Steamspace was first conceived in 2013. The goal of the initative was to expose Acadia undergraduate business students to emergent technologies (ie. 3d printing, internet of things, digital transformation, etc.) that would be impacting our society in the near term. Acadia University professors, Terrance Weatherbee (PhD) and Donna Sears (PhD), believed that advanced introduction and exposure would better prepare their students for the changes these technologies would introduce into workplaces.
In 2014, a member of the Manning School advisory board donated the funds to purchase two 3d printers and for the first year they were used to teach business students about additive manufacturing. The interest in using this technology from students and faculty across Acadia’s campus grew steadily over the next year. This interest motivated Dr. Sears and Dr. Weatherbee to expand their plans from a business-student-only concept to a pan-university makerspace. Over the four years, this notion was further modified and an open makerspace concept was adopted.
In 2018, funding was secured, a building selected, and renovations began. Steamspace was set to open in 2019, however, delays in renovations have pushed back the expected inauguration between late 2020 and early 2021. Shortly after, Steamspace had to adapt to the COVID-19 restrictions and limitations, pushing the expected inauguration (tentatively) to September 2021. Until then, Steamspace will come online in stages throughout the spring and summer months as sneak previews, workshops, and special events will be held in preparation for the upcoming launch.