ISAM 2018

August 3rd – 5th, 2018
Stanford, California

Co-hosted by Stanford and UC Berkeley

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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

Past ISAM Events  

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Preliminary Schedule

Please note that this preliminary schedule is for overall travel planning only. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Friday, August 3, 2018

  • 9:00am – 4:00pm
    Field trip tours will be offered to UC Berkeley and local companies. Sign up here for more information.
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm
    ISAM 101 – Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace (limited capacity, additional fee applies)
  • 1:00pm – 5:30pm
    ISAM 102 – Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping (limited capacity, additional fee applies)
  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm
    Conference Welcome Reception
    (open to all ISAM attendees)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

  • 8:30am – 7:00pm
    Conference Program (including presentations, panels, networking opportunities, vendor area, and poster presentations)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

  • 8:30am – 5:00pm
    Conference Program (including presentations, panels, networking opportunities, vendor area, and poster presentations)

Two courses will be offered at ISAM 2018 on Friday, August 3rd:

  • ISAM 101 – Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace
  • ISAM 102 – Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping

The information found in these courses can be used to design, create, upgrade, and sustain productive and safe academic makerspaces.

ISAM 101 – Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace

Designed for people developing new makerspaces or seeking to deepen their knowledge, this course will help lay a foundation before the ISAM 2018 program. Learn about and discuss different types of spaces, safety policies, staffing models, training practices, and metrics. This course emphasizes fundamental principles of successful makerspaces and proven methods to engage students, form communities, shape culture, increase access, and encourage best practices.

ISAM 102 – Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping

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. These 75 minute courses cover a selection of makerspace prototyping equipment in terms of capability, cost, staffing, best practices, and safety (multiple sessions will be offered).

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Register now for ISAM 2018!

3rd International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018 – Sunday, August 5, 2018
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
United States

Symposium RegistrationEarly Bird
(Through 6/15/18)
(Starting 6/16/18)
Full Conference$550$700
Student Full Conference$100$150
Additional ActivitiesEarly Bird
ISAM 101: Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace$100$150
ISAM 102: Makerspace Equipment for Prototyping$100$150
Additional activities have limited capacity and there will be no registration at the door. Prior registration is required for admittance. No exceptions.

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Papers + Posters

Conference Topics

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

  • Educational Research to Understand the Values of Making
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Studies of Making
  • Emerging Hardware and Software Tools for Makers
  • 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
  • Literature Surveys relevant to Academic Makerspaces

ISAM fosters broad research into all aspects of planning, launching, and running Academic Makerspaces. This year ISAM will feature two different tracks. The Papers track invites research contributions. The Posters and Videos track invites experience reports, best practices, project reports, and works-in-progress. One of the poster sessions will showcase student projects completed in makerspaces and we explicitly invite such submissions.

Please see our detailed Call for Participation, Call for Student Posters, and Call for Videos.

Templates and Guidelines

Template for Papers and Poster Abstracts

Poster Guidelines

Online Submission System

Online Submission for Papers (closed to new submissions)

Online Submission for Posters and Videos (due June 4, 5pm PDT)

Important Dates

PapersPosters / Videos
Paper authors submit first draftsApril 9, 2018
First round notifications sentApril 20, 2018
Authors revise and resubmitMay 11, 2018
Author notificationsMay 29, 2018
Poster authors submit 2 pages and poster; Video authors submit videoJune 4, 2018
Author notificationsJune 13, 2018
Accepted paper authors submit final versionJune 15, 2018
Early registration deadlineJune 15, 2018
Accepted poster/video authors submit final versionJune 29, 2018
Program issued with presentation information (date, time)July 2, 2018
Registration closesJuly 23, 2018
Presentations dueJuly 30, 2018
ISAM 2018 beginsAugust 3, 2018

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For more information about sponsorship opportunities at ISAM 2018, please view the Sponsor & Exhibitor Prospectus below:

Potential Sponsor and Exhibitor Contact Form

Thank you to our sponsors!

Diamond Level

Additional Support From:

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