May, 2015
Network Notes                            topofpage
MakerLab Committee Update
South Suburban College, Governors State University's School of Extended Learning, and SMHEC are working together to offer the High School Faculty Maker Workshop developed through IIT's IPRO program. Date to be announced shortly. Please contact Don Brozek if you would like to host your own workshop.

SouthWorks MakerLab managers and administrators will attend a one-day workshop given by IIT's Institute of Design (ID) on June 24th. The Product Design Workshop will provide in-depth training in the design thinking process developed by ID and embedded in the IPRO program. Hands-on exercises in product design and instruction on IdeaShop equipment will also be part of the program. Further details to come. Please contact Don Brozek to attend.

On April 29th, SMHEC participated in the Illinois Innovation Day Summit at the Governors Mansion. Nearly fifty technology, education, government, and other innovation eco-system organizations across the state met to share information and ideas about how to improve the state's innovation results and guide government participation. Breakout groups discussed STEM workforce development, industry partnership, cluster strategies, and technology incubation. Our MakerLab network was mentioned as an important aspect of STEM workforce development. In addition, the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and a newly-appointed ICCB board member are interested in further discussions.
SouthWorks MakerLab in Park Forest Grand Opening, May 6


Nearly 150 people attended the SouthWorks MakerLab at Park Forest's Grand Opening on Wednesday, May 6th. A public screening of Maker: The Movie opened the event. Keynotes speakers include U.S. Representative Robin Kelly, Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg, Bo Steiner, District Director of the SBA, and Prairie State College's Craig Schmidt. Afterward, the MakerLab was filled to capacity as interested community members and dignitaries saw demonstrations of laser cutting, 3D printing, Arduino electronics, and Maker workshops for high school faculty.

 Read More                                                                             

Olivet Nazarene Announces New Martin D. Walker School of Engineering

Citing the dramatic growth of its engineering program, Olivet Nazarene University's Board of Trustees voted to establish the Martin D. Walker School of Engineering. Housed in the recently renovated Reed Hall of Science, the engineering program has grown to be the second largest undergraduate program at Olivet. Beginning in Fall 2015, three more concentrations will be added to the four existing concentrations.


Read More and More                                                                

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Prairie State College to Open First Community College MakerLab in Illinois


Prairie State College will be the first Illinois community college to have a MakerLab. 


Plans include public access to Prairie State's wide aray of manufacturing/making resources, including some new Maker equipment. A public survey showed overwhelming interest in using the MakerLab. A local high-tech manufacturer has already requested prototyping services, and several classes are planned for the summer. A soft opening is planned for July 1 with a formal grand opening event later in the year.

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Maker Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and Course Offered
On May 15th, a Making It In America Boot Camp was held at SouthWorks MakerLab- Park Forest. The Boot Camp introduced over 20 registrants to the upcoming Top Maker Professional Course, an entrepreneurial program for Makers. Experts in their fields introduced attendees to 3D printing and prototyping, product design and innovation, business planning, and marketing. The keynote speaker, Doug Monieson, Chairman of Hyde Park Angels, spoke about finding financing for Maker-oriented businesses.

Over the course of six classes, prospective Maker entrepreneurs will learn from industry experts, visit facilities, hear from actual maker entrepreneurs, and receive ongoing guidance from mentors.
STEM Summer Camps

SMHEC schools are offering an exciting variety of STEM and Maker-oriented summer camps. 


Governors State University


Illinois Institute of Technology


Joliet Junior College


Kankakee Community College


Lewis University


Moraine Valley Community College


Prairie State College plus new MakerLab Classes


Saint Xavier University


South Suburban College


University of St. Francis                                                          

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Upcoming Events
SMHEC and Calumet Area Industrial Council Event at IIT

SMHEC and Calumet Area Industrial Council (CAIC) have partnered with IIT to host a discussion of innovation and the SouthWorks MakerLab Network on June 25th at IIT's Technology Center. The event is open to the public.

More Info and Registration

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IIT User-Design Camp

On June 11th, IIT is again offering a User-Centered Design Camp that is open to SMHEC members. The camp will provide a one-day immersion in the principles and methods associated with user-centered design thinking - one of the primary tools used in IIT's IPRO program.

Please contact Don Brozek to register.

More info                                                                             Top of Page

Southland MakerFaire set for August 22

The Second Annual Chicago Southland Mini Maker Faire will be held August 22nd in Mokena. The event will be held at the Pipefitters Training Center in Mokena, which provides 50,000 sf indoors and substantial outdoor event space.


SMHEC is participating with spacelab-Mokena in the planning, and SMHEC schools are planning STEM and Maker project examples, hands-on activities, and speakers. Please contact Don Brozek if you would like to participate.


Event website

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