1school-1FabLab initiative

(Martina Ferracane) #1


I would like to share with you my talk about the potential of having fablabs in every schools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD3qCWk5OG0

I would be very happy to hear your views about it and to know about people interested in bringing similar initiatives to the attention of policy makers.

All the best,


(Kevin Woolridge) #2

Thank you, I enjoyed the presentation.
You requested to hear about similar initiatives. We are a start up prototype Fab Lab in the state of Arizona, USA a collaboration between the Blue Ridge School District, University of Arizona and 4H youth development programs.
We creating a prototype 4H fab lab model consisting of a comprehensive State fab lab combined with a network of inexpensive mini labs. Our ultimate goal is 1:1 access to digital fabrication and FAB LAB learning. Students will be introduced to digital fabrication in their community/school mini lab and those interested will be able to attend programs classes camps and workshops at the main state facility through their 4H program. 4H is the oldest and most comprehensive youth development program in the USA with over 25 million active participants nationally and clubs/chapters in nearly every community/school and region in the country. 4H provides programs to rich and poor, urban and rural. Although 4H has its roots in agriculture, it is the original STEAM program and has an initiative to expand STEAM programming. From its inception its goal was to bring science and technology to rural farmers through educating their children in the new advances and sciences. In the USA it is a perfect venue for FAB LAB Learning.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

(Adrian Lai) #3

Thanks for posting your talk at EPP Martina. I agree with the idea of introducing Fablabs in schools (be it private or public) building upon my experience setting up the first one in the country under a private university. The Malaysian government in principle has taken upon itself to open “digital maker hubs” in as many schools as possible throughout the country however one aspect I realise that hasn’t been addressed very well is having people with the “maker mentality” to operate each of these labs. It seems what is more critical to the realisation of Fablabs (or whatever you want to call them) in schools is a ready talent pool who is willing to take up this challenge. At the last FabCon, initiatives such as FabAcademyX seem to be heading in the right direction to produce even more certified digital fabricators however it remains to be seen if it can really scale. In my mind, a special teacher re-training programme similar to how you spent time volunteering in a Fablab might be required as a first step.