TechSpark is Carnegie Mellon University’s focal point for technology innovation. This facility provides equipment for rapid prototyping of designs from idea to reality for educational, extracurricular, and research activities. It is a hands-on learning and exploration space that is available for current students, faculty, and staff of the College of Engineering and their collaborators across campus.
TechSpark’s Maker Series courses
TechSpark’s professionals apply their prototyping experience towards teaching the Maker Series courses. Students in these courses build projects to learn the safe operation of fabrication tools and provide access to equipment. Developing these skills is the foundation to prototyping and testing designs in real-world applications. To participate in these courses offered each Mini (quarter) of the fall and spring semester, enroll through the Registrar’s Office. For students with some previous experience using the types of equipment in the facility, completion of the course to access equipment is still required.
Courses partnered with TechSpark
The physical, digital, and intellectual resources at TechSpark elevate the quality of projects and educational outcomes of students in partnered courses. When beginning a project, students use the large meeting space of the HighBay to sketch out plans, list the needs of stakeholders, and/or begin calculations. Then, students use one of several computer stations with a variety of engineering software to simulate the critical components engineered in their design. Once a path forward is determined, students will access equipment to fabrication components of their project. Often times, a significant portion of students’ learning occurs while testing and iterating the prototype to finally develop a proof-of-concept for the engineering design. The final outcomes reflect the benefits of students having a workspace available to progress their project 7 days/week, all of the resources necessary to conduct the work, and inspiration from working in a multi-disciplinary space. For instructors to learn about becoming a partnered course and receive a consultation on using TechSpark resources for your course’s unique educational outcomes, contact Faculty Director Diana Haidar.
- project storage – by instructor request to Fabrication Manager Ryan Bates, generally one blue bin per group (fit inside dimensions of 18”L x 12”W x 8”H), some large format storage by request (assigned floor space is limited) the bins must remain in TechSpark at all times
- the bins are available during an extensive number of Open Hours
- the bins must be returned to the labeled storage location when not is use
- the bins must be emptied at the end of the semester by the course’s students or instructor
- items must fit completely in the bin or be subject to waste removal
- TechSpark is not responsible for missing items
- private reservations of teaching spaces – DesignStudio (Ansys C02) and Computer Cluster (Ansys B10)
- non-private reservations of most rooms – HighBay (Ansys C01), FabLab (Hamerschlag C101), and other shops / rooms
- support before, during, and after the semester for course activity logistics and curriculum
- training by request – generally for TAs but occasionally for students (additional fee applies)
- materials needed for a course activity are purchased by that course’s instructors
Student organizations using TechSpark
Involvement in student organization is a valuable part of the student experience at Carnegie Mellon University. TechSpark’s professionals support student organizations by connecting these groups with guidance and mentorship while the plan, access equipment, and build their projects. The student organization making considerable use of TechSpark’s resources may request quantity 1 bin (fit inside dimensions of 18”L x 12”W x 8”H) per semester, and they must follow all the policies listed above including clearing out storage at the end of each semester.