Expanding 'Maker' Programs

SSU Receives $100,000 Grant from Chevron for Innovation
June 15, 2017
Students using 3D printer in Makerspace

Students design and 3D-print objects in the Makerspace at Sonoma State // Photo by Nicolas Grizzle

Sonoma State University has received a $100,000 grant from Chevron toward expanding Makerspace leadership on campus.


This continues the path that Sonoma State has continued to pave to promote Maker education and innovation. Last fall, the campus received a grant from the National Science Foundation of more than half a million dollars to create a signature Maker program with a Makerspace on campus. The University also offers a unique Maker Certificate Program for K-12 educators on campus and online.


“We are proud to be expanding K-16 Maker education all over the state with the help of this generous grant," said Carlos Ayala, dean of the School of Education at Sonoma State. "We strive to bring Making to the forefront of education.”


The grant prepares teachers to support students as they invent, tinker, explore and discover in school-based Makerspaces using a variety of tools and materials, and incorporating engineering design practices as they create.


"Chevron is proud to partner with CSU to ensure teachers have the resources and training they need to provide engaging science and engineering education to all grade levels," said Blair Blackwell, manager of education and corporate programs at Chevron.


Sonoma State plans to use this new grant to expand its Maker Educator Certificate Program to a wider audience, including reaching out to beneficiaries via county offices and other California State University campuses to expand the number of sites where the program is offered.


This grant is part of the $400,000 commitment Chevron recently pledged to the CSU to expand its pioneering initiatives that integrate engineering design into K-12 teacher preparation. It also broadens Maker education to higher education and into all California State University libraries by providing Maker scholarships to librarians, faculty, and teachers. Since 2014, Chevron has provided more than $1.75 million toward Maker initiatives at the CSU.


In 2015, one year after the creation of its one-of-a-kind Maker Certificate Program, representatives from Sonoma State's School of Education were invited to the White House to participate in a discussion for the Obama administration's Maker Schools Alliance.


Last year, Sonoma State launched its own Makerspace that allows students to bring nontraditional learning tools like 3D printers, a computer controlled mill, laser cutters and micro controllers, as well as materials like electronics, cloth, fabric, leather and more to campus. The University is also offering a General Education course for sophomores called "Dream, Make and Innovate," which is integrated with the new Makerspace.


About Chevron

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company's operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

Media Contact

Nicolas Grizzle