(Left to right: State Sen. Ron Justice, Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge, USAO President John Feaver and Matt Barr, director of government and public affairs for Midship Pipeline)
Thanks to a generous $20,000 grant from Midship Pipeline Company, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is greatly expanding its STEM-focused MakerSpace in Nash Library.
A formal check presentation ceremony was held this week in Nash with USAO President John Feaver, representatives from Midship, Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge and other local officials.
The funds will allow USAO to purchase a second 3D printer; a laser cutter so students can fabricate parts from many types of material; 10 Pi-Tops, special laptops that help users learn to code, create and invent; and 10 Yogibo pod chairs, high-quality beanbag chairs that are well-suited to working with laptops and reading.
These new purchases will complement the 3D printer and Raspberry Pi computers that are already housed in Nash Library. The renovated space will be fully operational for the Spring 2019 term.
In line with the university’s interdisciplinary mission, the MakerSpace will be available to students from any major, as well as faculty and staff, so that everyone can get experience working with these cutting-edge technologies. University officials are excited to see what creative uses that USAO students outside of the STEM majors can find for the new equipment.
“This space will completely change how all of our students approach the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by increasing their access to hands-on ways of planning, researching, building and creating,” said Kelly Brown, vice president for library and information services. “For example, while biology students might model various factors affecting an ecosystem, art majors could create digital or 3D pieces, business majors could create logos and marketing materials, and theatre arts majors could create sets and design costumes.”
Midship Project is a natural gas pipeline connecting new gas production in the Anadarko Basin to growing Gulf Coast and southeastern markets via deliveries to existing pipelines. It is also a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy based in Houston, Texas.
When complete, the approximately 200-mile pipeline will run through eight western Oklahoma counties. Through their STEM community grant program, Midship has donated $160,000 overall to eight schools in these counties. Institutions submitted specific plans for review and gifts were tailored to each school’s needs.