The Fabrication Lab at Stillwater Area High School was the biggest grant initiative in The Partnership Plan's history. This project supports STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) by creating a 21st century production space that allows students to create and build the products of their imagination. With a generous, five-year, $250,000 matching grant from the Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation, and additional help from foundations such as the Andersen Corporate Foundation and Huelsmann Foundation, the Fab Lab is helping to prepare students for the workplaces of tomorrow.
What is a Fab Lab?
A Fab Lab is a “creative playground” for the scientists and techies of the future. It’s a place where students are able to dream of, design and create almost anything. The Stillwater Area High School laboratory offers students access to the latest fabrication equipment such as laser engravers and cutters, CAD (computer-aided design) software, 3D scanners and printers, and milling machines. By combining experimentation and innovation with state-of-the-art technology, students are able to turn their concepts from imagination into reality.
Who uses the Fab Lab?
High school students use the lab during the school day as part of their elective science, art and industrial technology courses. The lab is also used to support the high school’s Project Lead The Way engineering courses, which have been implemented as part of the district’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focus.
Why a Fab Lab?
These laboratories are used as “application labs” where students have hands-on opportunities to apply what they have learned in their classes: art students can design and build sculptures, chemistry students can program and print 3D models of molecules, and math students can design and use lasers to create geometric shapes.
Stillwater students gain valuable experience by combining their science, art and math knowledge with 21st century technology. Students are able to develop their critical thinking skills, expand their creativity, and collaborate with their peers while being introduced to hands-on experiences they will encounter in college, on the job and in life.
For more information on how the Fabrication Lab is being used at Stillwater Area High School, watch this video.