Mobile Fab Lab Brings Opportunities for Innovation

Through gracious donations, the District is bringing in-depth digital fabrication to its elementary schools. Using various machines, students will be provided with opportunities to continue to be active participants in the maker movement that is defining their generation. Teachers can deliver engaging lessons which use digital fabrication to integrate STEAM competencies into authentic making experiences for learners of all levels. Through formal and informal educational experiences, students will have equitable access to transformative and inspiring learning experiences. At school or at athletic and community events, students and community members will see their digital creations come to life in a physical form.

The Fab Lab will be equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC milling machines, sewing machines, and sublimation equipment. Future expansions to the fab lab will integrate electronics workbench equipment, including robotics.

Some of the skill-sets students will learn include:

  • Using 2D design software and the laser cutter, explore the mathematics behind designing strong joints to use in Fab Lab projects.
  • Use a laser engraver to safely cut and etch personal designs. More advanced techniques can be explored to learn how to use rotary attachments to etch on glass and painted metal surfaces.
  • Learn how to use free 2D design software to create three-dimensional projects to be cut on the laser.
  • Learn basic soldering techniques and skills and how to solder a basic LED circuit.
  • Learn to design and print on 3D printers and explore the technology of 3D printing using a 3D printing pen.
  • Learn to use the computer-controlled vinyl cutter.

The mobile Fab Lab will be used at each of the District's elementary and middle schools to support and supplement the K–8 curriculum. The mobile Fab Lab will also be open to District community members and families at District- and community-sponsored events. All equipment will be on wheels so that it can be moved into school buildings and the Fab Lab will have an awning and outdoor seating so that it can be used as a stand-alone space in warm weather. This lab will allow students to take their vision to new levels and inspire collaboration between teachers and students.

The District's STREAM Night on March 20th will feature a sneak peek of the Fab Lab. Students and their families will get to see the the mobile Fab Lab in person as well as to see some of the equipment in action. The grand opening of the Fab Lab will be on May 8th at the Good to Google event