On November 16, Delgado Community College and Chevron, in partnership with the Fab Foundation, celebrated the grand opening of Fab Lab NOLA, a new design and fabrication lab located on Delgado’s City Park Campus. Fab Lab NOLA will provide kindergarten through 12th grade students, post-secondary students, and community members opportunities to create almost anything they can imagine using state-of-the-art equipment such as laser cutters, 3D printers, vinyl cutters and milling machines.
Fab Lab is the educational outreach component of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), an extension of its research into digital fabrication and computation. A Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. A Fab Lab is also a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent.
To be a Fab Lab means connecting to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators--a knowledge-sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. Because all Fab Labs share common tools and processes, the program is building a global network, a distributed laboratory for research and invention.
“Fab Lab NOLA is a tremendous resource for students and teachers throughout Greater New Orleans,” said Dr. Arnel Cosey, Delgado vice chancellor for student affairs. “Here they’ll be able to access engineering-inspired processes, see manufacturing in action and apply classroom lessons in a real-world setting. We will also have access to an international Fab Lab network of more than 400 facilities to help further stimulate their interest in STEM.”
Fab Lab NOLA was made possible through a $1 million contribution by Chevron, part of the company’s $10 million commitment to the Fab Foundation to build fabrication labs across the United States. It is the seventh of 10 Fab Labs that Chevron is bringing to areas where the company operates to provide students access to the hands-on learning and technology resources necessary for them to succeed in STEM and become the next generation of innovators.
“Now more than ever, students need advanced science, technology, engineering and math skills to succeed both academically and in the job market,” said Leah Brown, public affairs manager for Chevron Gulf of Mexico. “It is Chevron’s hope that Louisiana students will take advantage of the classes and training offered by Fab Lab NOLA to help develop critical skills that can lead to good‑paying jobs.”
The opening event featured remarks by Cosey and Chancellor Joan Davis of Delgado Community College; Sherry Lassiter, director of the Fab Foundation; and Leah Brown from Chevron. After the formal unveiling of Fab Lab NOLA, attendees participated in equipment demonstrations by students and received a first-hand look at designs and objects created in the lab.
More information about the Fab Foundation and Fab Lab: http://www.fabfoundation.org/index.php/about-fab-foundation/index.html
More information about Fab Lab NOLA: http://www.dcc.edu/student-services/studentaffairs/fablab.aspx