A picture of a stove made out of an aluminum can

Current Issues in Environmental Studies

Dremel, power drills, various bits, tin snips, pliers, files

Picture of all students in the class holding the VR headset

Art through a Mathematical Lens

3D Printing

Current Issues in Environmental Studies | ENS101

Instructor: Jacob Rutz

Assignment Objective

The paragraph below was the little primer I wrote for them: How we cook says a lot about our socioeconomic status, the country we live in, the natural resources available to us, and predict our health outcomes. In this independent project, you will be exploring the intersection of many of these topics through the lens of the stove itself, focusing on a developing world technology, rocket stoves. This project is a design-build project, meaning you are in charge of making the design and building your rocket stove; there are no set instructions as in typical labs. Instead, you will learn alongside your classmates design principles while actively implementing them into your own design.


A rudimentary “rocket stove” – a small, wood-powered stove built from recycled materials and some basic insulation – that was able to boil a pot of water using nothing but fallen twigs and sticks (and a lighter and a bit of paper to get it going).


Dremel, power drills and various bits, tin snips, pliers, files, and of course good safety equipment.


Recycled cans from Elon Dining (the majority of the build), high-heat resistant tape, and an insulation material (perlite, sand, gravel, or air)

Why the Hub?

There really was no other way for the students to build these stoves without the Hub! It was an essential tool for this project and a safe and exciting one at that.

Success? Encore?

Definitely a success in terms of student engagement, doing something outside their comfort zone, and a little unique. I love hands-on projects, and I know this one was a challenge for my students in terms of both doing the work and integrating the concepts learned in lecture. This was the first time I did this, I’d like to do it again and do more to ensure the in-class component is better applied to the design process.

Art through a Mathematical Lens | COR 435

Instructor: Crista Arangala

Assignment objective

In the first few days of the term, students focused on dimensionality and the concept of infinity. This project allowed them to create a way of displaying their understanding.


Students learned about 2 artists, MC Escher and Yayoi Kusama, and read a book entitled Flatland by E. Abbott. Flatland is a 2D world and the main character (Mr. Square) describes his discovery of multiple dimensions. For this project students had to create an art piece (with description) depicting Mr. Squares discovery through Escher or Kusama’s artistic lens.


3D printers and other tools based on the student’s piece.


Some made mirror boxes, some painted their 3D prints.

Why the Hub?

I feel like exposure to the Makerspace, in general, is important. I believe each student has a creative side that may just need to be inspired. Many students had never been to the Maker Hub (and they were all juniors and seniors) and they were very excited to use the tools – particularly the 3D printer.

Success? Encore?

Students really enjoyed this project and many of them had never been to the Maker Hub. The project really tapped into their creative spirit and nicely tied to our in-class discussions. Absolutely, would use the makerspace for more projects in the future.

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