Hans Christian Arnseth, University of Oslo, Norway
In January 2018 I was able to spend a month in Sheffield as part of the MaKEY project. For me this was a very productive and inspiring visit. I was able to present my research in two research seminars, in Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University respectively.
It was a wonderful experience to be able to engage in interesting discussions with scholars in the UK. I also visited several interesting sites and makerspaces. It was particularly interesting to meet James Wallbank and see him at work in his workshop. James is a very dedicated Maker and he is very much concerned with how making can support and help develop local businesses. He is interested in the ethical and economic aspect of making, but also in how children can be introduced to making as an activity at an early age.
I also visited a student-run makerspace at the University hosted by the Engineering department at the University of Sheffield, the iForge. It was very interesting to see how the University provided a space where students could pursue their own projects in a well-equipped and safe environment.
I was also able to visit Broomhall nursery, which is one of the field sites for the Makey project in Sheffield. Even though there were not any making activities related to the project going on at the moment I was there, it was very interesting to observe the spaces for play and learning in the kindergarten.
The University was very generous with providing an office space for me, and I was able to get a lot of work done. Overall, my stay in Sheffield was very productive, and the people were very friendly and welcoming.