White Bear Lake, Minn. (May 21, 2010) – Century College invites you to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mobile Fab Lab that will be parked on the East Campus by the new Science/Library building during the month of June.
The MIT Mobile Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a large enclosed trailer that houses a computer-controlled design and machining shop for people who want to design and build almost anything. Specifically, the lab has design workstations, a laser cutter, a mini-milling machine, a vinyl cutter, a CNC router and an electronics workbench.
The Mobile Fab Lab on the Century College East Campus near the Science/Library Building will be available for visits weekdays starting June 4 through June 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Fridays, and by appointment.
MIT’s Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, the inventor and creator of Digital Fab Labs, has been instrumental in the advancement of this new way to promote and apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2001, the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. funded MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, an initiative that expanded technologies for personal fabrication into Fab Lab programs that are making prototyping capabilities and precision machining accessible.
This idea has evolved to where MIT has sponsored Fab Labs in five states and around the world including rural India, northern Norway, Ghana and Costa Rica. Currently, there are over 40 Fab Labs deployed in over 11 countries.
Century College has a permanent Fab Lab on East Campus where students are working on the design and fabrication of a micro-compact energy efficient home, an electronic vehicle and “smart robots,” among other things. Students are able to apply foundations, theories and practice in a hands-on approach to learning.
Fab Labs are helping create new program models, collaborative partnerships and learning communities that have the potential to address the technological shortcomings of traditional classrooms and laboratories. This new type of laboratory enhances creativity and innovation centered on STEM.
Visitors to the MIT Mobile Fab Lab at Century College can learn new ideas for expanding STEM learning activities plus gain a resource for invention and prototyping. The Mobile Fab Lab serves as a model for those who may want to build their own Fab Labs, and it also can be a host site for class workshops for elementary, middle and high schools.
For more information, please contact Jessica Holst at [email protected] or 651-748-2637.