on fake skin) that must be seen to be believed!

MATH 250 “Mathematical Computing” Exhibit

Just down the hall, you’ll find the other display case for MATH 250. The sign reads, “The artwork was created algorithmically using the computational software Mathematica and then 3D printed in steel, nylon, sandstone, and base metals by Shapeways.” Some plastic prints were also done in the QC Makerspace. And we cannot emphasize enough how cool it is that these objects were created algorithmically. They were not ‘designed’ in the classic sense of the word – but instead created using algorithms and math!

I’m intentionally not showing close-ups of the art in order to encourage you to swing by and see it for yourself. Many of the details, the light refraction on metal, the markers layered by a robotic arm, must be seen in person to be truly appreciated. After you enter the library head through the atrium, around the staircase, and you’ll find the display cases in that corridor:

Queens College Libraries 3rd Floor Map to the Makerspace Exhibits

And if you’re curious to know more about our Makerspace facility check out our website and book an appointment!

QC Makerspace – Kickoff for Make STEAM Q

On Saturday November 20th the QC Makerspace @ QC Library hosted QC Staff, Faculty, and one student (thanks, Kevin!) along with an associate from the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) for the kickoff event for ‘Make STEAM Q‘ – a project of Award # 1928565 issued by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award was issued the semester prior to lockdown in 2020, and since then this is our first large, group gathering (interim group meetups were virtual and online).

Trevor Taylor from NYSCI  (seen here) facilitated ‘design thinking‘ workshops to inspire awareness of “human centered design” to address issues of empathy, ideation, and prototyping in problem-solving or challenge-driven moments.

One of these challenges was for participants to construct a self-portrait using supplied LEGO parts, with only 10 minutes to go from concept to completion – with discussion afterwards for each participant to discuss their thought process, material limitations, etc.

Renne Castro (Computer Science) contemplates his LEGO avatar.

A workshop later in the day provided 30 minutes to challenge the participants to construct a balloon-powered vehicle with little more than supplied materials and whatever else they could find around the facility.

The initial group of Faculty Fellows associated with the project come from various disciplines across the arts & sciences at Queens College (typically ‘STEM,’ or, preferably ‘STEAM’-aligned studies) who either already are or will be folding in making & design thinking components into their curriculum.

We’ll be talking about these courses, these professors, and hopefully the students involved with our research questions and applications in the years to come. For now congrats to the core team for their initial launch event during these transitional times, and stay tuned for more Make STEAM Q at Queens College (and from our partners at NYSCI in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park)!

group photo
Group photo from the kickoff event of Make STEAM Q on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
Standing (left to right): Nick Normal, Bradley Bergey, Allan Edmond, Larry Liebovitch, Nathalia Holtzman, Christopher Hanusa, Sabrina Avila, James Mellone, Corinna Singleman, Jose Sanchez, Al-karim Gangji, Kevin Hernandez
Kneeling (left to right): Renne Castro, William Blanford, Trevor Taylor, Matthew Greco, Danne Woo

(Classes currently associated with the project include: ARTS 282, ARTS 369, CSCI 100, DESN 214, DESN 265, DESN 270, ENSCI 112, MATH 128, MATH 250, PHYS 008, & PHYS 014)

QC Makerspace Open by Appointment

Calling all QC tinkerers, crafters, re-users, and makers: The QC Makerspace, a hands-on learning lab inside the Benjamin Rosenthal Library, is now OPEN by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays throughout the Spring semester. Be sure to make an appointment at least a day in advance. After making an appointment, you’ll receive an invitation to campus with information about the QC health screening process. Then come in a build something! 

In the Makerspace you can explore and access equipment you probably won’t have access to elsewhere: 3D printing hardware and software, various hand tools and power tools, electronics components, and digital fashion equipment. 

For more information, check out the QC Makerspace website: