Campus CultureCulture

The Maker Club aims to provide students with valuable life skills

Photo courtesy Ryan Olson

To help them apply their learned skills, the Maker Club is geared towards helping all engineering students at Boise State. 

Ryan Olson, a sophomore mechanical engineering student and president of the club, said that the Maker Club is different from other engineering organizations. 

“For all these other clubs, there’s so much focus on write-ups or approvals,” Olson said. “But I wanted a club that allowed me and other students to make whatever we wanted.” 

[Photo of Maker Club President Ryan Olson]
Photo courtesy Ryan Olson

As part of the Maker club, engineering students can apply their knowledge learned within the classroom, but also try all sorts of new and different skills, like 3D printing, metalworking and woodworking, among other things.

According to Olson, the club is most beneficial to engineering students because they have the opportunity to learn real-world skills. 

“In the classroom, you’re learning formulas,” Olson said. “With the Maker club, students can use tools and learn the boundaries of the tools, which is something that you can’t learn in the classroom.” 

For Olson, the Maker club is not only a fun outlet, but useful for engineering students to learn skills to use in the job market. 

“Manufacturers want engineers who know how to use tools and know the limits of those tools,” Olson said. “We can provide that with the Maker club.” 

Though the club has not been actively doing much due to the coronavirus pandemic, Olson has been planning for when the virus is not an issue anymore. 

“There’s not so much of that club feeling because of COVID,” Olson said. “During this time we’re mostly planning and recruiting.” 

[Graphic of a lightbulb with a pencil tip on the bottom]
Graphic by Alieha Dryden | The Arbiter

The club’s Vice President Aidan McConnehey, a sophomore mechanical engineering student, feels that this semester has been difficult due to the pandemic, but is still trying to provide a valuable club experience. 

“Our original vision was to host workshops, bring in teachers and give students connections,” McConnehey said. “We’re hoping to return to that.” 

McConnehey likes the Maker Club because it gives students the opportunity to use their learned skills, as well as learning new and different skills. 

The Maker Club is focused on the sense of community they provide for students involved in the club. The club uses Discord, a platform to chat virtually, to share projects, ideas and talk about the club itself. 

For McConnehey, the Maker Club is essential to Boise State’s campus, especially for the university’s engineering students. 

“We give engineering students valuable skills,” McConnehey said. 

According to Olson, a student is required to make only three things per semester. After a student has made the three projects, they become an official member of the Maker Club.  
To get involved with the Maker Club, students can contact Olson through his email at or through the Maker Club’s Engage page.

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