GoCreate offering free memberships to students for a limited time


Khanh Nguyen/ The Sunflower

Nursing sophomore Lindsay Dexter works with an embroidery machine in GoCreate on Sept. 15

GoCreate, a 20,000 square foot maker space on the Innovation Campus, is offering free membership to all WSU and WSU tech students for a limited time only. 

“Students have this opportunity, that won’t last forever, but Wichita State has done this as a beta test to see who is interested and our membership base has just blown up in the last few weeks when this was announced,” McCollum said.

Kimberly McCollum, the assistant director of GoCreate, said that even if someone believes they do not have the skill, they have the resources to teach you.

“It is very important to that foundation that they encompass the whole idea that not only can anyone be a maker, but then entrepreneurs and prototyping and such come with a vast variety and rich history of entrepreneurship here in Wichita from years past,” McCollum said.

“It comes from that whole history of where we were in the midwest and we couldn’t get things as fast as everybody else.  So, we were utilizing whatever we had around.”

McCollum said it is not uncommon for someone working in a studio to have an ancestor who had some kind of entrepreneurial spirit or were makers themselves.  

“I think that’s one thing that makes us so amazing here in Wichita, is that not only can anyone be a maker in our space and we have this amazing facility to do so, but then also we have this spirit about us that if we want to prototype something in this place we can definitely help you do that,” McCollum said.

In the collaborative space at GoCreate, McCollum said that she has seen Kickstarter groups form, and seen students who were working in different studios collaborate to make each of their projects better.

GoCreate has multiple different studios, including textiles, 3D, design, metal, and wood.  For a full list of available tools and studios at GoCreate, go to gocreate.com.

“If you can dream it, we can help you make it or make your dreams come true… Really, truly the sky’s the limit,” McCollum said.

No previous skills are needed to visit GoCreate.  Along with student employees, they also have technicians and mentors to help people create.  

McCollum said that the mentors make GoCreate a unique maker space because you are not only learning from the best, but from people who love what they do.  The mentors donate a certain amount of hours per week and receive stipends from the state for their work.

“You can literally walk in with an idea, you may not know how to weld or you may not know how to sow … What we do is we basically say, ‘come on in, we teach you’ and then you can move from station to station,” McCollum said.

McCollum said that right now, sororities on campus are busy using the direct to garment machines to make shirts for their littles.  She has seen marketing groups use the design studio for marketing projects and music majors use the 3D printer for an adaption of an instrument.

GoCreate also does special event things for different people around the state, including the Kansas Cosmosphere, YMCA, and Meritrust.  They are currently working on projects for a few businesses in town.

In terms of materials, students should bring their own if they plan on working in woods or metals, while they supply most of the materials in the design studio and 3D printing.  If you need help getting materials, GoCreate can help you go through different networks to get the best pricing.

McCollum said that there is a wide variety of students using GoCreate, which is what she intended to happen.  When she took over the role 18 months ago, she wanted to hire student workers from multiple disciplines so that they could be the “palm” for outreach and tell their classmates about GoCreate.

“Initially, I would say that we have a larger group of engineers, but then I also see people that just want a hobby or they just want to do something to get their minds off of studying,” McCollum said.