Miami Dade College (MDC) has received a donation of $12 million from the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation to enhance a state-of-the-art Makers Lab at the Kendall Campus to serve students studying engineering, information technology, robotics, visual and performing arts, and other disciplines.
The Makers Lab is a creative, problem-solving space where ideas take physical shape. Free and open to the MDC community, the Makers Lab is equipped with high-precision industrial tools that make it easy to produce an accurate prototype, model or replica of virtually any object, using a wide range of materials and computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Collaboration and experimentation are key to innovation at the Makers Lab, where students are encouraged to work with peers from other academic disciplines in order to identify problems and search for solutions from various perspectives.
The enhanced Makers Lab at the Kendall Campus will be an environment for high impact practices including collaborative learning, student research and learning communities. Faculty and staff will be encouraged to develop and integrate course and/or program modules into existing curriculum. External partners would be offered opportunities to utilize the space as well as engage students and develop potential internship or apprenticeship pathways.
Digital Art, Theater, Ceramics, Jewelry, Sculpting, Architecture, Robotics, Engineering and Information Technology disciplines all have the ability to increase enrollment with the inclusion of these real-world practices. Outreach by Makers Lab staff will occur with the local high school academies to encourage shared resources and experiences. The work completed in the lab is also central in many new jobs and emerging industries.
For more than 50 years the Wolfson Foundation has provided financial support to the college for scholarships, program development and equipment to enhance the success and achievements of students. These donations have allowed MDC to provide financial assistance to hundreds of low-income students who might not have otherwise been able to earn an academic credential. The funds also have been used for creating some of MDC’s most innovative academic spaces and programs in cutting-edge fields including cyber-security, artificial intelligence, and fashion design and merchandising, to name a few.