STEM School Chattanooga was one of two schools in the United States invited to participate in a leadership cohort for scaling digital fabrication in K-12 education in France. "The opportunity for STEM Chattanooga teachers to attend the Fab14 event was a result of the school’s excellent STEM work recognized by MIT and the Fab Foundation, the world leaders in making and digital fabrication,: officials said. As part of the leadership cohort, seven STEM School Chattanooga staff traveled to Toulouse, France to participate in FAB14, the international convening of digital fabrication experts from around the world.
Over the course of seven days, the STEM School team, comprised of Jim David, Tony Donen, Ken Kranz, Zach McCoy, Kim Stanley, David Vanzant and Sue Williamson networked and learned from the world’s top experts, officials said. The STEM School staff also led sessions on how to integrate digital fabrication into K-12 classrooms.
“Digital fabrication is accelerating at a rapid approach in society,” said Dr. Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga. “As part of the experience at Fab14, we worked with experts who are creating 3D printed food machines where you can choose the vitamins and minerals you want in your food, Airbus staff combining autonomous vehicles with personal flight vehicles, and companies creating collaborative fabrication lab networks to develop the world’s largest manufacturing sector.”
The group also heard from government officials who are reforming entire educational structures to re-think how they leverage students to be global leaders in the digital transformation.
“It is estimated that there will be 1 million labs in place within ten years,” Dr. Donen added. “It is our responsibility as educators to prepare our students for this world and that is why I am proud to represent STEM School Chattanooga as an educational leader in this work and even prouder to be part of the Chattanooga community which has embraced preparing our students for this ever-evolving world.”
Pictured, left to right: Ken Krantz, Fab Lab instructor at STEM School Chattanooga; Nettrice Gaskins, program manager for SCOPES-DF; unidentified Fab Lab instructor from another nation; David Vanzant, lead teacher from STEM School Chattanooga