MIT’s dozens of makerspaces, dedicated hands-on classes, and experiential programs give you training in modern means of manufacture: what has come to be called a “maker education.”
The motto mens et manus—mind and hand—puts equal emphasis on theory and practice. The former you get from learning in the classroom, and the latter from making things, and from trying to make them work.
This “maker education” is at the core of MIT. According to surveys:
- 78% of students said MIT’s reputation for making made them more likely to enroll
- 85% have taken or intend to take a class where they will be required to make something for a final project
- 64% reported they made things in their dorms or independent living groups, in their bedrooms, lounges, and unused bike storage spaces
Project Manus maintains an inventory of makerspaces, machines, and resources across MIT. It designed the Mobius app, which helps you figure out which shops to use, provides training and safety guides, and securely stores your access credentials. It also runs a 3D printing service where you can upload a design and have it manufactured on demand.
The Edgerton Center hosts student-led clubs and teams, courses in engineering and high-speed photography, and a set of makerspaces where you can design and test your out-of-the-classroom projects. It also hosts D-Lab, which offers classes covering engineering and design, cross-cultural communication, and social entrepreneurship.
Many MIT residence halls have shops or makerspaces run by students that are used to make…whatever you want! Like this:
Many classes at MIT are project-based, and require you to become a creative, skilled maker-of-things to solve some open-ended problem. Some famous MIT classes that are project-based include 2.007 Design and Manufacturing, which is the academic inspiration for FIRST Robotics; 2.009 Product Engineering Processes, the largest product design class at MIT; and MAS.863 How to Make Almost Anything, which helped inspire the Fab Labs.