Recently, Montwood Middle School was part of the unveiling of the Mobile STEM Fab Lab and Electric Code Initiative by Fab Lab El Paso.
Fab Lab, in partnership with Microsoft and El Paso Electric, featured its newest initiative, Electric Code, which will offer free computer science lessons for third through 12th-graders. The new program is designed to promote awareness of potential career applications in product development, computer coding, design and engineering.
Some 80 Montwood Middle School students participated in the Electric Code lesson during a two-hour coding learning module.
Students also were able to experience the new Mobile STEM Fab Lab, which is a pop-up makerspace experience and transport for 3D printers, 3D scanners, VR/AR equipment, video production setup, laser cutter, CNC mill and STEM learning kits.
“We are really excited to be able to have the opportunity to present Fab Lab mobile to our students so that way we can bring forward more opportunities for science, technology, engineering and math here at our campus,” said Montwood Middle principal Melissa Martinez.
Martinez, a former STEM student herself, said the mobile lab will further support the excellent work her students have achieved in STEM courses. The Montwood Middle School Synergi4 STEM program started off with 32 students and in four years has grown to 152 students.
“I think opportunities like this will help me achieve my goals because technology is everywhere and in every job now, so I hope it’ll help me be more advanced,” said Alyssa Rueda, a 7th grade student at Montwood Middle, who is interested in either pursuing a career as a nurse oncologist or a nurse practitioner.
With the availability of the Mobile STEM Fab Lab, it will open opportunities for students and educators to use the new technology at their schools rather than having to travel to the Fab Lab El Paso location. The curriculum will incorporate workshops on 3D Printing, 2D to 3D design, animation, virtual reality, robotics, circuits, microbiology and coding.
“I think the fact that we have programs like this in SISD to help expose STEM to all students is just another of the many ways that we are extending our endless opportunities here in our district,” Martinez said.