ISAM 2017

September 24th – 27th, 2017

ISAM 2017 Papers, Presentations and Videos


Click here to learn about ISAM 2018.


The International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) joins the people, knowledge & inspiration that fuse to catalyze higher education makerspaces which maximize their impact on (i) the student learning experiences and (ii) alumni success.  We foster community, networking, interaction and learning between people who are passionate about making.  This community includes, but is not limited to, student and faculty advocates, upper administration/leadership, government policy makers, educational researchers and makerspace managers and other practitioners.

Why ISAM?  Higher education makerspaces impact the efficacy of student learning in fields that include science, engineering, mathematics, music, entrepreneurship, medical/biomedical, architecture, mathematics, literature, and more.  These spaces have demonstrated an ability to foster highly beneficial interdisciplinary interactions and supportive peer communities that extend beyond the boundaries of a makerspace.  This nascent field is fast growing, and now is the time to gather people and knowledge together so that resources are best used to rapidly and broadly infuse makerspaces into higher education.  ISAM was created to make this happen.

ISAM will gather, and make available, knowledge and best practices that may be used to form student maker communities, get students excited about using these spaces, perpetuate a culture of safe, fun and responsible use, measure/maximize educational and social impact, and to select appropriate practices, programming, safety policies, training, staffing and equipment.  ISAM believes in providing a balance of different approaches to creating, running and maintaining makerspaces that yield measureable impact.  This is facilitated via:

  • Short courses that cover principles and practices.
  • Invited experts that provide insight into emerging areas, concepts & research.
  • Technical papers & poster presentations that disseminate the most recent advances.
  • Community discussions around core topics and new developments.
  • Community building and networking/making events.

ISAM is a collaborative effort of the Higher Education Makerspace Initiative. Learn more at


Download the ISAM 2017 app
to get the latest information and announcements.

Click here for a printable program.

Registration is closed. All makerspace courses are sold out with substantial waiting lists. 

Two courses will be available at ISAM 2017 on Wednesday, September 27th: “ISAM 101 – Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace” and two tracks of “ISAM 102 – Makerspace Equipment”. The information found in these courses can be used to design, create, upgrade, and sustain productive and safe academic makerspaces.

Sold Out – ISAM 101 – Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace Synopsis

Put into practice what you’ve learned from the ISAM 2017 program. Explore different types of spaces, safety policies, staffing models, training practices, and metrics while working on your own makerspace project. This course emphasizes fundamental principles of successful makerspaces and proven methods to engage students, form communities, shape culture, increase access, and encourage best practices.

Sold Out – ISAM 102A – Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping Synopsis

Learn the do’s and don’ts of 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, sewing machines, and other prototyping equipment through curated experiences and demonstrations. This course covers a selection of makerspace prototyping equipment in terms of capability, cost, staffing, best practices, and safety.

Sold Out – ISAM 102B – Makerspace Equipment for Fabrication Synopsis

Learn the do’s and don’ts of welding, water jet cutting, CNC routing, and other machine shop and fabrication equipment through curated experiences and demonstrations. This course covers a selection of makerspace fabrication equipment in terms of capability, cost, staffing, best practices, and safety.


Registration is now closed. On-site registration will be available for full conference registrations only. All courses and tours are sold out. Thank you!

2nd International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) 2017

ISAM is a collaborative effort between: UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Georgia Tech, MIT, Olin, Stanford, and Yale.

Sunday, September 24, 2017 – Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
United States

Symposium RegistrationEarly Bird
(On or before 7/7)
(After 7/7)
Full Conference$625$800
Student Full Conference$125$175

Additional ActivitiesEarly Bird
Sears think[box] Tours on 9/26/17$25$35
ISAM 101: Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace$125$175
ISAM 102A: Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping$125$175
ISAM 102B: Makerspace Equipment for Fabrication$125$175
Additional activities have limited capacity and there will be no registration at the door. Prior registration is required for admittance. No exceptions.


What’s Included

Full conference and student registrations include daily continental breakfasts, lunches, and entrance to both poster receptions. Registration for classes includes lunch only.

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations received in writing will receive a refund less a processing fee as follows:

  • Cancellations received on or before July 31st will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations received from August 1st to September 1st are subject to a cancellation fee equal to 50% of total registration fees (including symposium, tours, and class fees).
  • Cancellations received on or after September 1st are subject to a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the total registration fees (including symposium, tours, and class fees).


You may access your registration record and make changes until online registration closes on September 15, 2016. After that time please contact


If you have any further questions regarding registration or scheduling please contact

Papers + Posters


Presentations MUST be received by Monday, September 18 at midnight. Presentations will not be accepted at any time during the symposium.


ISAM 2017 Presentation Guidelines

Click here to submit your presentation before midnight on Monday, September 18.


ISAM 2017 Poster Guidelines

Click here to submit your poster before midnight on Monday, September 18.


Paper Submission Website for ISAM 2017

Conference Topics

Conference sessions will feature paper presentations, panel discussions, and Q&A opportunities around the following higher education makerspace topics.

  • Community and Industry
  • Defining Success:  Metrics, Data Collection, & Impact
  • Funding Models, Revenue Streams & Sustainability
  • Makerspace Mission, Vision, Goals & Core Values
  • Management & Staffing Models
  • Navigating Policies and Politics to Promote Campus Collaborations
  • Role of Libraries in Promoting Academic Making
  • Space Design, Workflow, Equipment, and Safety & OSHA Regulations
  • Spaces for Industrial Design, Art, Architecture, Jewelry, and Fashion
  • Supporting and Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Training, Documentation and Competency Certification
  • User Engagement, Programming and Controlling Access

Important Dates

June 9, 2017Paper abstract submissions due by midnight. Extended deadline.
June 30, 2017Invitations to submit first drafts issued to authors.
July 17, 2017Paper first drafts due by midnight.
July 24, 2017Symposium registration for authors due by midnight.
August 4, 2017Revision requests for final drafts issued to authors.
August 14, 2017Video proposals due to
August 14, 2017Paper final drafts due by midnight.
August 18, 2017Video invitations issued.
August 25, 2017Presentation information, date, and times issued to authors.
September 11, 2017Final videos due.
September 15, 2017Registration closes.
September 18, 2017Presentations due.
September 24, 2017ISAM 2017 begins.


Student Travel Support

Reimbursements of up to $1000 for accommodations and travel are available to graduate and undergraduate students attending ISAM 2017. Any student may apply online.


While you’re in University Circle, take advantage of world-renowned museums, eclectic restaurants, beautiful parks, and cozy spaces – all less than 5 minutes walking distance! If you’re interested in seeing more of Cleveland, download the visitors guide.

Courtyard Cleveland University Circle (walking distance to venue)
An ideally situated Cleveland hotel in University Circle.
2021 Cornell Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Website >

Washington Place Bistro & Inn
A well-appointed seven-room inn offers first-class amenities in Cleveland’s historic Little Italy neighborhood.
2203 Cornell Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Website >

Extended University Circle

DoubleTree by Hilton—The Tudor Arms Hotel
Stylish and sophisticated accommodation in the heart of Cleveland’s East Side Cultural District, only four miles from the downtown Cleveland business district.
10660 Carnegie Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Website >

InterContinental Cleveland
Situated on the campus of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, less than a mile from Case Western Reserve.
9801 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Website >

InterContinental Suites Hotel
These suites feature full-service and guest laundry.
8800 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Website >

Holiday Inn Cleveland Clinic
Newly-built May 2016, features full-service, an indoor pool and laundry services.
8650 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Website >

Downtown Cleveland (approx 6 miles from campus)

Hampton Inn Cleveland—Downtown
Walking distance from many of downtown Cleveland’s hot spots. Ask for the special CWRU rate.
1460 East 9th St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Website >

Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown
The best of both worlds: a quick drive to campus but also take in everything downtown has to offer.
1100 Carnegie Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Website >

Hyatt Regency at the Arcade
Set in Cleveland’s historic Arcade, with all the necessities and then some—specialty shops and boutiques, restaurants and a food court.
420 East Superior Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Website >

About HEMI

The Higher Education Makerspaces Initiatives (HEMI) is a collaborative of leading universities focused on solving the challenges of academic makerspaces and making their combined learnings available to others.

Prof. Bjoern Hartmann

Carnegie Mellon
Mr. Peter Zach Ali

Case Western Reserve
Mr. Ian Charnas
Prof. Malcolm Cooke

Georgia Tech
Prof. Craig Forest

Prof. Martin Culpepper
Mr. Jonathan McIndoe Hunt

Prof. Aaron Hoover

Mrs. Marlo Kohn
Prof. David Beach

Dean Vincent Wilczynski