If you’ve been around awhile you might have thought the MEM lab was just for the Introduction to Manufacturing Systems Lab (MEM 2212), and as we learned many students felt the labs were not usable for their own exploration and learning outside of class. That is about to change. Over the summer, the University and the School of Engineering provided the funding and resources to renovate the MEM lab spaces, located in EII 102 and EII 106. MEM discussed the lab spaces with various faculty and students to plan a new lab space that would be more inviting and more useful to students. While the lab is still evolving and growing in tools and lab features, the renovation is complete and students are already finding it an inviting place to meet, study and work on group projects together.
EII 106 will be the MEM Applied Learning Laboratory (ALL) and primarily used for the MEM 2212 lab course right now. Inside there will be a flexibly designed classroom area, storage cabinets for classwork, the CNC machines and the 3D printers used in the course, as well as some computers students may need as they grow in their design skills.
EII 102 will be the Exploration Laboratory and Innovation Space (ELIS) and will be a place where students can come and explore and innovate individually or as groups. There is a dedicated space with workbench tables and higher stools, a lounge area for meetings to discuss ideas or study together, a row of cabinets that will soon house exploration and learning kits to aid in learning concepts or gain new professional skills, a storage area for group projects, a conveyor table, tools, a robot arm, and additional manufacturing related exploration pieces and a conference room that students and faculty can reserve. Technology will soon be added to the space to allow for virtual meetings, digital collaboration, and more.
The lab has regular open hours and students who have completed MEM 2212 are eligible to request independent lab access. More information can be found on the MEM website at: https://mem.uconn.edu/student-experience/mem-lab/