Fab Lab El Paso, a nonprofit makerspace located in Downtown, is launching its ‘Mobile STEM Lab’ with the support of Microsoft, United Way of El Paso County, El Paso Community Foundation, and the Hunt Family Foundation.
The Mobile STEM Fab Lab project is an idea pioneered by MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms that brings hands-on STEM learning to schools.
“Despite incredible advances in innovation, many students still lack access to the technology tools they need to compete in today’s ‘knowledge economy’,” said Jonathan Childress, Regional Community Manager for Microsoft. “To address this issue, Microsoft actively seeks to partner with community-based organizations like Fab Lab to increase technology access and software availability for individuals and communities around the world.”
Mobile STEM Fab Lab is a pop-up makerspace experience and transport for 3D printers, 3D scanners, VR/AR experiences, video production setup, laser cutter, CNC mill, STEM learning kits. The Fab Lab curriculum will incorporate workshops on 3D Printing, 2D to 3D design, Animation, VR, Robotics, Circuits, Microbiology, and Coding.
A simultaneous initiative – Electric Code -will be launched in partnership with El Paso Electric to offer free intro to computer science lessons for Grades 3 to 12 that promote awareness of potential career applications in product development, experience design, and engineering.
“El Paso Electric is focused on innovation, designing intelligent growth strategies, constructing clean energy infrastructure, and investing in solar energy expansion for all of our customers,” says El Paso Electric’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Adrian J. Rodriguez.
“To ensure this innovation continues, we must invest in initiatives that aim to develop our future talent here locally. This is why we find our partnership with Fab Lab so vital and important, exemplified through the Electric Code initiative.”
As part of Fab Lab’s official launch, the nonprofit hosted its inaugural workshop at Socorro Independent School District’s Montwood Middle School where 80 students participated in the Electric Code lesson during a two-hour coding learning module.
Schools interested in the Mobile STEM Fab Lab and Electric Code program are encouraged to visit Fab Lab’s website to learn more.