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Four Labs to Love: Check out these creative spaces at Illinois!
Kyra Lavalais

Do you have an idea that you want to bring to life? Are you looking for a space designed creative people like yourself to innovate and work? Well, check out these four labs on campus! All of these places are committed to ensuring that students have somewhere to explore their ingenuity.

1. MakerLab

The world’s first business school 3D printing lab is right here at Illinois! This lab is designed to teach users how to design, manufacture, and market physical objects. MakerLab has 20 Ultimaker desktop 3D printers, 3D design software, and 3D scanning devices. They also provide training and custom 3D design and prototyping services. Located in Room 3030 of the Business Instructional Facility, MakerLab allows students to get firsthand experience with some of the industry’s top emerging technologies! Learn more and sign up for workshops today!

2. IDEA Lab

Located on the lower level of the Grainger Engineering Library, the purpose for the Innovation, Discovery, Design, & Data Laboratory was described on their website, “The IDEA Lab will provide space and technology for faculty/student collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship and will support a wide range of digital scholarship activities. The lab will function as a demonstration and prototype site for exploring the interface between design learning, informatics, visualization, and data analytics.” The IDEA Lab includes a visualization wall for high-def presentations, informatics labs, innovator design rooms, collaboration equipment, and more! Learn more about the lab and submit a proposal to gain access here.

3. FabLab

Short for Fabrication Laboratory, the Fab Lab is an open makerspace for the Champaign-Urbana community that’s right on campus (adjacent to the ACES library)! Fab Lab is a collaborative space dedicated to computer-driven innovation, design, and fabrication. This space has wide array of fabrication machines such as laser engravers, 3D printers and 3D scanners, digital textile machines, and advanced CAD software. There is also a computer lab and classroom, milling and woodworking, soldering and diagnostics, and electronic cutters. Learn more about their resources and how to use them today.                              

4. ECE Open Lab

The ECE Open Lab is the place for all those students who have a project they want to work on, but may not be an Engineering major. This space provides a 24/7 accessible place for students to develop, build, and more! The ECE Open lab includes wire kits, hand tools, a laser and vinyl cutter, 3D printer, and other tools to help students. Learn more and apply here!

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Spring Things - 5 Activities to do Outdoors during Spring Semester
Ugonna Akuba

Now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit, students may be looking for more ways to spend time outdoors. There are a ton of things to do for fun at on campus, and a lot of those things could be done outside. If you are like me, then you like to find any excuse to be outside when it is really nice outside. By trying new activities, you are expanding your college experience and building long lasting memories. Here is a short list of five things that students can do now that the weather is nice.


1. ARC Outdoor Pool

The ARC Outdoor pool is the perfect way to cool down after class. This facility is free to students. All you need to do is bring your I-Card and your swimsuit for a great time. The ARC pool is not open year-round and is closed somedays depending on the weather. This year the outdoor pool will open on April 24th with the following hours of operation: Monday – Thursday from 6-7:45am and 11-10pm; Friday from 6-7:45am and 11-9pm; Saturday from 11-9pm; and Sunday from 11-10pm.


2. Spring Jam Concert 

Every year the Illini Union Board, along with other organizations, throw a free concert on the quad for students. It is a great opportunity for students to be outside and enjoy the nice weather as well as the good music. Past acts included B.O.B., Travis Porter, and Hoodie Allen. The date for this year’s Spring Jam Concert has not been announced yet, but students can keep watch and check out the Illini Union website for updates.


3. Food Trucks

Trying out all the different food trucks is a perfect task to do during the spring and the perfect way to experience what Champaign-Urbana has to offer outside of campus. Food trucks are a big deal within C-U, and there are more than twenty food trucks that circulate the area. They are at different locations depending on the time of day it is, but finding each truck should not be too hard. Some of the more popular food trucks around the area include Cracked Egg, Caribbean Grill, and Burrito King.




4. The Japanese Garden/the James and Lorene Bier Gardens

The Japanese Garden or formally known as the James and Lorene Bier Gardens is very fitting in the springtime because of all the flowers blooming. It’s a beautiful sight to see and something that I would definitely recommend. The garden is a part of the Japanese House, which is just south of Kirby/Florida Avenue on Lincoln Avenue, and opened from dusk to dawn. 





5. Chilling on the Quad

This option might be the most obvious, but it does not change the fact that it is a really good and convenient idea. The University of Illinois has such a distinctive and spacious quad and not everyone takes advantage of that. Upon graduation, when students return to the quad many will get the nostalgic feeling of various activities done there. Reading a book, watching a movie, or doing homework are all excellent options to do on the quad when it is a really nice outside. Why go inside, when you can stay outside and relax on our beautiful quad?


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Technology Entrepreneur Center

Engineering at Illinois

351 Coordinated Science Lab, MC-228
1308 W. Main Street
Urbana, IL 61801

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