Laser Cutters, 3-D Printers and Robots: Central Ohio Students Get a “Fab” Start to the School Year

September 12, 2014

Innovation Generation unveiled these MIT Mobile Fab Labs Tuesday, Sept. 9, at Pickerington High School North. More than 100 educators, business leaders and community members were on hand to celebrate, including Dr. Richard A. Ross, State Superintendent of Education. Ross praised the 15-district Innovation Generation consortium for focusing on closing the skills gap in fast-growing industry sectors in the region.

The MIT Mobile Fab Labs offer the latest technology and programming to students right at their schools. Students will use state-of-the-art equipment, ranging from 3-D printers to robotic arms, giving them hands-on work experiences in advanced manufacturing and robotics. The  Fab Labs will be shared among schools in each district, including middle schools, where many students will get their first taste of career options.

Districts participating in the advanced manufacturing/ robotics curriculum include Columbus City Schools, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, Grandview Heights City Schools, Marysville Exempted Village Schools, New Albany-Plain Local Schools, Pickerington Local Schools, Reynoldsburg City Schools, Westerville City Schools and Upper Arlington City Schools.

Innovation Generation, financed by a $14.4 million grant from the state’s Straight A Fund, offers curriculum in 15 central Ohio schools districts in four key industries: advanced manufacturing/robotics, business logistics, health care and information technology. The initiative began for students this fall and responds directly to economic needs identified by the Central Ohio Compact by encouraging collaborations between school districts and employers.

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