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 […]
Have you taken advantage of Siemens Lifelong Educational Advantage Program (L.E.A.P.)? This valuable training program offers instructional content, training and partnerships with machine tool builders to give students an advanced understanding in the areas of milling. “Currently, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM jobs. Employers need graduates who are more than basic machine operators for basic parts cutting. Siemens CNC instruction best supports this career path from basic to advanced knowledge.”, stated Brian Hamilton, CNC education manager, Siemens Industry Inc. in an interview for EHS Today. The SINUMERIK CNC technology platform from Siemens has long dominated the world’s high-end CNC manufacturing tiers. Today, SINUMERIK CNCs are increasingly preferred by employers wanting a competitive advantage. The overall goal of this educational program is to boost the skilled manufacturing labor market – a win for both students and industry. We are happy to partner with EMCO Machine to provide Siemens Certifications for educators. This valuable 3 level (basic to advanced) program is complimentary with the purchase of any EMCO machine package. • Level 1 — ShopMill and ShopTurn • Level 2 — programGuide for Milling and Turning • Level 3 — 5-axis and High-Speed Milling Contact us today for more information.
Educators from the Northeast are once again invited to join AET Labs and our co-hosts Stratasys and GrabCAD for this year’s Digital Fabrication Showcase at WPI. Spots are still open for students to enter the regional Extreme Redesign People’s Choice Challenge. Students will once again compete on-site as individuals and teams for bragging rights and the chance to bring home their own MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer. This year’s event will feature a panel of New England teachers who are successfully implementing digital fabrication tools in their classroom, in an engaging discussion and Q&A. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement regarding this year’s distinguished guest speaker! Click here for details about the event including vendor information.