Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Independent Study Studio

Since we can’t offer our Makerspace class in Spring 2016 (and many students have already taken this class or others at the Makerlab or IEFX and so on) Jeff Ginger has decided to make it possible for students to enroll in an independent study studio instead.


  • Work on a project of your own choosing that relates to your major and scholarly/practical interests. Past examples have included:
    • An exploration of communications strategies for non-profits: multimedia publications and social media engagement to promote Fab Lab activities
    • Methods in additive manufacturing: building a 2nd generation stereolithography 3D printer and refining existing documentation
    • Purusing informal pathways for motivation: establishing a series of badges and achievements to help makerspace participants track their learning and accomplishments
    • Robots for cheap: prototyping a $25 concept fully-mobile Arduino robot and associated workshop plan
    • Cosplay tech: designing a series of e-textile anime costumes driven by small electronics
    • Assisting with instruction and curriculum development for Fab Lab workshops 
    • Working with community partners like The Urbana Free Library and Clark-Lindsey Village
  • Open opportunities include:
    • Exploring the Galileo platform to create Internet Of Things (IOT) prototypes
    • Curriculum development for community art education
    • Integrating solar panels and other sustainable technologies into clothing and textiles
    • Fashion design using rapid fabrication tools
    • Methods for engagement and information sharing with the student community
    • Game (board, video, live sports) design
    • And really all kinds of other projects you might come up with
  • Meet weekly or bi-weekly with a Fab Lab staff member or core volunteer (community sites are okay too!) who will help guide you through specific challenges and advise you on how to tackle problems.
  • Meet with the entire group of independent study students every 3 weeks to present your progress, share ideas/feedback and reflect on what you’ve learned so far.


Write a 1-2 page proposal that includes the following:

  • A description of what you plan to do for your project
  • How many academic hours it will be (1-3)
  • Who your Fab Lab staff mentor will be, and why you chose them
  • When you will come in to work on the project (days/frequency) as well as a semester timeline with objectives
  • What you intend to learn from the experience
  • Your deliverables to be presented throughout the course

Send an email with this information to Jeff Ginger ( and he will send back any required revisions or questions. Once approved the application will be sent on to Karin Readel ( who will provide you with a CRN for INFO 199 or INFO 399.