The Philippines’ first integrated makerspace has opened at Miriam College in Quezon City, providing students and faculty with a collaborative workspace and state-of-the-art equipment and tools to support a new model of teaching and learning.
Miriam College-Henry Sy Sr. Innovation Center is described as the country’s first makerspace―a place for learning, exploring, discovering, designing, making, transforming, connecting, collaborating and sharing ideas within a campus. The opening of the markerspace coincides with the 90th anniversary of Miriam College, which used to be known as Maryknoll College until 1989. It is now an all-women’s school.
“It is here at the Miriam College-Henry Sy Sr. Innovation Center where we will follow a new model of teaching and learning, one that brings change and improvement to current school and classroom practices―much like what our pioneering and progressive Maryknoll nuns did when they established their first mission in Malabon in 1926,” says Miriam College president Rosario Lapus.
The center was designed by renowned architect Ed Calma and was built through a P100-million donation from Henry Sy Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Investments Corp., the holding company of the Sy family.
A daughter of tycoon Henry Sy, Elizabeth Sy is an alumna of Miriam College and is currently the president of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp., which runs the hotel and accommodation business of the SM Group.
In a statement, Miriam College says MC-HSSIC gives students and faculty the opportunity and space to immerse themselves into 21st Century disciplines of Dream―design, robotics, engineering, entrepreneurship and mathematics.
Aside from the SM Group, other institutions that contributed to the development of the center are Emerson Electric (Asia) Ltd., Power Mac Center, Felta Multi-Media Inc., C&E Publishing Inc., Center for Culinary Arts Manila, British Council, Bato Balani Foundation Inc. and Bangkok University.
The markerspace features eight connected and creative learning spaces, including fabrication laboratory, instrumentation laboratory, engineering and electronics laboratory, multi-media laboratory, performance laboratory, kitchen and cafe, playloft and innovatrium.
Calma says the design of the whole structure represents a water ripple caused by a drop. It is “where innovative ideas are formed and would ripple outward,” the architect says. “The outer labs are incubators of ideas and ideas are worked on as they pass through critique and exhibition, and finally, presented in the center space [innovatrium] as final products.”
Miriam College says the markerspace is supported by an integrated program that will engage students in Steam (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) to Dream in preparation for fields of the future.
Emerson, a US-based technology and engineering company, contributed an instrumentation laboratory for MC-HSSIC.
The Emerson Instrumentation Laboratory is a learning space equipped with various tools for testing and conducting investigatory experiments. The facility is designed to teach students the fundamental concepts of pressure, distance and velocity, temperature and mass and weight.
Emerson says its partnership with Miriam College is part of the company’s advocacy to promote Stem, or science, technology, engineering and math education in the country.
The company has already signed partnerships with 12 universities and 12 K-12 schools and sponsored 20 scholars in partnership with AmCham Foundation.
“As a global technology and engineering leader, Emerson’s continuing success depends on being able to attract highly-skilled talents, especially in the Stem disciplines. Our donation and engagement with an educational institution like Miriam College provides us with a unique opportunity to encourage young women in particular, as well as others in the community, to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Stem disciplines in modern life as well as to explore career opportunities in these fields,” says Emerson Philippines vice president and general manager Ed Boone.
“We believe supporting Stem education in the Philippines can greatly affect the country’s progress and development,” Boone asays.
Emerson which is based in St. Louis, Missouri, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and consumer markets around the world.
The company is comprised of five business segments which include process management, industrial automation, network power, climate technologies and commercial and residential solutions.
In the Philippines, Emerson provides value-added solutions and services to customers in various areas of engineering, customer support, finance, marketing and business development, information technology and supply chain management. Emerson has 3,500 employees in the Philippines.
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