Photo of students doing the challenge

Bring your class or group to the Maker Hub! The orientation gives an overview of what's possible in Elon's makerspace. Students will be shown example projects, learn about how they can access the Hub, and compete with their classmates in a hands-on competition that emphasizes the importance of prototypes and iterative design! It's an excellent introduction to the maker community at Elon. 

The Hub has hosted orientations for classes in nearly all academic disciplines, including English, Engineering, Astronomy, Computer Science, Communications, Theater, Education, Business, and Elon 101.

Sign up for an orientation session here. 

Academic Making at Elon

Below are examples of faculty and students who have utilized the Maker Hub for a class assignment or research. These are just a few of the ways the Maker Hub supports the intellectual climate at Elon.    

Student working on 3D modelSkill building in Entrepreneurship

Dr. Sean McMahon and Dr. Elena Kennedy wanted to give their entrepreneurship students opportunities to improve their technical skills. With help from the Maker Hub, they developed an assignment that required students to make three small projects in the Maker Hub in three weeks. The assignment helped students learn fundamental fabrication skills while building their confidence as makers. 

Student presenting scale modelAugmenting existing assignments in Theatre

Students in Natalie Hart's Scenic Design for Theatre course have always built scale models of original set designs. Partnering with the Maker Hub, Natalie's students were able to augment their models with 3D printed and laser-etched pieces. Plus, the Maker Hub provided a large workspace where students worked on their models together, sharing ideas, and helping each other. 

3D printed accessory for batteryCreating parts for activities in Physics

Dr. Kyle Altmann builds components for lab and classroom activities in the Maker Hub. Kyle 3D printed a part that allowed his students to increase or decrease the magnetic pull of a vehicle going around a miniature track. It allowed his students to question and discover answers to specific course-related topics.

Laser cut student projectAdding a medium to the message in Communications

A laser engraver is a powerful tool to cut and etch all types of materials. Ben Hannam, in his Design of Visual Images course, trains his students to use the engraver to use in a package and menu redesign projects. The assignment gave his students experience with a tool that will differentiate their work from traditional graphic design projects.

Example of 3D scanPreparing students for the future Archeology 

Converting artifacts to 3D models is becoming standard practice in archaeology. For this reason, students in Dr. Rissa Trachman's Introduction to Archaeology course created 3D models of artifacts using a process called photogrammetry. The process required students to convert dozens of still photos into a high-quality 3D model. Students then converted, resized, and printed the artifact on the 3D printers in the Maker Hub. Along with the artifact, students kept a journal of their process and wrote a research paper about their specific artifact.

See the 3D models of the artifacts on Sketchfab.

Including students in professional research in Biology

Dr. Hamel working on prototype

Dr. Jen Hamel is building durable, low-cost gear for detecting vibrations that insects use to communicate. Together with students, she's created dozens of these instruments to take into the field. Their goal is to facilitate their research and lower the cost and expertise needed to listen to the hidden world of sound. 

Make and analyze simple musical instruments in PhysicsPhoto of student playing her instrument

In their Physics Lab course, Jeremy Hohertz and Shon Gilliam assigned students to create simple musical instruments using their understanding of the physics of waves and sounds. Groups created acoustic instruments that were functional, reliable, had musical range, were tunable, and were loud enough to participate in an end-of-the-semester event, the Symphosium. Students also created a video demonstrating their instrument and a poster detailing measurements that validated the instrument's design. 

See more photos of students creating their instruments on Jeremy Hohertz’s website. 

Creating a prototype in Undergraduate researchPhotos of Ashley and advisors

Ashley Wenz and Olivia Jung began designing a therapeutic boot to help heal diabetic foot ulcers in the Maker Hub during the summer of 2016. Ashley kept the project going with instructors Daryl Lawson (Physical Therapy) and Chris Arena (Engineering). The trio was recently awarded a $95,000 grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to continue their work. 

Building custom rockets in Engineering

rocket photo

Dr. Sirena Hargrove-Leak assigned students in her entry-level engineering course to design, 3D print, and launch model rockets. After designing the rocket in a simulator to verify it's flight worthy, they worked with the Maker Hub to 3D print the rockets and launch them into the sky.

Learn more about the assignment and launch on the Elon Technology blog. 

Astronomy instruments assignment

Instructor Maria Falbo assigned her Introduction to Astronomy students a project to build an instrument that measures the position of the sun. Students were given an orientation to the Maker Hub and encouraged to utilize the space for their project.

Read more about one of the projects students created for this assignment on the Elon Technology Blog.

Gathering data for Undergraduate research

Emma Boniche, a student and Maker Hub staff, built a motion sensor to track habitat selection by anoles (lizards) as part of her undergraduate research project for Biology of Animal Behavior. She made a custom motion detector with a laser and an Arduino micro-controller to track the animal’s movement between warm and cool environments, then exported the data to an SD card for analysis.

See a photo of the habitat on the Elon University Biology Department Facebook page.

Creating custom microscope accessories in Biology 


Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a new microscope for one feature, Eric Bauer custom built an accessory that attaches to the Biology Department microscopes. The accessory shines blue light onto the zebrafish to make them glow yellow, then filters out the light to give the viewer a clear look at the fish.

Learn more about the project on the Elon Technology blog. 

3D print an artifact assignment

In her Viking, Saxons, and Monks Winter Term course, Holly Silvers assigned students to recreate an artifact based on readings done in class. She invited them to use the 3D printers in the Maker Hub to turn their designs into a physical artifact. Maker Hub staff helped students find existing 3D models, build new models, and 3D print their artifacts.


Do you have questions about how you can use the Hub in your class? Contact and request a consultation with an Instructional Technologist.