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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College’s Makerspace settles into permanent space

Makerspace%E2%80%99s+free+hands-on+creative+learning+center+has+a+new+location+on+the+City+College+campus+in+building+T01+in+the+west+parking+lot+by+the+water+tower.%0APhoto+credit%3A+Ellie+Appleby+%2Feappleby.express%40gmail.com
Makerspace’s free hands-on creative learning center has a new location on the City College campus in building T01 in the west parking lot by the water tower. Photo credit: Ellie Appleby /[email protected]

Closed since March 2020, Makerspace officially reopened in January 2023. 

Tom Cappelletti, a professor at City College who oversees the campus Makerspace, says that he has seen different Makerspaces around the country, but “these Makerspaces were in really expensive colleges and not at a community college.”

Makerspace is a shared work space that allows students to explore personal projects and interests using a variety of different materials and tools.

As faculty project director of Makerspace, Cappelletti worked with school administration to get the facility up and running in the spring of 2017. Initially, the Makerspace was located in two separate, tiny, cramped classrooms in the cosmetology department, but moved to its current location in January 2022. Unfortunately, that location wouldn’t be used by students for another year.

Whereas other Los Rios Community College District campuses have limitations on their own Makerspaces, such as space constraints or who can use those facilities, according to Cappelletti the Makerspace at City College is “open and free to all currently enrolled students with no restrictions.” 

Currently, the Makerspace receives around $400,000 annually from City College, which mostly goes to heavy staffing and about 20% goes to materials that are provided within reason to students who want to work on their own projects. The materials such as fabrics, plastics, T-shirts and wood are examples of items provided for free because many students face economic disadvantages.

Judy Coates Perez, an instructor’s assistant of art for the Makerspace, feels that most students on campus have some disadvantage and the goal for the Makerspace is to make it as accessible to students as possible. 

There are now four, two-unit Makerspace classes available that are for students who want to dive deep into projects and gain knowledge with a Makerspace instructor present. Some classes run eight weeks, while others run 16 weeks with a 3-hour time commitment. 

City College clubs are also welcome at Makerspace. The STEM Club, the Student Engineering Club and the Sustainability Club have already done activities at the facility with many more expected to visit. 

A big event planned for Makerspace called the “Earth day on the green” will be held on April 27 in honor of Earth Day. Some of the activities planned include making planter boxes, solar cooker demonstrations, grilling vegetarian hotdogs, and upcycling old T-shirts by turning them into tote bags.  

While Cappelletti says there are still major upgrades that need to be done, they have been scheduled to be worked on during the summer 2023. He is hopeful about the future, saying that the college is fully behind them with continued funding every year. He says he will enjoy what he calls his “new home for the foreseeable future,” joking that, “the future looks bright, like I have to wear shades.”

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