Sometimes it takes doing something to actually understand and appreciate a concept, idea or technology. Students from QCC's Gateway to College Program had the opportunity to do just that when they took a two-week class in Quinsigamond Community College’s Fab Lab. The class was developed by Gateway to College Program Manager Marci Skillings and Fab Lab Manager Alex Gray and was designed to introduce Gateway students to the technologies available to them in the Fab Lab. The students will be credited as a high school science course for the students.
Funding for the program is through a grant from the STEM Starter Academy (SSA), which paid for the instructor, materials and lunch each day. Students created projects using the lab’s 3D printers, laser cutter and industrial embroidery machine.
“I really didn’t know what to expect but it over-exceeded my expectations," Gateway student Olivia Howard said.
Gateway student Maximillian Duncan said that while initially it was a bit confusing, he quickly began to understand how to operate the machines, first downloading designs on the computer then transferring them to his projects.
"You can make anything that you can imagine," he said.
Gateway students Tyler Martinelli and Tyler Carey created a motorized toy replica of an airboat, fabricating the body using the 3D printers.
“They went above and beyond with their project,” Senior Gateway Outreach Counselor Jenna Glazer added.
“There’s lots of ways to get students interested in things like biology and technology but by actually engaging and making something, they learn more,” Ms. Skillings said.
Click here to learn more about Quinsigamond Community College's Gateway to College program.