ISAM 2019

October 16th – 18th, 2019 New Haven, Connecticut

Co-hosted by Yale University and Olin College

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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Symposium Program

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

ISAM 2019 Additional Activities
(Additional Activity Registration Required)
Yale CEID – 15 Prospect Street – New Haven, CT

9:00 am – 12:00 pm:ISAM 101 – Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm:ISAM 102 – Making and Innovating at Yale
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm:ISAM 103 – Yale Makerspace Tours

International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces 2019
Yale School of Management – Evans Hall – 165 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm:ISAM 2019 Opening Reception & Table-Top Discussions with members of the Higher Education Makerspace Initiative

Thursday, October 17, 2019

8:00 am – 9:00 amBreakfast
9:00 am – 9:45 amWelcome and Keynote Presentation –
Dr. Woodie Flowers – “Making as a Form of Critical Thinking”
9:45 am – 10:30 amPaper Session 1: Tools, Training & Access
10:30 am – 11:00 amBreak
11:00 am – 12:15 pmPaper Session 2: Active Learning: Impact on Innovation, Product Development & Manufacturing
12:15 pm – 12:30 pmVideos 1
12:30 pm – 1:30 pmLunch & Sponsor/Exhibitor Workshops, Discussions and Presentations
1:30 pm – 2:00 pmPanel 1: Relationships Between Centers for Making, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
2:00 pm – 2:45 pmPaper Session 3: Making Connections: Education, Research & Industry
2:45 pm – 3:15 pmBreak
3:15 pm – 3:30 pmVideos 2
3:30 pm – 4:30 pmPaper Session 4: Data Analysis & Decision Making
4:30 pm – 5:00 pmPanel 2: Status and Future of Making
5:15 pm – 7:15 pmPoster Session, Reception and Sponsor/Exhibitor Workshops, Discussions and Presentations

Friday, October 18, 2019

8:00 am – 9:00 amBreakfast
9:00 am – 9:30 amPanel 3: Diversity and Inclusion
9:30 am – 10:30 amPaper Session 5: Methods to Engage & Develop Makers
10:30 am – 11:00 amBreak
11:00 am – 11:15 pmVideos 3
11:15 pm – 12:00 pmPaper Session 6: Making in Underserved Communities
12:00 pm – 1:00 pmUnconference Lunch and Sponsor/Exhibitor Workshops, Discussions and Presentations
1:00 pm – 1:15 pmVideos 4
1:15 pm – 1:45 pmPanel 4: Architectural Perspectives on Academic Makerspaces
1:45 pm – 2:30 pmBreak
2:30 pm – 3:30 pmUnconference: Topics Derived from Attendee Interest
3:30 pm – 4:15 pmClosing Presentation –
Ms. Roya Mahboob – “Making a Child’s Future”
4:15 pm – 4:30 pmSymposium Conclusion and ISAM 2020 Announcement


Register Now

4th International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – Friday, October 18, 2019
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut 06511
United States

Symposium RegistrationEarly Bird
(Through 8/15/19)
(Starting 8/16/19)
Full Conference$550$700
Student Full Conference$100$150

Additional ActivitiesEarly Bird
ISAM 101: Design, Build, and Manage a Makerspace$100$150
ISAM 102: Making and Innovating at YaleNo ChargeNo Charge
ISAM 103 – Yale Makerspace ToursNo ChargeNo Charge

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.

Important Dates

PapersPosters / Videos
Paper authors submit first draftsMay 30, 2019
First round notifications sentJune 20, 2019
Authors revise and resubmitJuly 11, 2019
Poster authors submit 2 page abstract and poster; Video authors submit videoJuly 18, 2019
Author notificationsAugust 1, 2019August 1, 2019
Accepted paper authors submit final versionAugust 15, 2019
Early registration deadlineAugust 15, 2019
Accepted poster/video authors submit final versionSeptember 5, 2019 5pm EDT
Program issued with presentation information (date, time)September 20, 2019
ISAM 2019 beginsOctober 16, 2019


Authors should submit an initial draft paper of up to six pages in length (using the provided paper template) by May 30, 5pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Initial drafts should clearly state the contribution, methods, and any results obtained thus far. Where work is ongoing, authors should clearly describe what steps they plan to complete before the re-submission deadline on July 11. The program committee will review initial submissions and notify authors with one of three decisions: accept; revise and resubmit; or reject. Authors invited to revise and resubmit papers must submit a revision that addresses the comments of the reviewers by July 11. After this deadline, the program committee will review submitted papers again, and decide whether these papers will be accepted or rejected. Papers that were not accepted during the review process will be invited to submit to the poster track.

Posters and Videos

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. Poster authors should also submit an extended abstract of up to 2 pages which will be included in the proceedings. Posters will be presented during a poster session; some authors may also be invited to participate in panel discussions. We will also continue the video presentations, which will run on the same review schedule as the poster track. Videos must be no longer than 6 minutes.

Student Posters

We look forward to featuring student work at ISAM 2018 and are encouraging student poster submissions. If you’ve created something – in class or as a hobby – and want to share it, we want to hear from you. We’re looking for cool stuff made by enthusiastic and passionate student makers. Accepted poster presenters will be given space to display hardware. Show your passion for making – submit a poster today!

Download the call for student posters

Submission Process

Poster authors should submit a two-page extended abstract (using the paper template) as well as a draft of their poster by July 18, 5pm EDT. Video authors only submit a video without an extended abstract. There is no revise and resubmit cycle for posters and videos.

Online Submission

Submit a paper

Submit a poster or a video

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Thank you to our sponsors!

Diamond Level

Silver Level

Additional Support From:

ISAM 2019 welcomes potential sponsors to support the symposium.  Sponsorship benefits are detailed in the enclosed prospectus.  If you would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please complete this short information form to be connected with an ISAM 2019 representative.

ISAM 2019 Working Prospectus

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