By Nick Schleh, Staff Writer
USM’s Ci2 lab, a hub for collaboration, innovation, and research has plans for expansion in the fall. The experimental learning environment will be enlarged to better support all of USM’s students, faculty and staff with better equipment and a larger space.
So Young Han, director of Maker Innovation and Step-Up to STEM Program, stated that “USM is building a much larger, permanent infrastructure and integrating innovation to be a signature element.” Han clarified that the expansion will make the learning space larger with better equipment and be integrated into the curriculum for the STEM fields, digital humanities, and commercialization.
The lab space will transition from external funding from grants to internal funding. The expansion possesses the goal of bringing together the core of varying intellectual schools of thought to develop technology-driven forms of creative expression.
The Ci2 lab is on the 5th floor of the science building on the Portland campus. The current Ci2 lab is home to a cohort of 30 students with a small number of dedicated faculty. The lab has evolved into hosting small business workshops, cultivating student projects of innovation, as well as maintaining a growing interest from students to take part in the fostering of creative intelligence.
The Ci2 lab is currently a part of the Michael E. Dubyak Center for Digital Science and Innovation. With plans for expanding the Dubyak center, the Ci2 lab is expanding with it. The Ci2 innovation space will be updated to become an open resource to students and the USM community.
The estimated physical growth of the lab space may be from the current 2,000 sq. feet to 9,000. Some of the equipment may be moved to the second floor with the 5th floor space receiving updated equipment.
The Ci2 lab is home to a studio catering to the Maker Culture. A subculture embodying a technology-based extension of the DIY culture. Home to workshops and cutting-edge 3D printers, students pursue their own creative and entrepreneurial ideas through individual or group projects. The Ci2 staff supports and partners with the students to allow them the freedom and opportunity to learn their own way. Han said she is “focused on developing a new fall 2019 EYE that will use the new 5th floor makerspace called Galileo’s Laboratory.” Han is also developing a week-long summer bridge workshop open to the USM community that will use the current laboratory space.
More information will be available in the fall press release. Students interested in learning more about the Ci2 lab can stop by in person, visit their Facebook page or contact the lab at [email protected]