STEM School Chattanooga Selected For Fab Foundation Leadership Cohort

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Avery Hardekopf, a student at STEM School Chattanooga, is busy inventing using technology in a lab at the school
Avery Hardekopf, a student at STEM School Chattanooga, is busy inventing using technology in a lab at the school

Teachers and students at STEM School Chattanooga will be on the cutting edge of digital fabrication allowing young learners to create, learn, mentor and invent as a result of being selected for a cohort organized by The Fab Foundation.  The school will work with over 1,100 Fab Labs in more than 100 countries as a result of the selection. 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) School Chattanooga is one of two area schools chosen to participate in The Fab Foundation K-12 Leadership Cohort.  The program is a year-long leadership pilot allowing teachers to work with national and international experts in developing an engaging digital fabrication program at the school. 

The Fab Foundation’s project is called Scaling a Community of Practice for Education in STEM through Digital Fabrication, or SCOPES-DF.  “We are excited to bring new resources to the field that have the potential to help all students succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Sonya Pryor-Jones, chief implementation officer of The Fab Foundation, when announcing the selection.  “The program selection will also provide schools, teachers and students with the tools for personalized learning and the freedom to explore the 22nd Century,” 

“We are excited about the possibilities this brings to students and schools,” said Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga. “Our goal is not only to impact the students in our school but also to lead the way in developing opportunities for students throughout Hamilton County, the state of Tennessee and across the nation.” 

STEM School Chattanooga’s mission is to develop and share a new paradigm for world-class education using technology as a gateway to cultivate the inquisitive nature of teens.  The program will allow them to exercise innovation, think critically and collaborate to become leaders who are self-sufficient learners, said officials. 

A Fab Lab is a carefully curated digital fabrication laboratory made up of off-the-shelf, industrial-grade design, fabrication and electronics tools, wrapped in open source software and supported by programs written by researchers at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms.  This platform for learning and innovation is a place to create and invent while engaging with a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators. 

The Fab Foundation was formed in 2009 to support the growth of the international fab lab network.  The foundation’s mission is to provide access to the tools, knowledge and financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication.  Digital fabrication allows a student to make virtually anything and gives them the ability to improve the lives and livelihoods of others in the community and around the world.

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