Discovering 3D printing at Hagåtña’s G3 Makerspace

Photo Nov 07 2023 9 27 26 AM

Leading the charge in showcasing the possibilities of 3D printing to the public is the Guam Green Growth (G3) Circular Economy Makerspace & Innovation Hub, located in Chamorro Village in Hagåtña. 

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, operates similarly to a conventional printer. Instead of using ink on paper, it builds an object by layering filament—material used in 3D printing—to recreate a 3D scanned object.  

Filament can range from materials such as plastics, clay, or even concrete, though the scope of substances used in printing will broaden as the industry continues to develop. 

Tim Udo, G3 Makerspace coordinator, who helps teach the introductory classes for 3D printing, explains how this new industry can contribute to a circular economy and a cleaner environment in many ways.  

Along with the creation of a machine that turns non-recyclable plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into filament for 3D printers, the machines at G3 Makerspace can also print objects from polyether ether ketone (PEEK), which, after printing and annealing (heat treatment), has the same strength as steel.  

Additionally, G3 Makerspace has another 3D printer specifically for using clay as a filament, which Udo says can be used for building structures or tiles that can further regrow coral. 

At the G3 Makerspace 3D Printing Basics Workshop, classes are capped at three participants per class, allowing instructors ample one-on-one time with students.  

Although classes generally take place on Wednesday nights during the Chamorro Village night market festivities, Udo welcomes anyone wanting to take classes during the day to speak with him at the G3 Makerspace, and he will work with their schedule. 

Additionally, participants can look forward to Udo and other instructors teaching students about G-code, which is a widely used Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and 3D printing language used to communicate ideas to the 3D printing software.  

At the end of the class, students will get to print their keychains, whistles, or 3D-printed characters as keepsakes to take home. 

With the seemingly endless potential of the 3D printing industry, Udo, a mechanical engineer by trade, imparts some advice for any aspiring engineers regarding the limitations of additive manufacturing. 

“If you want to do any kind of engineering, carpentry, or any kind of fabricating work, what you need to have is creativity. As long as you have creativity and interest to learn, you can make anything. [The Makerspace] can help you along the way with technical knowledge and the software, but as long as your mind can think of it, you can create it.” 

As classes and activities expand at the G3 Makerspace & Innovation Hub, Tim Udo encourages the public to pay a visit to the shop at Chamorro Village. 

“I think it is valuable for people to know that we are open to the public. People can get memberships here either on a monthly or yearly basis and then they can come here and utilize all the machinery we have. You can come and take a class for the laser [engraver], learn how it works, and then start cranking out your own products. The same goes for the CNC and the 3D printer. Come here, and we will teach you how to make all of it.” 

Classes take place on Wednesdays during the Chamorro Village Night Market festivities. Participants who are 18 years old and older are welcome to sign up either in person or on the G3 Makerspace’s Instagram page. 

New Student Researchers Complete Guam NSF EPSCoR 2023 Student Research Experience Program

Anna Mallari

Guam NSF EPSCoR is excited to celebrate five undergraduate students from the University of Guam for completing their term with the 2023 Student Research Experience, which provides research opportunities and mentorship to selected students for a year.  

As part of their research training, these students conducted field work to investigate coral reefs and learned skills such as DNA extraction and sequencing.  

This year, the program’s student researchers engaged in a variety of fields such as coral genomics, marine microbiology, marine ecophysiology, and more. 

 

ANNA MALLARI

Anna Mallari is a civil engineering student who, under the mentorship of Dr. Bastian Bentlage, studied microbial communities in the soils within the La Sa Fua Watershed in southern Guam. 

“I believe that learning goes beyond the classroom setting, as it involves not only understanding theories and concepts but also applying them to solve real-world problems,” Mallari said. “Having the opportunity to conduct research that could contribute to our island’s sustainability is such a rewarding feeling.”  

Mallari said that engaging in a research experience as an undergraduate was a privilege for her and that she found conducting research outside of the field of engineering a welcome challenge.  

During her time in the program, Mallari was one of two UOG students who researched how to convert seawater into renewable energy as part of a summer program held at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  

 

MERRY ANN OCAMPO  

Integrative biology major Merry Ann Ocampo said that the Guam NSF EPSCoR SRE program has not only opened up research opportunities for her, but the chance to connect with the community.  

“As much as I enjoy my research, sharing it with the community is the best part because I get to interact with others about my new findings and my experience in being a student researcher,” said Ocampo. “Seeing others interested in my research makes me really happy and reminds me why I love science and research.”  

Under the mentorship of Christopher Lobban, Ph.D., Ocampo studied the diatom genus Mastogloia on sea grass leaves. Diatoms are microalgae which can be found in every habitat where water is present. For her research project, Ocampo collected sea grass from various parts of Guam including sandy beaches and mangrove forests.  

 

MADELINE GONZALEZ 

Integrative biology major Madeline Gonzalez said that the Guam NSF EPSCoR SRE program is a great opportunity to learn new skills and explore careers.  

Under the mentorship of Sarah Lemer, Ph.D., Gonalez studied the phylogeny of Spondylidae, a family of bivalve mollusks.  

“Seeing the real-world applications of what I have been learning in my courses has been exciting.” said Gonzalez. “I’m always looking forward to learning something new – and there is always something new to learn in the lab.”  

 

CASSANDRA PAULE  

During her time in the Guam NSF EPSCoR SRE program, integrative biology major Cassandra Paule studied coral reproduction under the mentorship of Ciemon Caballes, Ph.D. 

“I’m ecstatic to be a part of this research community,” said Paule.  

 

 BRANDON RESPICIO  

Brandon Respicio is a secondary education major with a focus in mathematics who studied under the mentorship of Héloïse Rouzé, Ph.D., during his time in the SRE program.  

Respicio’s project focused on the endolithic algae Ostreobium and the effect it has on the coral species Porites cylindrica. For his study, he compared P. cylindrica from Luminao and Tumon based on the eutrophication levels found in these areas. 

Before his time in the SRE program, Respicio was in the 2022 Guam NSF EPSCoR Summer Math Research Program. During his time in the program, he was able to produce mathematical models based on coral reef dynamics in relation to algae.  

“I enjoyed the research and experience I gained while being a EPSCoR SRE,” Respicio said.  

In October 2023, Respicio’s project won a student poster award at this year’s 2023 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference.  

Guam NSF EPSCoR prepares students for SACNAS conference

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Guam NSF EPSCoR along with the NSF INCLUDES: SEAS Islands Alliance Guam Hub held a near peer session on Thursday, October 12, at the University of Guam to prepare their program participants for the upcoming 2023 SACNAS NDISTEM Conference, which took place in Portland, Oregon from October 26 – 28. 

This year, five undergraduate student researchers, four graduate research assistants, and two current summer math research program participants along with one alum from Guam NSF EPSCoR will be a part of a cohort of 34 students from the University of Guam who will attend the conference.  

During the session, undergraduate and graduate student researchers talked about their experiences at past SACNAS conferences and gave advice to those who will attend the event for the first time.  

“Students got into their individualized groups and learned how to better design their posters so that they’re not overwhelming but also still eye-catching,” said Emily Wendte, the Guam NSF EPSCoR Education and Workforce Development program associate. “When it comes to these sessions, we like to incorporate our own culture and identity while also relaying this scientific research in a very credible way.”  
 

With guidance from Guam NSF EPSCOR and NSF INCLUDES staff, students discussed strategies on how to network at conference, entice attendees to visit their poster presentations, and bring their most authentic selves to the event.  

“I really love the community that these near peer sessions have created,” said Wendte. “Students who have been to SACNAs or who have been a world traveler are able to relay tips and information on what to expect and what things will be like. We have some students who have never flown before and they’ve never gone that far. It’s really exciting to take them all the way to Oregon, but also be at a conference that supports who they are and the work that they do.”  

NSF Guam EPSCOR students prep for SACNAS Conference

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The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference was held in Puerto Rico in 2022. This year's conference will be held in Portland, Oregon with 13 Guam NSF EPSCoR students attending.

Guam NSF EPSCoR students will be presenting research and representing the University of Guam at the largest diversity in STEM conference in the world later this month. 

The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon during the last week of October.

SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, is the largest multicultural STEM diversity program in the United States.  

During the conference, the students will attend workshops, present research presentations, and connect with officials from schools nationwide for research experience opportunities.  

According to Guam NSF EPSCoR Education Workforce and Development Program Associate Emily Wendte, a total of thirteen students will be representing the University of Guam at the conference.  

The group is made up of four students from the graduate research assistantship, five from the summer research experience, and three from the summer math research programs.

Nearly half of the delegation has also been selected to present their research to the over 6000 expected attendees.

The students attending the conference must attend preparation workshops facilitated by the Capacity Building Team from Guam NSF EPSCoR and the NSF INCLUDES SEAS Island Alliance Guam Hub. 

Cheryl Sangueza Ph.D, who oversees the student experience with Guam NSF EPSCoR says that the process starts long before the students step foot on the conference floor and is geared to give all students everything they need to represent well.

“Preparation for SACNAS is rooted in ensuring confidence, competence, and excitement to represent our grants, our labs, our university, and our island,” said Sangueza.  “In our first SACNAS briefing, we did a meet and greet with the then 25 students to start that comradery and UOG Delegation mindset.”

According to Sangueza, an orientation was also held with family, friends and support-systems of the students to insure ample preparation for students on all fronts.

“We held SACNAS Orientation and family members and support systems were invited and the turnout was great!  This was designed to continue generating the excitement, and to share this great experience with families.  We showed what SACNAS has to offer, we introduced the delegation and announced who are presenting, and we spoke more about travel expectations,” continued Sangueza.

Along with the student presenters, the University of Guam SACNAS Chapter will also be celebrated at the conference.

“Another cool thing is that the UOG SACNAS Chapter is getting an esteemed SACNAS Chapter of the Year Award,” added Sangueza. “Dr. Austin Shelton and I are co-advisors for the student organization and our EPSCoR and INCLUDES students are both members and a few have served as officers.”

Students are traveling to the conference through support provided by the Guam NSF EPSCoR and NSF INCLUDES SEAS grants and travel scholarships from SACNAS, Chapter Officer Leadership October Retreat (COLOR), and the Research Corporation of the University of Guam.

G3 Makerspace workshop: Crafting new things from discarded plastic 

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With the goal of discovering innovative ways to repurpose waste, the Guam Green Growth (G3) Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub organized a plastic fusion workshop this month at CHamoru Village. 

During the workshop, Abby Crain, the coordinator of G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub, demonstrated techniques to transform discarded plastic bags into wallets, purses, and pouches. 

She explained plastic fusion as a process in which plastic sheets are melded together into a pattern using heat. Crain used specific types of plastic bags (#2, #4, or #5) for each project, along with patterns, parchment paper, and a flat iron as a heat source. 

Proper heat application is crucial in plastic fusion, so participants were instructed to follow safety precautions, according to Crain. 

At the beginning of the workshop, Phil Cruz, the sustainability coordinator at UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant, helped participants understand the necessity of finding alternative uses for plastic waste. 

Cruz emphasized that plastic waste not only mars the island’s landscape but also contaminates the oceans. Safeguarding the environment is paramount for an island community like Guam, as ocean-bound waste can infiltrate the food chain. 

Plastics degrade into microplastics, which are ingested by fish. When these contaminated fish are consumed by other marine animals and humans, microplastics travel up the food chain, posing a threat to ecosystems and human health alike. 

Moreover, culturally significant and endangered marine animals like the green and hawksbill sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for food since they resemble jellyfish. 

“Not only is it (plastic waste) an eyesore but it also goes into our ocean. As an island community, we must do our utmost to protect our environment,” Cruz said. 

While plastic pollution is a common concern in the community, Guam also faces challenges in proper waste management and recycling due to the global collapse of the plastic recycling industry in 2020. Consequently, shipping plastics off the island is no longer viable, according to Cruz. 

 “Therefore, the island community must find creative solutions,” he added. 

The concept of Zero Waste becomes crucial in this context, involving the reduction of landfill waste by being mindful of consumption and waste generation, according to Cruz. 

  

With this in mind, workshops are held at the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub to repurpose discarded plastics, shaping them into new and useful items.  

 Additionally, the hub utilizes precious plastic machines to break down specific plastics and mold them into innovative products. 

These initiatives reflect Guam’s commitment to addressing its plastic problem while actively involving the community in sustainable practices. 

Three new graduate research assistants join Guam NSF EPSCoR  

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Guam NSF EPSCoR welcomed three new graduate research assistants during an orientation held on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at the University of Guam’s School of Business and Public Administration.  

As part of the three-year Graduate Research Assistantship, these students will receive tuition coverage, a salary, as well as mentorship and support over the course of their graduate program as they research crustacean biology, vertebrate morphology, and coral molecular ecology.  

These new GRAs include Diana Noto, Nikko Galanto, and Anela Duenas.  

“It’s always exciting to see the new students. It’s really one of the best products from this program – getting to know the students and learning from them. I hope you all have a great time while in this program,” said Dr. Bastian Bentlage, co-principal investigator of research.   

The new graduate research assistants will have access to near-peer mentorship opportunities to not only learn from others within their community, but also teach undergraduate and high school students over the course of their term.  
 

“During my undergrad, I heard a lot of good things about the GRA program,” said Anela Duenas, one of the new graduate research assistants. “As a student researcher, a GRA named Justin Berg helped me a lot, so I want to do the same for other undergrad students.”  

G3 partner GUMA holds graduation ceremony 

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Guam Unique Merchandise & Art (GUMA) held a graduation ceremony for its current batch of entrepreneurs on Saturday, July 29, at the Planet Hollywood at DFS by T Galleria.  

The event was a celebration of the successful completion of a 16-week training and mentoring program for approximately 72 graduates from more than 50 local companies. The graduates represent various sectors, from food, retail to agriculture. 

GUMA and the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub are partners in promoting the growth of local businesses in an emerging green economy. By providing essential resources and support, the partnership aims to empower Guam’s talented artists, cultural producers, and entrepreneurs to turn their creative concepts into sustainable businesses. 

With support from Guam NSF-EPSCoR, the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub plays a vital role in nurturing the growth of new businesses in an emerging green economy. The makerspace provides a creative space for entrepreneurs to upcycle discarded materials and transform them into marketable products. With advanced tools such as 3D printers, a laser cutter, computer numerical control router, vinyl cutter, and power tools, the makerspace can process various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic.  

Beyond its local impact, the collaboration between GUMA and G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub also contributes to achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which aims to promote Decent Work and Economic Growth.  

By fostering an environment conducive to innovative cottage industries, the partnership seeks to reduce Guam’s dependence on imports and decrease waste generation, paving the way for a more sustainable, green economy. 

Moreover, these efforts align with G3’s goals of reducing reliance on imported goods and minimizing waste generation.  

The graduation ceremony concluded with a sense of hope and promise for the future of Guam’s entrepreneurial landscape. Equipped with the support of GUMA and the innovative resources provided by the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub, these graduates are now ready to conquer the challenges of the local market and build businesses that not only contribute to the local economy but also promote environmental responsibility. 

Guam NSF EPSCoR assists with post-typhoon food distribution

Mawar Food Distribution
Mawar Food Distribution
Guam NSF EPSCoR joined the Guam Green Growth Initiative and the University of Guam Sea Grant in packing and distributing food to the island community on May 31, 2023 in response to the destructive impact of Typhoon Mawar. Pictured here is Emily Wendte, Guam NSF EPSCoR Education and Workforce Development Program Associate, assisting with the food distribution.

Guam NSF EPSCoR joined the Guam Green Growth Initiative and the University of Guam Sea Grant in packing and distributing food to the island community on May 31, 2023 in response to the destructive impact of Typhoon Mawar.  

The powerful typhoon hit the island on May 24, 2023.  
 
The organizations gathered at the Guam Department of Education’s Commodity Distribution Warehouse in Piti to provide assistance to the Emergency Food Assistant Program along with the Office of the governor, government officials, and volunteers.  

The program achieved its target of packing 7,500 bags of food commodities which included items such as canned beans, cream of mushroom soup, and fruit.  

Science and Technology committee reports progress in developing plan for Guam 

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At the first University of Guam- Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Science and Technology (S/T) committee meeting of 2023, members discussed ways to enhance the island wide S/T plan by examining existing state blueprints as a model/guide.  

The S/T committee has been tasked with developing the island’s Science and Technology plan within the next few months. The committee’s primary focus areas are carbon offset, aquaculture, renewable energy, health care, among others. 

UOG President emeritus and committee vice-chair Robert Underwood presided over the meeting. He cited several interesting elements from other state plans, specifically, how components are aligned with the established economic activity as well as the higher education research agenda in the area.  

In the case of Maine, for example, he said the local lobster industry saw an economic boost through the collaboration of private sector/business support and research activities. 

While the state plans provide a helpful reference, Underwood stressed the importance of developing a set of Guam-specific indices for evaluating the island’s knowledge economy as the committee creates its own plan.  

“As we write our Science and Technology plan, we want to put in some benchmark upon which we can evaluate the island and ourselves on whether we are truly moving toward a knowledge economy,” Underwood said at the meeting.  

Underwood recommended using the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index (STSI) as a reference.  The institute developed the STSI to provide a comprehensive review and ranking of the knowledge economies of all 50 US states. The territories are not included in the report.  

According to Underwood, some states use the report as a basis for triangulating progress and even for supporting entrepreneurial startups. The report measures state progress using the following subindexes: research and development inputs, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science workforce, and technology concentration and dynamism. 

Additionally, the meeting highlighted several accomplishments made by committee members to address the priority challenge areas.  

Melanie Mendiola, GEDA administrator, and committee co-chairperson, provided an update on the Guam Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2020-2025 (Guam CEDS), adopted by the Office of the Governor.  

The Guam CEDS includes a range of community and research-based initiatives, including circular economy and STEM-related projects, and other technology projects.  

In previous meetings, the S/T committee explored methods for addressing its priority challenge areas by accessing recently opened resources to support community recovery during the pandemic. 

Anthony defends his Master of Science in Biology

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Guam NSF EPSCoR Graduate Research Assistant Colin Anthony defended his thesis in front of his mentors, classmates and teachers at the University of Guam Marine Lab in Mangilao.

His thesis was titled, “Acclimation of Endosymbiotic Symbiodiniaceae: Improved Insights through Flow Cytometric Phenotypic Profiling.”
 
His chairperson was Dr. Bastian Bentlage. Colin’s committee consisted of Dr. Brett Taylor from the University of Guam and Dr. Cheryl Ames from Tohoku University.
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