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The Spark

Igniting the imagination through cooperative learning

Overview

About Us

Welcome to The Spark Makerspace! The Spark is a technology division within UNT Libraries whose primary focus is providing access to a wide range of technologies to enhance their UNT experience. As a unique combination of a hands-on learning lab and a library circulating collection, 

Vision: 

The Spark’s vision is to promote cooperative and creative use of technology to support the continual development of the maker mindset within the UNT community. As such we strive to foster innovation and exploration of technology and ideas to engage in the learning process in an inclusive and collaborative space. The Spark is committed to promoting ideals and efforts to elevate the UNT mission of "...empowering our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world" and providing learning opportunities to help our students "be innovative leaders of tomorrow".


Mission:

The Spark's mission is to ignite the imagination, encourage exploration, and facilitate learning at the intersection of theoretical knowledge and physical application across disciplines. The Spark endeavors to increase digital fluency, inspire explorative learning, support resume building, and encourage personal growth and development of a maker mindset. The maker mindset builds confidence in an individual's ownership of the process and understanding the connection between the challenge and the outcome. Maker-centered learning has the ability to grow an individual's skill set in critical thinking, communication, and collaboration while working in a cross-disciplinary environment. 

The Spark Goals:

  • Deliver outstanding customer service to every patron in our facility 
  • Provide a welcoming innovative space for equitable access to tools and training 
  • Maintain a knowledgeable staff that can accommodate our diverse patrons' needs
  • Nurture a culture of innovation that prioritizes safety, respect, and accountability
  • Foster the development of lifelong learner with a maker mindset


Our team members come from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. You can easily identify them from their grey vests, and they will always be happy to assist you.

Contact Information
Email TheSpark@unt.edu
Willis Library 940-369-5259
Discovery Park 940-565-3175
Frisco Landing 972-668-7457
Locations & Hours
Spark Location Willis Discovery Park Frisco
Campus Location Willis Library 150 Discovery Park M152 Frisco Landing 150
Hours
Click Here
Focus

The Willis location places a strong emphasis on fostering a dynamic learning environment within the heart of the library. 

Discovery Park offers a distinctive feature through its partnership with the Mechanical Engineering department. The Frisco location of The Spark is the newest location and is designed to support the collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit embodied at UNT Frisco. 

 

            
   

We are excited to have you come into our spaces to learn and continue to develop new skills, building your resume, and/or enriching your college experiences. The Spark has resources that are circulating (can leave space) and some that are only available for in space use. The Spark Makerspace offers access to a variety of tools and machines that can have inherent risks. So please read carefully the information below to help you get the most out of your time in the space.

It is important to understand the makerspace is not a production facility but an educational lab. Our mission is to teach you the skills/equipment to bring your project and/or ideas to life. The team does not do the work, they train individuals to use the resources they need or want to learn.

Reminders for when you are ready to visit the space! 

  • Bring identification; University of North Texas Student/Staff/Faculty ID Card.
  • Wear or bring an extra pair of closed-toe shoes and proper attire for safe use of equipment when you visit the Spark. 
  • Be prepared to complete safety and or equipment training prior to being able to use specific items.
  • You are responsible for creating a safe space by
    • following safety guidelines
    • using the resources properly and how they were designed to be used
  • You are financially responsible for the equipment checked out to you including
    • Returning the equipment in the same or better condition than when it was checked out
    • Lost/stolen/damages that occur while the items are checked out to you

Exercise Compassion 

Be kind and understanding when using the space. The makerspace is a safe space for people from all walks of life to learn, tinker and make. Individuals found to be disrespectful of the space, hateful in any form to other users or employees of The Spark, and/or abusive to machines/equipment or others will be evicted from the facility. Use of the makerspace is a privilege that can be revoked.

 

Deliberate Safety

We value being able to train and then get to use equipment that many may see as dangerous. An important part of using the makerspace is completing proper training and using best practices with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and behavior choices. 

  • Proper training completed
  • Wear proper PPE
  • Inspect space and equipment for any safety issues

 

Leave It How You Want To Meet It

The Spark locations are shared spaces open to all of the UNT community. Removing mess and cleaning up debris helps maintain safety within the space. Make sure to allow time to pick and return tools or accessories that were used. Report any maintenance needs, sweep/use the shop vac to clean up the area, and wipe down the machine/workbench used.

 

Graciously Reflect and Review

We want to hear about your experience in The Spark! We strive to offer our patrons a fulfilling experience and are always looking for ways to improve. Reach out and tell us the good, bad, and the ugly. We look forward to hearing from you!

UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, UNT POLICY AND PROCEDURE MEMORANDUM.

 

RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICES
The Spark reserves the right to refuse services to any patron who acts irresponsibly by disrupting the use of the facilities or by being disrespectful to other patrons or to a SPARK employee. Any SPARK employee can exercise the right to refuse service when confronted by a patron acting irresponsibly. Irresponsible behavior includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Rudeness including loud and offensive language.
  • Unreasonable demands for service.
  • Being under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol.
  • Not following proper protocols for use of equipment
  • Threatening or erratic behavior.

NOTICES OF POLICIES & POLICY VIOLATIONS
According to the Dean of Students, it is not the responsibility of SPARK employees to educate patrons on the policy and procedures. SPARK employees may inform a patron of specific policies or policy violations.

If a patron is found to be abusing a policy or exhibiting disruptive behavior in the facility, a verbal warning will be issued.
After one warning is issued, the patron will be asked to leave the facility.
The patron is expected to leave the facility immediately.
If the patron fails to leave, the police will be called to escort the patron from the facility.
If a patron is found to be participating in illegal behavior or activities, the police will be called immediately.
When an abusive or disruptive pattern is discovered, the patron will be banned from the facilities for the remainder of the semester. Additionally, the patron’s file will be forwarded to the Dean of Students to be added to the student’s permanent record.
Remember that use of the computer lab is a privilege, and privileges can be revoked.

DATES
Approved: 07/04/12
Revised: 01/12/17

LICENSE INFORMATION
This Policy: "24 Student Computing Center @ the Library Disciplinary Action Plan" by UNT Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

About Us

The Spark's founding location is in the Willis Library centrally located on the main UNT Campus in Denton. In 2014 we started out as The Factory and through the growth and development of our space we have grown and rebranded as The Spark. The Spark in Willis Library is located on the first floor on the north wall across from the printers and is the technology service desk for the building. 

 

The largest portion of the Spark collection is primarily housed in the Willis Library and includes service and support for a wide range of student technology, supporting UNT curriculum needs, and partnering with local schools and community programs.

 Some services unique to our Willis location include:

The Spark @ Discovery Park

The Spark @ Discovery Park is our branch location at UNT Denton's Discovery Park Campus and is open to all UNT students, faculty and staff. In this Spark location we have a partnership with the Department of Mechanical Engineering in which The Spark and the Pettinger Center for Innovation and Design are in a shared space.

The Pettinger Center for Innovation and Design is restricted access for Mechanical Engineering only, the Spark is open to all UNT students, faculty and staff. Uniquely, in this location The Spark is partnering with the Mechanical Engineering department and will also have ME resources for checkout by ME students. The ME resources will be available for checkout from the service desk during Spark hours of operation. The Hours of Operation for each Spark group is listed in the Library calendar. Please note the Makerspace has three locations, one in Willis 150 and one in Discovery Park M152, and one in Frisco Landing 150. 

In order to use any Spark location, a patron must have a signed liability waiver on file. Circulating materials are available from the Spark service desk and a UNT ID is required in order to check out. In space equipment requires training please refer to the Trainings & Workshops page.

 

Due to the shared space please keep the following in mind:

  • All those entering the space will need to have their UNT ID and check in at the Spark service desk
  • No food is allowed in the main Center areas or the Makerspace
  • Drinks must have a closed lid and remain closed when not in use
  • Pettinger Center Specific
    • No shorts may be worn 
    • No open toed shoes
    • Personal Protective Gear  for all visitors in the space is required when work is being done in the Center
    • Food allowed in the Lounge area only 
Resources

Our Discovery Park location offers many resources to support UNT students. The collection is comprised of in space equipment, as well as kits available for check out.  The circulating materials housed in this location are those that have been in higher demand at Discovery Park. However, all Spark circulating items can be transferred to Discovery Park for pick up as needed. 

Announcements

Training and Workshop schedules are posted for FALL 2023.

The Spark @ Frisco Landing 

The Spark @ Frisco Landing sour branch location to support our Frisco campuses and is open to all UNT students, faculty, and staff. In this location the Spark has a service desk that operates the same hours as the building and has distinct makers-ace hours as well. 

The Spark service desk provides check outs for laptops, flatbed scanners, web cameras, and boardgames through building operating hours. Makerspace technologies and trainings are available during Makerspace hours.

 

 

Spark Spotlight

Book Nook of A Song of Ice and Fire created at the Spark Makerspace

Book Nook Theme: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Embroidery Machine

Materials Used: Wood, PLA, Acrylic Paints, Felt, Cotton Balls, LED Lights

Creators: Adrian and John 

Cricut cut 3D paper camping scene

Cricut 3D Camping

Tools Used: Cricut

Maker: Liberty

Book Nook Theme: Michelangelo Di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni made of laser cut wood and 3D print statues

Book Nook Theme: Michelangelo Di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Soldering

Materials Used: Wood, PLA, Acrylic Paints, LED Lights

Creator: Zane

different projection mapping signs and effects

Projection Mapping

Tools Used: Projectors, TouchDesigner & OBS

Maker: Aiden

Book Nook Theme: Star Wars: A New Hope by George Lucas

Book Nook Theme: Star Wars: A New Hope by George Lucas

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Vacuum Former, Cricut

Materials Used: Plywood, PLA, Acrylic Paints, Styrene, Fairy Lights, Colored Paper

Creators: Jason and Spencer

a birdhouse designed and cut on the laser and painted by a Maker

Birdhouse

Tools Used: Lasercutter, Wood & Acrylic Paint

Birdhouse design created & constructed by Grant

Plant designs created & birdhouse painted by Ashton

Book Nook Theme: Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Book Nook Theme: Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Soldering

Materials Used: Wood, PLA, Acrylic Paints, LED Lights, Beads, Clay, Solder, Jewelry Wire

Creators: Tori and Vanessa

custom game for the picade

The Spark Picade Video Game

Technology used: Gimp, Tiled, gbstudio

Maker: Jason

Book Nook Theme: The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

Book Nook Theme: The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Arduino, Soldering, Inkscape

Materials Used: Plywood, PLA, PETG, Acrylic Paints, Popsicle Sticks, Cotton Balls, Coffee Woodwash, Speaker, LEDs, Paper

Creators: Jaden and Noah

Lasercut Valentine post card

Valentine Post Card

Tools Used: Lasercutter & Wood

Maker: Jerry

Book Nook Theme: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Book Nook Theme: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Cricut, Hot Glue Gun, Soldering Iron

Materials Used: Hard Board, Foam, Paper, PLA, Sting

Creators: Elio, Joshua, Srinath, Steven

UNT Campus Braille Map

UNT Campus Braille Map

Tools Used: illustrator, Blender, Solidworks, 3D Printers

Original File Creator: Jordan

Printing Assisted by Alicia and JP

Book Nook Theme: RRR By  S.S. Rajamouli

Book Nook Theme: RRR By  S.S. Rajamouli

Technology used: Laser Cutter

Materials used: Wood

Created by: Bharath 

image of acrylic case and pi-cade project

PI-CADE

Tools Used: Raspberry Pi, Lasercutter, Acrylic, Controllers 

Creators: Aiden & Steven

Book Nook Theme: The Odyssey by Homer

Book Nook Theme: The Odyssey by Homer

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Solidworks

Materials Used: Plywood, White PLA, Acrylic Paints, Paper

Creators: Alex and Sierra 

Lasercut Chess board and 3D printed chess pieces

Chess Board

Tools Used: Lasercutter & 3D Printers

Chess Board designed and created by Maker Jena

Chess Pieces created by Director Judy

Book Nook: Theme: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Book Nook: Theme: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D Printer

Materials Used: PLA, Acrylic Paint, Soft Wood

Creators: Nishmith and Vivek 

Hand Embroidered Gnome wearing a red and white hat with a white beard standing on ice with snowflakes around on a hoop

Hand Embroidered Gnome

Tools Used: Hand Embroidery, Hoop, Cloth, Needle & Thread

Maker: Laura

Book Nook: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book Nook: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Technology used: Laser cutter, 3D printer, Resin Printer, Pneumatic Air Nail Gun

Materials Used: LED, PLA, Arduino, Acrylic Paint, Plywood, Acrylic, Glitter, Fishing Line, Pin Nails

Creators: Aiden and Alysia 

3D scan of objest that is then 3D printer

3D Scan to 3D print Replica

Tools Used: Einscan Scanner, Ender 3 3D Printer

Maker: Grant

Illustrator designed card for maker

Maker Trading Card Designs

Tools: Illustrator, Drawing Tablet

Maker: Sierra

LOVE Lasercut Wooden Sign

LOVE Lasercut Wooden Sign

Tools Used: Lasercutter & Wood

Maker: Grant

Filament Recycler Pulltrusion PET bottles to make 3D filament

Bottle Filament Maker

Tools Used: Lasercutter, 3D Printer, Power/Hand Tools

Maker: Aiden

laser cut roses on wood and acrylic

The Spark Roses

Tools Used: Acrylic, Wood, & Lasercutter

Maker: Grant

CNC carved battle ship style game in wood with coriander tiles

Battle Ship Board Game

Tools Used: CNC

Maker: Jaden

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