(ROCKLIN, CA) — Hacker Lab announced that Heather Lee, a Sierra College student studying Graphic Design and Illustration, is the December Maker of the Month at the makerspace’s Rocklin site.
As a mother of two children, creative maker, Girl Scout leader and Hacker Lab instructor, Lee says that she has dreams of inspiring people to be creative. “I believe in giving them the freedom to learn and to explore, the courage to try and step out of their normal comfort zones and the confidence to not be afraid of failure,” said Lee.
Lee was selected as the Maker of the Month because she has contributed so much to the Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College, according to the Rocklin site manager, Chuck Ferguson. “Heather has gone above and beyond in contributing to and raising awareness of our maker community,” said Ferguson. “She took a leadership role in planning Hacker Lab’s participation in the City of Rocklin’s Mini-Maker Faire held at Sierra College in October.”
Lee is also one of the newest instructors at Hacker Lab. “Heather is teaching classes on jewelry design and fabric cutting with the laser cutter,” said Ferguson. “She is also showing people how to make customized gifts using stamp making, leather work and 3D art design.”
The laser cutter is Lee’s favorite tool. “It is very satisfying that you can take an idea from conception and design to a 3D piece of artwork, in sometimes minutes,” said Lee.
According to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CCC Maker Statewide Project Manager, housed at Sierra College, Lee embodies the essence of the Hacker Lab Community – always learning, working with others and sharing her knowledge. “Heather collaborated with Peter Chang, another Hacker Lab member, to make an amazing Halloween costume for her seven year old daughter,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “It included acrylic cut wings, laser cut designed dress and LED lights that swirled, sparkled and changed colors to her daughter’s specifications.”
Lee says that the collaborative environment at Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College inspires her. “Working with Peter on the Halloween costume was fantastic,” said Lee. “Each time we talked, we came up with more ideas. It was so much fun to work with someone who was just as excited as I was to make her superhero costume dreams come true.”
Sierra College students can join Hacker Lab for $12.50 per month. “As a working mom, without the partnership that Hacker Lab has with Sierra College, I may not have been able to afford the access to this amazing space,” said Lee. “It is a great place to meet with classmates on group projects or to take an idea that was inspired in a class and turn it into a piece of art pretty quickly. The Sierra College Business entrepreneurship class I took this semester also incorporated making at Hacker Lab and used the Adobe Kickbox model.”
Lee believes that inside, everyone is a maker. “Makers can change the world and I encourage everyone to come to Hacker Lab, and experience the creative encouragement and freedom that are hard to find elsewhere,” said Lee.
Sierra College is one of the first community colleges in the United States to establish a public-private partnership with a community makerspace. Sierra College is the Fiscal Agent and Technical Assistance Provider for the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s statewide CCC Maker project that supports colleges in building educational makerspaces under the Workforce Development Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy framework.