Utah State University Extension Washington County 4-H program recently received a $25,000 grant from the technology company Cognizant to purchase equipment and supplies for a new makerspace on the Dixie State University campus.
A makerspace is a place where students and community members can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.
Paul Hill, USU Extension associate professor, said “making” activities fit with the 4-H slogan of “Learning by Doing”.
“Makerspaces are important because they are changing the way students learn today and potentially how they live and work in the future,” Hill said. “While we use 3D printers, laser cutters and sewing machines to learn new skills and make stuff, it's not about the ‘stuff’ we can make, it’s about the process of making and why we choose the things we make to express ourselves and serve others.”
The grant is part of Cognizant’s Making the Future initiative. Cognizant works to better prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities, while ensuring that future generations will have the skills needed to compete and thrive in the global economy.
The makerspace will be located at Dixie State University’s new Innovation Plaza, a resource center for student and community entrepreneurs and innovators. The Washington County 4-H program will be offering after-school maker activities when the space opens up later this year.
Hill said Washington County is overdue for a makerspace.
“Our community has waited long enough for access to the tools of innovation,” Hill said. “Over the next several months and years, the impact of this space will manifest itself both socially and economically and we will wonder why we didn't start one sooner.”
For more information about 4-H programs, visit utah4h.org.
Writer: Shelby Ruud, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Paul Hill, email@example.com
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