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 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.
Find out more about Fab Labs around the world by accessing
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 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 works with the Fab Foundation to provide a customized installation of the Fab Lab. This involves 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 works with schools 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 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 provides 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 provides 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.
- Brady Middle School, Orange Schools, Chagrin, OH: TIES is bringing the MC2STEM Mobile Fab Lab, from Cleveland, and the IU1 Mobile Fab Lab from Coal Center, Pennsylvania to Brady Middle School for a week's worth of hands on activities for the students and teachers. The TIES Fab Team will engage students in projects using a laser cutter, a CNC router, a vinyl cutter, and electronics materials as they explore the world of design software and digital fabrication tools.
- California State University Bakersfield: TIES provided design, installation and lab programming technical support to open the first of 10 fab labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: TIES is supporting the design, installation and lab programming technical support, along with professional development workshops for Carnegie Science Center. It is one of the 10 Fab Labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- DARPA Mentor2: TIES is providing curriculum development and design as part of an overall program to support military field staff by decreasing dependence on remote supply chains and boost defense readiness. Fab labs are being installed at key military sites and training will be provided. TIES is working with a team to design the labs based on the military's needs and will customize curriculum and training to fit these needs.
- Delgado Community College, New Orleans, Louisiana: TIES is providing support for the design, installation and implementation of the Santa Clara High School Fab Lab. The lab will provide students and members of the community a center for digital fabrication work and learning. It is one of the 10 Fab Labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- Early Childhood Fab Labs: TIES is working with a team of Early Childhood experts to design and launch Fab Labs in Head Start programs throughout the United States.
- Egypt: TIES and the Fab Foundation have installed three Fab Labs into Egyptian STM schools, 6th of October and Ma'adi School for Girls and in Alexandria. These Fab Labs will not only be available to the students in these schools, but also to members of preparatory schools and the wider community.
- Fab11: Over 450 Fab Labs from 50 countries came together in Boston in August, 2015 for the International Fab Lab Network to share best practices and technical expertise. TIES, in partnership with the Fab Foundation, steered the education track, hosting workshops and bringing the Mobile Fab Lab to Boston to participate in the conference and Fab Festival weekend.
- Frankel Jewish Academy, West Bloomfield Township, Michigan: TIES will work with Frankel to define its educational and technological assets, needs and goals for establishing a Fab Lab at the school.
- Hathaway Brown, Cleveland Ohio: TIES is providing support for the design, installation and implementation for a Fab Lab to be installed in Hathaway Brown for the 2015 - 2016 school year. Teachers will also participate in a professional development workshop to introduce them to the equipment and integration of digital fabrication into the classroom.
- Intermediate Unit 1, Coal Center, Pennsylvania: TIES supported the design, installation and lab programming technical support, along with professional development workshops for Intermediate Unit 1, a regional education center providing support to students, teachers and families in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It is one of the 10 Fab Labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- Kennedy High School, Oakland, CA, Richmond Fab Lab: TIES provided support for the design, installation and implementation of the Richmond Fab Lab. The lab provides students and members of the community a center for digital fabrication work and learning. It is one of the 10 Fab Labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- Marysville Public Schools, Ohio: The TIES team supported Professional Development and Fab Lab equipment training for a group of teachers in the Marysville, Ohio Public Schools to introduce them to digital fabrication and how best to align the fab lab with existing curriculum.
- MC2STEM High School Fab Labs: TIES designed and supported the launched of the first public school fab lab in the United States. MC2STEM High School now hosts 4 fab labs, one on each of its three campuses and a Mobile Fab Lab. TIES currently hosts MC2STEM fab lab learning tours for visiting groups from around the nation.
- Milken Community Schools, Los Angeles, California: TIES is supporting Milken in the design of a strategy for integrative STEM teaching and learning as the school launches a STEM Innovation Center. TIES approach will focus on a STEM design such that the Fab Lab and Innovation Center can be used throughout all academic programs.
- New Albany-Plains Local Schools: The TIES FabEd team supported Professional Development training for a group of teachers in New Albany, Ohio to introduce them to digital fabrication and how best to align the fab lab with Project Lead the Way curriculum. TIES will also take a group from New Albany to a Fab Lab Learning Tour to AS220, an artisan lab in Providence, RI and to the South End Technology Center (SETC) in Boston, MA.
- Odessa College, Odessa, Texas: TIES provided support for the design, installation and implementation of a stationary and a mobile Fab Lab for Odessa College. The lab provides students and members of the community a center for digital fabrication work and learning. It is one of the 10 Fab Labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- Orange Schools, Ohio: TIES is pleased to offer STEM educational and Fab Lab technical services to Orange Schools in Ohio. TIES will provide support for the design and installation of a Fab Lab at Brady Middle School, along with machine training and professional development for Brady Middle School staff. The lab will provide students and members of the community with a hub for teaching and learning in a digital fabrication environment.
- Polk County District School, Florida: The TIES Fab team provided design, installation, machine training and professional development for Fab Labs in six Polk County middle schools, Dundee Ridge Middle School, Jewett School of the Arts, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Daniel Jenkins Academy, Lake Alfred Addair Middle and Rochelle School for the Arts.
- Reynoldsburg City Schools: The TIES team supported Professional Development training for a group of teachers in New Albany, Ohio to introduce them to digital fabrication and how best to align the fab lab with Project Lead the Way curriculum.
- Santa Clara High School, Santa Clara, California: TIES is providing support for the design, installation and implementation of the Santa Clara High School Fab Lab. The lab will provide students and members of the community a center for digital fabrication work and learning. It is one of the 10 Fab Labs made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.
- Westerville City Schools: The TIES Fab team supported Professional Development training for a group of teachers in New Albany, Ohio to introduce them to digital fabrication and how best to align the fab lab with Project Lead the Way curriculum.