Carnegie Science Center visited Slanesville Elementary on Dec. 10 and 11. During the 2-day visit, students were given the opportunity to participate in a Mobile Fab Lab (Fabrication Laboratory). This lab brings in-depth digital fabrication to the school.

Using 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters, a Shop Bot and more, the mobile maker space gives students the opportunity to experience the STEM-based maker movement, taking their designs from computer screens to robotic machines. From conception to fabrication, students learn how to turn “bits” into “its.”

Some third and all of fifth grade students accepted the Earthquake Building Challenge. Student teams took on an earthquake table. The students were provided with simple construction materials, participants are challenged to make use of hands-on and digital fabrication tools to create the tallest structure that can withstand a modeled earthquake.

All of fourth grade and the other third grade class made Pitch disk flickers on the laser cutter. Participants created and experimented with shapes and friction to create their own customized laser cut pieces for a flick-based dexterity racing game.

Kindergarten through second grade students discovered both technological and natural worlds by using CAD software to create laser-cut animal tracks. Students were placed in teams, each team chose an animal, and once put on the computer, the animal’s prints were sent to the laser. The physical prints were then tested in dirt so see how the print would look in nature. Finally, the groups of students were given time to create a story about their animal and its print to share with other groups.

What a fun and educational experience for the students! o

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