Name: CITC FabLab
Address: 3600 San Jeronimo Ct
Capability: Vinyl cutting
Description: A Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a community-oriented workshop consisting of high tech tools and cutting edge machinery. Most of the hardware featured in these work spaces are easily controlled by user friendly software programs installed on desktop computers no different than the ones we use at work or home. The intent of the Fab Lab is to put this sophisticated machinery in the hands of students as young as middle school exposing them to engineering and design by giving them the opportunity to turn ideas into tangible products.
The Fab Lab concept began as an outreach program at MIT that aimed to promote creativity and innovation among students. By giving students the necessary tools and fostering an environment where imagination to invent and create was encouraged, Fab Labs quickly gained popularity with fab labs now being created in opened in rural India, northern Norway, Afghanistan, Ghana, Boston and Costa Rica. Users are finding that students who are able to apply design and engineering concepts toward the creation of real things are able to learn much more than they could through just exams or textbooks.
This has definitely been the case at CITC’s fab lab, where Alaskan Native students are discovering the sky’s the limit when working within a supportive community with access to the right tools. With some basic instruction and training provided by an on-site adviser, students who often struggle in a traditional educational environment are now running many of the standard machines in the Fab Lab – 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters – to create a wide range of products made from wood, metal and plastic. This type of hands-on learning experience exposes the students to a wide range of design, engineering and architectural concepts in a fun, holistic way that cannot be achieved in the classroom.
When students transform a simple idea into a tangible finished product, they get an overwhelming sense of accomplishment – not to mention a lot of handy products. Some of the student-created items proudly on display in the workshop include decorative wool scarves, a Spanish-style classical guitar, personalized paper stationary, and even spare automotive parts. During the holidays, students took advantage of the workshops to create Christmas ornaments and custom silk-screen t-shirts that were given as gifts to family and friends.
Until recently, it wasn’t feasible for small operations to access this type of cutting-edge technology. CITC understands this opportunity at hand and is working toward developing multiple fab lab programs, both for youth and adults that will continue to connect people with technology through education.
Activity status: Active