Cabrillo Makerspace “Holding the Future” Club gives composer “keys” to success!

Students in the Cabrillo College “Holding the Future” Club designed and built on the laser cutter in the Cabrillo College Makerspace a custom solution for fellow student composer Galen Getz! Check out how creativity, design thinking, laser cutter technology, teamwork, and empathy came together for a great solution! (Video compliments of Cabrillo Digital Media student Alex Robledo)

21st Century Skills in the Workplace


In Fall 2018, Makerspace internship program offered two workshops to interns to learn more about 21st Century skills or New Word or Work (NWoW). The workshop covered self awareness, adaptability, analysis/solution mindset, resilience, communication, collaboration, entrepreneurial mindset and Empathy.

The workshop started with a three page self awareness handout followed by a speed dating style share out to work on networking. The interns then had to create a cause and effect kinetic sculpture. Which later they had to collaborate combining each of their creations into one kinetic sculpture through group activity.

Makerspace Interns Visit Plantronics


On November 29th, Cabrillo Makerspace interns visited the headquarters of Plantronics, a leading producer of commercial and personal headsets. The purpose of the visit was to expose Cabrillo interns to a real world work environment. It also gave the students a rare chance to speak to the engineers, industrial designers and marketing managers about their jobs and the various skills needed to work there. Following a tasty lunch, Cabrillo students spoke to several Plantronic employees who began their employment out as interns.

Kudso to Courtney Cogan of Goodwill Central Coast who arranged for the Plantronics visit. Courtney serves as a liaison between Cabrillo ‘s Makerspace Intern program and local businesses.

Digital Fabrication Meets Bronze Casting

The pouring of molten bronze in hot flasks.

The pouring of molten bronze in hot flasks.

For Fall 2018 semester, students in the digital fabrication classes, 95A, 95B, 196A, 196B had the unique and rare opportunity to cast their 3d printed PLA models in bronze for their final project.  Taught by Payson McNett, department head for Sculpture and Digital Fabrication, the goal of this assignment is to encourage digital fluency and hand on experience. The 95A class was instructed to create a bell and classes 95B, 196A and 196B were instructed to create an ancient relic.

The extraordinary aspect of the assignment was the range of skills needed to complete the assignments – from digital fabrication to the hands on finishing of a bronze cast. On the digital side, students used 3d modeling tools e.g. Rhino, Blender and Tinkercad to design their projects, then printed the models using the Ultimaker 3d printers.  On the bronze side, Payson guided his students through the casting preparation and the pour. Briefly those steps include gating the PLA models, creating the flasks, immersing the PLA models in a special plaster(investment) and burning out the PLA. Finally, the bronze alloy was melted in a large crucible and poured into the hots flasks. The result - over 200 pounds of bronze was poured between the 9 flasks and over 80 bronze objects were successfully cast.

Payson setting up the furnace.

Payson setting up the furnace.

Cabrillo Makerspace Participates in The Partnerships for Industry and Education (PIE) contest

Today, the growing use of digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, and advanced manufacturing processes in industry has created a new demand for workers with a blend of STEM-based digital design skills. To help meet the demand of a new work force, the California Economic Summit created the Partnerships for Industry and Education (PIE) initiative to promote efforts by employers and educators to work together to meet regional and state workforce needs.

Cabrillo Makerspace in partnership with Goodwill Central Coast has been addressing this demand. Internships are offered to students - giving them the opportunity to apply their newly acquired STEM-based digital skills. This collaboration between Cabrillo Makerspace and Goodwill Central Coast was recently highlighted in the PIE contest. Kudos goto Courtney Cogan, Anne Guthrie, Richard Cheathamm and Mary Govaars who have worked hard matching the best students candidates for the job.

Making a Mask using Digital Fabrication


On October 18th, the County Arts Educators Exchange and Cabrillo sponsored a K-12 Arts Workshop. Led by Payson McNett, participants created Halloween masks using 3d prints and a vacuum forming machine. The master mask was printed using the Ultimaker 3d printer then blanks were created using the vacuum forming machine. Finally, the participants hand decorated each blank mask.

Cabrillo Instructor Builds Custom Standing Desk

Alex Yasbek, adjunct Engineering Instructor Shares His Latest Project

Here is the standing desk I made using the shopbot for Ricardo Espinoza in Supplemental Education. The desk is a success (thanks Chris for your invaluable help!). The desk is very sturdy and went together without the need for glue or fasteners. Total cost was just under $200. Ricardo says that he is much happier in his office and that he feels better physically at the end of the day (he really does not like sitting). Ricardo is also a veteran and has been discussing redoing the reception desk in the Veteran center with Flor Chacon - again the new desk would be made by the Makerspace. 

I am really excited to see the integration of the Makerspace into the rest of campus and would love to know if there are any ideas or suggestions to help keep the ball rolling with these kinds of projects. How do we brag/publicize these things? In what other ways can we be serving the campus community? Is this sort of project still beneficial to the Makerspace?

Have an idea - email me at

Success! Makerspace Helps Build Real World Experiences

Megan Barrett

Cabrillo College Makerspace Internship Program

Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery


I took some time off after I got my bachelor’s degree and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I started taking classes at Cabrillo College in digital fabrication. That’s when I realized what I wanted to do. I had tried several times to get jobs in the industry and find a program that would provide me with some experience and training in the field. I wasn’t able to get my foot in the door anywhere and it seemed impossible to get any experience. One day at school I saw the flyer for the Makerspace Internship Program. This was exactly what I was looking for.

I submitted an interest form and my resume. Courtney, the Job Developer from Goodwill contacted me and we talked about what I was interested in and what opportunities were available. Courtney set up an interview for me with Patrice Keet at the Children’s Museum of Discovery in Santa Cruz also known as the MOD. The interview went well and I was accepted as an intern at the MOD for 60 hours. The project I was contracted for was to create a display for the front window of the MOD. I collaborated with Patrice on ideas for a design and was given a budget for supplies of $200.00. Initially I planned to hand paint the design on the window. I purchased the paint and began the display. It took me six hours to paint five leafs. The design for the display included around 900 leafs. There was no way I was going to be able to successfully complete the display in sixty hours. I talked to Mary Govaars, the Makerspace Coordinator, about my challenge. Mary suggested that I use the vinyl cutter instead of hand painting the display. I had never used the vinyl cutter before. Mary oriented me to the vinyl cutter. I was able to produce the leafs from the vinyl cutter in about thirty hours, compared to what I estimated would take one hundred fifty hours to paint by hand. This was really exciting because this is the future of the industry. I was able to access the technology of the Makerspace to create my design in less than a quarter of the time it would have taken to produce the display traditionally. It was also cheaper and more sustainable to use the vinyl cutter compared to paint.

What is so exciting about the Makerspace Internship Program is the real experience. These are the challenges and processes of what I will be facing as I develop my own business and step into a career in this industry. The Makerspace Internship Program provided the networking that I didn’t have. I aspire to eventually develop my own design business in this region, where I am contracted by non-profits and educational programs, like museums. I learned so much from the beginning of this experience, starting with communicating with a client to develop a shared idea that is realistic. I got to experience managing a budget, managing my time, and problem solving. The team from Cabrillo College and Patrice Keet were all very supportive. This has all been a new experience to me. Having the support of the staff at Cabrillo College and Goodwill has been so helpful. Courtney advised me to request a letter of recommendation from the MOD, to update my resume, and to start building a portfolio. These are all things that I hadn’t thought about. My next steps are to follow through with a plan I am developing with Courtney, which includes possible internship opportunities at the Museum of Art and History- MAH, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I plan to take full advantage of this program and the opportunity that it offers. I also just want to say that you guys are amazing!

2018 Mini Maker Faire Hosted at Cabrillo


The third annual Mini Maker Faire was hosted at Cabrillo's Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts, VAPA, complex on Saturday, May 5th. Over 50 interactive booths and workshops came together from across Santa Cruz County to give community members of all ages new creative experiences. People could choose from creating their own virtual reality, watching a Foundry Bronze pour, or flying a drone. In addition to the fun, you could enjoy locally based restaurants and performers on the grass in front of Crocker Theater. 

Colorful booths of creativity were standing throughout VAPA's grounds. Some with merchandise, art, and some even put on a show. Puppeteers were in control of their extravagant puppets, making crowds laugh and wonder how they were constructed.  The 3D art studios were especially popular - giving the community a chance to  to form clay into structures with wheel throwing techniques and create impressions in metal using laser cut stencils..

 With mini-maker faires throughout the world, Cabrillo is proud to be one of the sites. These community events ensures awareness of innovative technologies bringing together hobbyists, students, and enthusiasts under the maker movement. You can find details of further Maker Faires on their website: 

New Cabrillo College Makerspace ready to go public

Mark the “Sneak Peek” Experiences and the Grand Opening Celebration events in December and January on your calendars, now, and plan to join us…and bring a friend!

As you may recall, Cabrillo College received a sizable 2-year grant ($700K) from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office CCC Maker Initiative in July to develop a Cabrillo College Makerspace.

Since early August, digital art fabrication instructor and Cabrillo College Makerspace Director Payson McNett and his team have been busy building the new space, and they’re finally ready to share it with the public!

The space will serve the entire campus and surrounding community with a mix of traditional (credit) and non-traditional learning and making opportunities (via Cabrillo College Extension Makerspace Memberships for the entire community) in a collaborative, fun, and failure-positive environment.

The website goes live on December 4, 2017:

Cabrillo Makerspace opening activities in December and January

FREE Cabrillo College Makerspace “Sneak Peeks” for the entire community (including equipment demos and tours)

  • Friday December 15: 5-7:30pm

  • Friday December 22: 5-7:30pm

  • Friday December 29: 5-7:30pm

  • Friday January 5: 5-7:30pm

  • Friday January 12: 5-7:30pm

The Cabrillo College Makerspace Grand Opening is January 20, 2018, 2-6pm

Plan to join us for this fun event, including equipment demos, giveaways, refreshments, and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm.

Parking for all of the above events is free in Lot L on Cabrillo’s Aptos Campus.


Subsidized Cabrillo College student maker internships available for your organization

Starting now through June 30, 2018, Cabrillo College seeks to place 50 Cabrillo College student interns in area businesses and non-profits who need these maker-related skills/services:

  • Rapid prototyping and iterative product design and fabrication using CNC machines, 3D scanners and printers, laser cutters/engravers, and vinyl cutters

  • Advanced manufacturing techniques

  • Training and outreach on new maker technology/processes

  • Other emerging technologies and processes requiring a combination of artistic/creative design and making skills, coupled with technical/engineering skills

  • CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Manufacturing)

If you are a member of the business or non-profit sector and are interested in hosting Cabrillo College Makerspace interns at your organization, please contact Courtney Cogan, Employment Services Specialist and Job Developer at Goodwill Central Coast: Courtney Cogan, Goodwill Central Coast,, Office 831-423-8611; ext. 8214, Cell 831-291-2233. Cabrillo College has partnered with Courtney and her team at Goodwill to work with you in connecting your organization with trained Cabrillo College Makerspace student interns.

Meet Courtney and John Graulty, Cabrillo’s Dean of Visual, Applied, & Performing Arts & Makerspace Grant Project Lead, at the December 6, 2017 Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup, and learn more about Cabrillo’s new Makerspace, internship opportunities, and more.

Two internship options for area businesses & non-profits

  1. Off-campus/at work site experience – a traditional workplace internship experience in maker-related focus areas outlined above.

  2. Project-based internship completed in the Cabrillo College Makerspace for the internship provider. Work will be done by a single student or small team of students (3-4) working in the Cabrillo College Makerspace to complete project beneficial to the internship provider. The internship provider will provide evaluation and oversight, including, perhaps, special intern training on-site at the Cabrillo Makerspace.

Setting up internships

Once you’ve determined the kind of internship arrangement described above that best serves your organization, Courtney Cogan at Goodwill Central Coast will coordinate with you, the internship host, and with Cabrillo College, to:

  • Identify internship provider’s goals/job description/needs

  • Establish scope/timeframe for the internship (Minimum of 20 hours required; placements starting immediately)

  • Pre-screen and pair Cabrillo College student interns with internship providers

Internship length and funding

Internships must be a minimum of 20 hours, but could expand to 60 or more.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) has generously offered to pay for up to 20 hours of the internship and serve as the employer of record. The Cabrillo College Foundation (CCF) has also generously agreed to subsidize some additional internship hours. Additional hours beyond those subsidized by the FCCC and CCF would be paid by the internship host. Employers may also host unpaid internships.

Cabrillo Makerspace programming to look forward to

Credit and non-credit educational and enrichment programs, including individual community memberships made available through the Cabrillo Extension Division starting in early February 2018, will be offered to community members, faculty, staff, and students so that they might fully utilize Cabrillo’s new Makerspace.

Those on and off campus seeking skill development for existing maker-related employment opportunities, new entrepreneurial ventures, or just a good time designing and making in a vibrant, fun space using cutting-edge technology, will find a home at Cabrillo’s new Makerspace.