Envision, Design, Print

Think Lab_cropgm

Imagination flourishes on the second floor of Simpson Library. Just ask University of Mary Washington senior Alice Watkins who is turning her two-sided creations into wearable art. She joins others in the UMW community who have discovered the wonders of a new three-dimensional printer, called MakerBot. Watkins is investigating 3-D printing through art in her independent study project called “Blending into Reality.” In a classroom at Simpson Library dubbed the Think Lab, Watkins watches the MakerBot as it whirs and hums while a spool of plastic thread slowly transforms a flat image on a computer screen into a three-dimensional object. She picks up the small, gray piece from the printer and places it with her collection. “That’s the reason it is called the Think Lab,” she said. “If you can think it, you can make it here.” She hopes to make a full-size tunic or vest with the pieces, called “scale mail,” by the end of the semester. Watkins, a studio art major, received … [Read more...]

Pushing Digital Boundaries

Jim Groom 4

If Jim Groom has his way, every college student will dive head first into the digital realm. The director of UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies is well on his way at the University of Mary Washington, where more than 1,200 undergraduates from seven universities have joined an online digital storytelling course known as DS106. This community class is just one of his unconventional initiatives that earned Groom recognition among 12 “innovators who are transforming campuses” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. “We are pushing boundaries,” he said. “We are making our students citizens in a digital age.” In DS106, students create and complete each other’s assignments and interact with students from across the world. The course has spawned more than 18,000 online posts and an assignment bank with nearly 300 contributions, not to mention a radio and TV station. Groom even launched a successful online campaign to raise $4,200 for a new server that would bolster the … [Read more...]