There’s much talk these days about how “soft skills” are growing to be just as important than academic, technical skills for career success. The beauty of learning in a Fab Lab? You’ll acquire both! Here are five important “life-ready” skills students will learn in a Fab Lab: Resilience With 3D printing, Laser Cutting & Engraving, 3D Scanning, and CNC technology available at the ready students are able to tinker with designs and programs and make prototypes quickly and easily. This is a shift from the linear design approach of the past, that assumed that mistakes were expensive and need to be avoided. Failure becomes just a natural part of the process. This growth mindset allows kids the confidence to bounce right back from their design errors, and the liberty to learn from their mistakes. Altruism & Collaboration One of the Fab Lab charter values states “designs and processes developed in fab labs…should remain available for individuals to use and learn from.” This core principle of sharing helps foster an environment of giving to others in the community & collaborating together to make a difference. This “Sharing is Caring” outlook promotes a collective objective to improve other’s lives, through design and accessibility. Having 3D printers readily available encourages students to design and make custom solutions – on the spot – to provide help for challenges classmates and neighbors may face. Manufacturing & Lean Production What used to be only feasible in an apprenticeship or specialized vocational school, can now be taught in a Fab Lab. Access to a Fab Lab enables students to learn advanced manufacturing concepts and skills before they enter the workplace. With everything you need at your fingertips, Fab Lab users can learn to take a new idea all the way through the process of mechanical design, engineering, prototyping – even marketing it to be sold. Managing workflow in a Fab Lab teaches real-world manufacturing concepts that are applicable in today’s Industry 4.0 workplaces. “Design Thinking” & Process Design Thinking is a mindset and approach to learning, collaboration, and problem-solving. A Fab Lab is the perfect environment for cultivating design thinking in students. Like water and sunlight to plants, design mentoring paired with digital fabrication tools help students grow to thoughtfully engage in the design process. Good coaching provides students with the design vocabulary to communicate their ideas, along with the encouragement to engage in reflective and retrospective thinking about their process. The ultimate reward? Students ideas can actually come to life. Flexibility & Foresight What will the future of work & education look like? We’ve heard it said that “the most important skill to learn as you enter the job market is the ability to learn new skills.” There are many uncertainties, but the given is that jobs of the future will require versatility and an adaptable mindset. When students collaborate in a Fab Lab they learn to quickly adapt to technology and seek solutions to evolving challenges. Students in STEM programs with access to a Fab […]
AET Labs is delighted to announce MIT superstar, entrepreneur, and champion of women in STEM, Shreya Dave as our headliner for this year’s Dig it. Fab it. Make it. MIT “2018 Innovator Under 35” and Via Separations CEO and co-founder, Ms. Dave will share her path to entrepreneurship and inspire us with her genuine passion and contagious enthusiasm for research, design and engineering. On a mission to change the profile of energy use in the production of commodities on a global scale, Dave earned acclaim in 2017 when MIT-powered venture firm The Engine selected Via Separations start-up as one of only seven initial investments to back out of 500+ pitches. She and her co-founder developed a materials technology for industrial separation processes that use 10 times less energy than traditional methods. This revolutionary membrane straining technique has the potential to save as much energy as taking all the cars and trucks off the roads in the U. S. every year! Learn more about the innovative manufacturing process in the video below. When not sporting a lab coat, Shreya’s busy supporting and inspiring the next generation of female engineers through her featured guest video series on Career Girls, a website founded on the dream that every girl around the world should have access to diverse and accomplished women role models to learn from their experiences and discover their own path to empowerment. We hope you will join us on May 17th at WPI from 9:00 – 2:00 to hear more from this dynamic young woman and share this special day of innovation and exploration with the New England STEM community. Click here to learn more or to register for Dig it. Fab it. Make it. 2019. Click here for a look back at Dig it. Fab it. Make it. 2018.
AET Labs is delighted to announce the return of Dig it. Fab it. Make it. for 2019. Educators from across New England are invited to join AET Labs and our co-hosts Stratasys and GrabCAD on May 17th from 9:00 – 2:00 for this year’s Fab Lab & Makerspace Expo for Education at WPI. We have the utmost respect and admiration for you, our fearless STEM education leaders, and delight in giving back just a bit each spring with this fun, complimentary day of of professional development. If you’ve never attended Dig it. Fab it. Make it., then you’re in for a treat! We pair the hottest digital fabrication technology for the classroom with some of the sharpest minds in education alongside a group of ridiculously-bright and talented students for this very special day of STEM innovation, exploration and networking. Back by popular demand this year is our round-table panel and Q&A featuring a fabulous lineup of trailblazing New England STEM instructors. They’ll be sharing their best tips, practices and insights for successfully implementing digital fabrication tools into the classroom to enhance the learning experience for all. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement regarding this year’s panel and distinguished keynote speaker! Spots are still open for students to enter the regional Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. Students will again present and compete on-site at WPI as individuals and teams for the chance to bring home a MakerBot 3D printer along with serious bragging rights and some very cool swag. In keeping with our new tradition, we’ll again be awarding a second MakerBot 3D Printer to one lucky educator! Will it be you? Click here for details or to register. Click here for a look back at Dig it. Fab it. Make it. 2018. Read more about the New England Extreme Redesign Challenge.