As digital fabrication grows in popularity, innovators in education are recognizing the enormous potential that Fab Labs and other maker spaces can bring to students in a school environment. As the technology of digital fabrication becomes more readily available, affordable and easy to use, the potential for digital fabrication in schools is becoming a reality. However, Fab Labs and maker spaces as conceived are not built to serve the distinct needs of a school district. This is where FabEd comes into play.
TIES, together with the Fab Foundation, is responding to the growing needs of educational institutions across the globe for innovative and engaging learning spaces. This collaboration, started with the design and launch of MC2STEM High School in Cleveland, OH, is formed around bringing Fab Labs into the PK-Workforce learning, training, and development environment. FabEd is a collaborative network based around digital fabrication, guided by TIES and Fab Foundation, that can provide educational organizations support as they move toward using digital fabrication as a pathway to STEM teaching and learning. FabEd provides advice, consultation, classroom implementation, curriculum development, teacher professional development and importantly, standards of quality which schools, teachers, students, parents, community and government can depend on and measure.
FabEd bridges the enormous potential of Fab Labs with the tactical and practical needs of schools and school districts.
- FabEd helps school districts and schools align the learning potential of Fab Labs with the parameters of national and state education standards.
- FabEd helps school districts and schools build a Fab Lab curriculum that encourages curiosity and exploration but still delivers on evolving best practices in education pedagogy.
- FabEd helps school districts and schools train teachers from traditionally siloed disciplines to collaborate on and integrate their curricula and teaching methodologies so that, as a team, they are able to develop capstone-like courses that leverage content knowledge, science and engineering practices, and Fab Lab experiences.
- FabEd connects schools to greater communities; both the Fab Lab network community and their local stakeholders. FabEd leverages the Fab Lab global network as well as the TIES STEM network experience to reach out beyond school walls.
Fab Lab Start-up Services
Fab Lab/STEM school Tours
TIES leads school tours that are actively using Fab Labs as a part of their curriculum. Depending on your needs the tours could include K-12 schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges, or a combination of these institutions.
Planning and Design Services
TIES and the Fab Foundation will provide advice and help with determining the lab contents (both hardware and software) and layout, funding options, and how the lab will be integrated into the school. This may include bringing in partners and ordering the equipment for the Fab Lab.
Fab Lab Installation
TIES will work with the Fab Foundation to provide a customized installation of the Fab Lab. This will involve a TIES member and a US Fab Lab Network or Fab Foundation representative to set-up the lab with a designated school staff member. This set-up acts as both training for the school staff member and establishes and mentor-mentee relationship within the US Fab Lab Network.
Curriculum and Assessment Adaptation and/or Development
TIES will work your school to either adapt current curricular and assessment resources for use with the Fab Lab or to develop new curriculum that integrates the Fab Lab into your students' learning experiences.
Professional Development for Teachers
TIES and the Fab Foundation will work together to provide professional development for teachers on a range of topics, depending on your needs. These topics may include:
- Use of the Fab Lab machines
- Facilitation of learning in the Fab Lab
- Design Focused Learning
- Integration of Fab Lab into existing curriculum models and/or Training in the use of newly developed curriculum
- Schedule Management
- Mastery and Performance-based assessment models
Fab Lab Manager/Guru Training
A Guru is an essential element for development of a successful Fab Lab, and it is recommended that you identify at least one staff member to act as the Fab Lab Guru, or the individual responsible for the well being and smooth operation of the Fab Lab. This designated staff member will under-go a modified Fab Academy training that is coordinated through TIES and the Fab Foundation.
Fab Lab Continuing Services
TIES will provide ongoing professional development working with new and already trained teachers, administrators, and gurus. As part of this service TIES will work with school staff throughout the school year on the integration of the Fab Lab into their curriculum and classroom instruction by providing onsite implementation and planning support.
Fab Lab Scaling Services
TIES will provide strategic planning and design services that address the scaling of existing Fab Lab programs to encompass other grades and/or schools in a school district.