▲ KU Makerspace. Provided by KU Makerspace Facebook
Humans are currently standing on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way people go about their daily activities. Wild ideas are being tossed around and dreams that one would never have even imagined are coming true. Korea University (KU) has constantly encouraged students to push their limits when it comes to creativity and establishing futuristic industries. One way KU did this was by the construction of KU Maker’s Space as part of the X-Garage project. Ever since its opening on July 18, 2018, the KU Maker’s Space has come a long way, yielding sterling results.
On July 12, just under a year after the KU Maker’s Space was opened, a Hackathon for Future Electric Cars took place at the KU Science and Engineering Campus. The tournament consisted of a driving test that judged the vehicle safety and a final evaluation where students participated in assessing the design and idea behind each car. The cars that were made ranged from those with special devices that prevented drowsy driving to those that emphasized the entertainment aspect by using different cartoon characters. The wide variety of ideas produced through this competition clearly demonstrated the potential of KU Maker’s Space in paving the way to future student innovations.
The ultimate goal of KU Maker’s Space is to help students make products that the world needs, so that they can start new businesses. “I hope that students enhance their creativity through the process of making and destroying by using various tools,” said former KU President Yeom Jae Ho at the opening ceremony of KU Maker’s Space. Since its opening, KU Maker’s Space has made it a mission to expose the X-Garage space to as many students as possible. In order to achieve this goal, regular Hackathons with different themes have been organized. A Hackathon event is where students form teams to draw up ideas and build models based on them within a limited period of time. In this sense, KU Maker’s Space motivates students to create inventions of their own.
N15, a company that specializes in educating start-up founders about hardwareacceleration, is in charge of the operation of KU Maker’s Space and plays a huge role in the Hackathons that are being held. Oftentimes, N15 provides students with the necessary classes to assist them in their creative endeavors. This includes, and is not limited to, holding 3D printing or laser cutter operating classes. Furthermore, the company supports extra mentoring if students feel they need more help. With these resources readily available for use in every Hackathon, students are able to make their ideas come true through healthy competitions.
KU Maker’s Space marks the cornerstone for innovation in KU. As of now, the numerous Hackathons organized thus far seem to have outdone the anticipated results. Any KU student is welcome to use the space and these Hackathons guide students towards creating an innovative and progressive mentality. The expenses for materials and education for the devices are all supported by N15 and this pushes the students to produce tangible results originated from small, supposedly unrealistic dreams. At the rate that the project is going, the future is looking bright for KU students. Only time can tell what value the KU Maker’s Space will hold when students are encouraged to go on their own journey to imagine, create and discover potentials.