Madie Simmons (left) and Maggie Hynes beneath the Tiger's Nest Monastery.


BC's makerspace led juniors Maggie Hynes and Madie Simmons to a 'fab lab' in 不丹

当她不上课的时候, 吃, 或睡觉, chances are you’ll find engineering-major Maggie Hynes ’25 at the Hatchery, 电子游戏软件最新的创客空间, where she works as the laser and vinyl cutting team lead. Whether she’s helping another student with a project, 致力于个人创作, 或者和朋友和同事聊天, this specific corner of campus has become her second home.

It’s also taken her and fellow Hatchery employee Madie Simmons ’25, 计算机科学专业, 一生一次的冒险. 今年夏天, through the connections of their former Hatchery supervisor Madison Dunaway, 两位学生都在廷布住了两个月, 不丹, where they worked as interns for a fab lab makerspace and participated in an international digital fabrication conference—all while surrounded by some of the most stunning landscape on earth.

“太棒了,”西蒙斯说. “We did a lot of hiking: you’re up in the mountains, 云在你的下面, and you’re looking down at rolling hills everywhere. 我很想回去.” 

Simmons and Hynes were among a dozen interns hired to support the staff at the recently opened Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super Fab Lab, 2 .国际网络的一部分,500 fab labs begun by MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld in the early 2000s. The goal of all fab labs is to empower ordinary people to make almost anything themselves—whether it’s a farming tool, 医疗设备, 或者是企业的标志. 一个“超级”实验室, 其中只有两个, 包含更多的重型机械, including the necessary equipment to build a regular fab lab from scratch. 

In its efforts to modernize and retain younger workers, the government of 不丹 has opened five maker spaces throughout the country in recent years and is encouraging citizens to use technology to solve problems in the community and preserve 不丹ese culture. Many of the lab users Simmons and Hynes observed were working on farming solutions, including a device to protect chili crops from wildlife. Another group was working on a project to design and fabricate looms that could be used by people of all ages to weave traditional 不丹ese textiles.

在FAB23的前几周, 国际晶圆实验室会议暨研讨会, Simmons and Hynes were busy helping lab users finalize projects while also working on a challenge of their own: their supervisor wanted them to design and manufacture name tags—using sustainable materials—that could also be used as souvenirs for conference attendees. 经过测试不同的方法和设计, 他们选择了激光切割纸板标签, and helped train their fellow interns to assist them in production.

“We ended up making nearly 800 name tags,” recalled Simmons. “We do a lot of laser cutting at the Hatchery but it’s much more small scale, so it was really interesting to see this process through from start to finish.” 


西蒙斯(左)和海因斯在孵化场. (凯特琳Cunningham)

The conference itself spanned two weeks and showcased projects by fab lab users in 不丹 centered around the theme “designing resilient futures.就在开馆前不久, Simmons and Hynes were asked to create and run a workshop that would appeal to younger attendees, so they reimagined an activity that has become an annual BC Hatchery tradition: screen printing t-shirts with original designs.

“Every year the Hatchery collaborates with social justice organizations on campus to host a screen printing workshop on the quad,海因斯解释道。. “It’s an easy entryway into something that’s really cool to do, 但你不需要经验, 所以我们想,‘让我们在不丹做吧!’”

Their contributions both before and during the conference earned high praise from fab lab supervisor Namgyal Gyaltshen, who lauded their professionalism and technical expertise as well as their contagious enthusiasm.

“实习结束的时候, the rest of my team were looking [to] the two of them as leaders to coordinate and organize the interns for the various tasks that were assigned to them,”她说。. “Their positive influence on the team morale cannot be overstated.”


Simmons and Hynes came to BC with sewing skills, but the rest they learned on the job. (凯特琳Cunningham)

今年秋天回到校园, Simmons and Hynes are hard at work on new projects at the Hatchery—some pertaining to their studies (Hynes first learned about the makerspace during a collaborative project between engineering majors and the Campus School) and some just for fun (Simmons is currently in a crocheting “era”). The staff and resources in the bright and airy space support both by providing materials, 培训, and a friendly environment to anyone who’s interested in cr吃.

“I think the perception of a makerspace is typically one where you see all men just 3-D printing or soldering stuff and we do have that, but I think this space is just as valuable to business students as it is to future teachers or STEM majors,海因斯说。. “My friend is an early education major and I keep telling her, “你得进来,耍点花招. 我知道你想. 这是放它的地方.’”