Army Installation Makerspaces in the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Operational Environment: A Business Case Analysis
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.) Champaign United States
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This work demonstrated the implementation of makerspaces, collaborative workspaces that provide hands-on learning to help prepare the future workforce with critical 21st century applied-technology skills. Researchers from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory ERDC-CERL enhanced and evaluated the pre-existing makerspace at Fort Bliss, Texas to demonstrate the value of a makerspace within the military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation MWR environment. The 8-month pilot demonstration, conducted from May to December 2018, focused on investigating program characteristics such as usage trends, optimal locations, equipment, and personnel access. Results from the demonstration indicated that enhanced makerspaces with high quality equipment had a positive Soldier impact. The business case analysis determined that the Fort Bliss Makerspace fits the criteria of, met the 15 cost-to-revenue ratio threshold for, and can operate successfully as, a Category Type A Mission Sustaining program asset.