The FABulous Fab Labs

What are they and why is everyone so excited about them?

Simply put, a FabLab is an interactive, hands-on, and do-it-yourself fabrication laboratory which allows for students to take ownership of their project and through intrinsic creativity, realize they’re capable of many things.

The idea for FabLabs was sparked by a course called “How to Make (Almost) Anything.” offered at MIT’s CBA Department (Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms). The class, which was conjured up as a “how-to” course for 10 engineering students, drew in 100 students studying art and architecture as well as engineering.

The FabLab’s mission is “for ordinary people to not just learn about science and engineering but actually design machines and make measurements that are relevant to improving the quality of their lives.”

Fab Lab Gears
STEAM Summer Camp 2020

FabLabs exist all around the world. From Costa Rica to Ohio, these small-scaled laboratories are popping up with laser printers, circuit boards, industrial-grade fabrication tools, electronics, software, and magnets needed to turn anything a child can dream up into a reality. The benefits of FabLabs include exposing students to high-level technology, inculcates a sense of belonging to the community in which they live, and helps develop their imagination, dexterity, cognitive strengths, and creativity.

By learning to think outside the box, the knowledge, confidence, and independence students gain will help them with future challenges and change the way we use technology.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the FabLab Exchange. For more information regarding the Grande Innovation Academy’s FabLab, please contact our front office.

Girl in FabLab

Why are Fab Labs important?

This global community of learners and innovators has over 2,000 digital fabrication labs in over 120 countries. The Fab Lab project is closely linked to MIT’s research into the merging of physical science and computer science. The Fab City global initiative includes developing locally productive and globally connected self-sufficient cities. It comprises an international think tank of civic leaders, makers, urbanists, and innovators working on changing the paradigm of the current industrial economy where the city operates on a linear model of importing products and producing waste.

The United States House of Representatives supports the effort to have a Fab Lab in every US congressional district.

The National Fab Lab Network Act of 2019 has been introduced to the US Senate and is in process of introduction in the House of Representatives, Bill S.2752 mandates a FabLab for every congressional district, empowering individuals and communities through digital fabrication tools that promote education, science, technology, engineering, and math skills.

Grande Innovation Academy Scholars do not need to wait until they’re in college to experience a Fab Lab. We have a Fab Lab right here on campus.

Picture of robotic legos