Piedmont Makers has kicked off a campaign to raise money for the “Fabrication Lab” in the new Piedmont High School S.T.E.A.M. building. The vision for the lab is to provide a facility where students can design, create, and innovate. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for automated and hand tools, room outfitting, and a staff member to help guide and mentor students. We already have $20,000 in donations. We are fortunate to have an anonymous donor who has committed to match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. We really need your support!
The term “Fabrication Lab” or “Fab Lab” originated at MIT and describes a workshop for design, prototyping, and creation equipped with both manual and computer-controlled tools. A Fab Lab is the modern version of a wood or metal workshop and would allow PHS students to make almost anything: big or small; technical or artistic; serious or whimsical.
The lab would be a hub to engage our children in the learning experiences needed for innovation and success in our booming creative and technical world. Fab labs have become integral parts of leading high schools in Silicon Valley and beyond as well as university facilities such as UC Berkeley and Cal Poly.
Gifts are welcome in any amount. The following levels will be recognized on the donor recognition wall in the hallway outside the Fab Lab:
- Platinum – $10,000+: 15 inch gear with name engraved
- Gold – $5000: 12.5 inch gear with name engraved
- Silver – $2500: 10 inch gear with name engraved
- Bronze – $1000: 7.5 inch gear with name engraved
We want the Fab Lab up and running by the Fall of 2020, to coincide with the opening of the new S.T.E.A.M. building at Piedmont High School. We have already purchased a CNC router (pictured below) to create precision machined objects and it is ready to be installed as soon as construction has finished. Other equipment we need include a laser cutter, 3D printers, drill presses, compressed air cooling systems, sawdust collection systems, and bandsaws. Here you can find a proposed lab layout and list of tools.
Robotics has become an exciting part of Piedmont’s educational environment. Piedmont Makers have over 200 kids on 30 robotics teams, competing at levels from elementary through high school. Through these teams, kids learn how design and engineering, science and teamwork, craftsmanship and innovation all come together to allow them to achieve great things. At the highest level of competition, the international FIRST Robotics Competition, is our PHS team The Highlanders. The Fab Lab would be a center for creative and technical experiences for the entire community, both during the school day and for extracurricular activities.
This fundraising effort is essential to empowering our youth with the skills needed to advance in today’s innovation economy. It will help us reach the next level in the teaching of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in the Piedmont Unified School District. This has always been the core mission of Piedmont Makers.
With your help we’ll be able to take that next critical step.