A Greater Toolkit

Makerspaces provide a greater range of tools, equipment and possibilities

UNC Makerspace staff take part in a RYOBI training

Makerspaces provide a greater range of tools, equipment and possibilities

In UNC-Chapel Hill’s BeAM makerspaces, green is the new color of empowered creativity.

Thanks to the generosity of RYOBI Tools, a division of Techtronic Industries, the campus’ three makerspaces have been outfitted with an array of cordless power tools and other equipment, most of them clad in the product line’s distinctive lithium green.

“We pride ourselves in making our campus makerspaces accessible to all, which is why we are excited to be working with RYOBI to have these tools available to our student-makers,” said Kenny Langley, director of BeAM.

The donation of equipment includes hot glue guns, drills and impact drivers, cordless soldering irons, tabletop band saws, rotary tools, lighted magnifying glasses, benchtop workstations, wood carvers, craft cutters, fans, vacuums and myriad accessories such as batteries, chargers and equipment racks.

Pallets of tools, some of which are not available commercially, began arriving over the summer. “Most of the items have arrived, but we’re waiting for the remainder of tools and organizational pieces to fully launch a revamped ‘BeAM 101’ with integrated RYOBI tools and mini-training videos,” said Langley.

‘BeAM 101’ is the required training that all users of the makerspaces need to complete before gaining access to the tools.

“As leaders in innovation, we are constantly looking to the future,” said Bobby Shaw ’07, president of TTI’s Consumer Power Tools division that manages the RYOBI brand. “Through this relationship with UNC’s BeAM and makerspace program, we are inspiring, motivating and minting innovators and DIYers of the future. No matter their project, UNC students will have the power to do more with RYOBI.”

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