We are taking cutting edge fabrication labs and adapting them to schools. We are establishing a worldwide network of labs to share ideas and projects. Check out our latest projects, including a new FabLab@School in Bangkok, Thailand.
What's a FabLab@School?
A FabLab is a low-cost digital workshop equipped with laser-cutters, routers, 3D scanners, 3D milling machines, and programming tools, where you can "make almost anything." There are over 150 FabLabs around the world, open to local inventors, small businesses, and garage entrepreneurs.The FabLab concept was created by Prof. Neil Gershenfeld at MIT. Despite the potential impact of FabLabs in education, they are mostly focused on adults, entrepreneurship, and product design. The FabLab@School, created by Prof. Paulo Blikstein at Stanford University is a new type of digital fabrication lab especially designed for schools and children, with several special characteristics.
What's special about the FabLab@School project?
The project has four main components:
- A carefully-designed teacher preparation program, refined over the last few years, and tested in multiple countries and cultures.
- Full integration with school curricula. We have a special focus on the connection with the disciplines (sciences, math,engineering)
- A set of tens of activities designed for children together with teacher guides, allowing students to engage in cutting-edge scientific investigation and engineering projects.
- Software tools for scientific modeling and simulation, and equipment for sensor-enabled scientific experiments in physics and chemistry.
- Easy to use, age-appropriate robotics and sensing equipment.
- A fully-developed research program, with custom-made impact measures and learning metrics especially designed for digital fabrication and project-based environments.
- Lower cost of implementation and ownership, intensive use of re-purposed and low-cost materials.
- Educator brings shop culture back into schools with digital 'fablab' (Peninsula Press)
- Palo Alto's School Fab Lab Teaches Students to Create and Build (Mercury News)
- Paulo Blikstein @ TEDx
- Folha de São Paulo (in Portuguese)