With the removal of the Maker Pass and the introduction of remote services, both students and staff noted the new system’s accessibility. According to campus senior Ray Altenberg, a facilitator of the “3D Printing and Design” DeCal course, the accessibility of the makerspaces is vital because not all students have equitable access to fabrication machinery while other facilities are shut down.
“Maker Pass is pretty good at trying to make sure that it’s financially accessible to people … but this definitely helps even more because people’s financial situations have changed during the pandemic,” Altenberg said.
Current plans indicate that the makerspace system will not return to its original operations but will instead incorporate both hands-on and remote involvement after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Gottbrath said.
Paulos said he is uncertain as to whether or not they will reintroduce the Maker Pass itself. The new service model accommodates students who are intimidated by the training necessary to use tools in person or are unable to fit a trip in between their classes, according to Gottbrath.
“In some ways, we’re a more equitable makerspace than before because now we can serve any student on campus, whereas before, you had to be able to physically come in,” Gottbrath said.
Contact Cameron Rebosio at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @cameron_rebosio.