Sierra College Wins $350,000 Makerspace Grant

Hacker Lab members pose on a balcony with a Hacker Lab and Sierra College Banner

Sierra College was one of only 24 schools to win the $350,000 CCC Maker Grant.

Now we can help students thrive in the economy by creating the following:

  • An inclusive makerspace community
  • Internships
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial curriculum
  • Connections with the regional ecosystem

We are Partnering with Three Community Makerspaces:

  • Hacker Lab in Rocklin, near the Rocklin campus
  • Curious Forge in Grass Valley, near the Nevada County Campus
  • Truckee Roundhouse, near the Tahoe-Truckee Campus

Our President Willy Duncan talked about the partnership:

We’ve made a conscious decision to partner with community makerspaces…that are near our campuses and reflect the unique culture, interests and businesses in each part of the region.

Welding project at the Rocklin Hacker Lab
Welding project at the Rocklin Hacker Lab

Collaboration in a Shared Work Space

Dominic Felipe Gutierrez is the director and liaison between the campuses and makerspaces.

Gutierrez is excited about the new collaboration:

In a makerspace community, members teach each other and collaborate on projects. Students may teach faculty and business owners skills, and they in turn may mentor students.

There is a natural camaraderie when people are working in a shared work space and learning creative ways to use laser cutters, 3D printers and electronics, with a variety of materials such as fabric, wood and recyclables to develop new products or complete class projects.

Rocklin’s Hacker Lab: Expanding Business Partnerships

A Hacker Lab member makes art with spray paint at the makerspace
A Rocklin Hacker Lab member makes art with spray paint

Eric Ullrich is the co-founder of the Hacker Labs in Rocklin and Sacramento.

Ullrich believes the three makerspaces linked through the college will provide skills and jobs:

Programs like Hacker Lab’s Start Up Hustle bring together students, faculty, entrepreneurs and local businesses to develop entrepreneurial startup skills.

The CCC Maker funding will build the internal capacity of each makerspace to prepare student leaders, teach in-demand skills, develop e-commerce and physical pop-up shops, and expand business partnerships to support internships.

Grass Valley’s Curious Forge: Giving Students Hands-On Skills

The Curious Forge crafters hard at work on their projects
Curious Forge crafters hard at work on their projects

The Curious Forge is used by over 70 creative, community-minded artists, engineers and crafts people.

The Curious Forge has equipment for the following:

  • Metal working
  • Woodworking
  • Ceramics
  • Sewing textiles
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry making

Founder Liam Ellerby is excited about how the grant will enrich the community:

We are in the process of moving into a new 20,000 square foot space, and this grant will help connect Sierra College students to hands-on skills, classes and equipment that can expand learning opportunities. Our partnership with the Nevada School for the Arts will also connect our space with secondary students.

Truckee Roundhouse: Offering More Education for Future Entrepreneurs

Truckee Roundhouse Summer Ceramics Drop In Series
Ceramics at Truckee Roundhouse

Truckee Roundhouse, located at the Truckee Airport, offers the following:

  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Ceramics
  • Textiles
  • Technology shops

Co-Founder and Truckee Mayor Morgan Goodwin is looking forward to expanding the space:

We are a community-oriented shop that offers benefits for everyone. By engaging Sierra College students and faculty, and expanding learning through this creative space, the Truckee Roundhouse will offer more STEM and arts education, blending skills and technologies to create the entrepreneurs of the future.

Technical measurements at the Hacker lab Makerspace

Follow the Makerspaces and Learn More

Follow Sierra College Makerspaces:

Learn more about the statewide CCC Maker initiative at the CCC Maker website.