Fabricating the Future

Arizona high school opens first 4-H Fab Lab for hands-on fabrication education.

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4-H students in Arizona are getting hands-on lessons in wide-format printing, as well as other digital fabrication methods, thanks to the Blue Ridge High School/University of Arizona 4-H Fab Lab, which opened in January 2018. The Fab Lab features various digital fabrication machines, including Roland’s MDX-40A milling machine, LEF-12 flatbed UV printer, SP-300i wide-format printer/cutter, and GS-24 desktop vinyl cutter.

Funded by the University of Arizona, the Fab Lab is an open-source, open-door K-12 digital fabrication facility geared toward providing real-world education of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) students. Students and community members have access to digital design tools, electrical platforms, hardware, software, coding, Roland’s Project Based Learning modules, and training opportunities to create projects. The Fab Lab concept was launched by MIT’s Fab Foundation. Similar facilities exist throughout the US, but the Arizona facility is the first 4-H Foundation-sponsored Fab Lab.  

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