Elon students received peer-to-peer guidance in a recent session designed to help them discover their own talents and make something to be proud of
Every now and then, it’s essential to burst your bubble and try something new. That’s the rationale that led to the recent launch of a new Burst the Bubble course at the Maker Hub. The purpose of the course is to help students explore their interests, discover their talents and create projects that they’re proud of, all while fostering a creative environment.
So far, the initiative has not only inspired students, but also proved to be a beneficial experience for Maker Hub consultants like Anna Altmann ’23 and Jakob Reuter ’23, who are among the first students to lead sessions for the Elon makerspace.
“I wanted to teach the class because I love the Maker Hub and wanted to help share it with others who were curious and enthusiastic about making,” Altmann said. “Also, being around people who are brainstorming helps me get creative with my own projects, and I wanted to be in that kind of atmosphere.”
Reuter echoed the same sentiment. His motivation was rooted in “the freedom Anna and I had to be creative while thinking of ways to make a class that was worth coming to,” he said.
Burst the Bubble classes were strategically structured as a three-part series to engage students and maximize maker experiences. In order to create a meaningful project, Altmann and Reuter knew students should first develop a strong foundational understanding of the resources available at the Maker Hub.
“In the first class, we gave a presentation that showed what resources, tools and machinery the Maker Hub has to offer,” Reuter said.
Going a step further, Altmann and Reuter then shared examples of projects previously made in the Maker Hub by students and other members of the university community. With a better understanding of available resources and sample projects, students are more knowledgeable and equipped to begin what many see as a daunting task — the brainstorming phase.
“We gave them time to brainstorm and construct a project that they would work on in the following classes,” which were devoted to student projects, Reuter said. “Everyone shared their ideas with each other.” Each class session included tailored instruction that was based on the interests of participating students. Help and advice was offered as need.
“We also offered about 15 minutes for all students to give updates to the class about each project,” Altmann said.
There was definitely passion and purpose behind every creation, Reuter said.
“One student, a senior and the primary beekeeper on campus, made a box called a bait hive, or a swarm trap, that attracts new bees in hopes of catching more for her hives,” he said. “Another student learned how to 3D-print and made an intricately designed piggy bank. One student created a laser-engraved map, while another created a laser-engraved graduation gift that featured LEDs illuminating behind it.”
The Burst the Bubble course pushed students outside of their comfort zones as they learned new skills through innovation, inspired and were inspired by new friends and explored their passions.