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1. Our students cannot access physical design and making education

Although we list nearly one hundred courses involving physical design and making across fourteen degree programs, most courses are walled off by prerequisites, are offered only rarely, or are able to meet only a fraction of student demand. Hundreds of students are denied access to these courses each quarter. Our most popular makerspaces are often overrun, turning students away for lack of room. While the vast majority of students express interest in making courses, only one in three Stanford undergraduates currently experience physical design and making in their academic program. We substantially lag our peer institutions in our support for physical design and making curriculum. The educational benefits of improving access to making at Stanford would be immense.

2. The communities where we support making are disconnected

Our campus benefits from the diversity of more than twenty separate spaces for teaching physical design and making, overseen by more than a dozen departments, each with unique character and culture, and each serving complementary, discipline-specific educational purposes. This separation can, however, be a liability. Students are unaware of many of our makerspaces, and each is limited by either staff, materials, equipment, or space, without mechanisms for sharing resources. Coordinating our making organizations could realize a tremendous potential.