QCC Gateway to College hosted a Fab Lab Showcase May 4 at the QuEST Center, which gave Gateway students a chance to share the projects they created this semester.
Visitors could learn about what the Fab Lab offers and tour the facility. Students spoke about their experience using the lab and what they learned during the semester. Eighteen students were involved in the Gateway Fab Lab program, which fulfilled a science credit for their high school requirements.
About 30 people attended the event, which was held from 2:30-4:00 p.m., including from area schools, community partners, QCC staff and faculty and families and friends of Gateway students. The lab experience and equipment at the QuEST Center impressed those who attended the event.
“Gateway to College was happy to work collaboratively with Alex Gray, a Fab Lab staff member, in helping our students explore the possibilities in the QuEST Fab Lab. This opportunity helped the students meet their science requirement for high school and learn something new at the same time,” said QCC Gateway Clerk Glenda Rodriguez. “Although they had no previous knowledge in coding, their instructor taught them what it was all about. Students knew that making animatronic puppet heads would be hard, but worth it in the end. They were all happy with their results and what they got out of it. We hope to offer this again to our students in upcoming semesters.”
The Fab Lab is a maker space that can be used by students, entrepreneurs and the community to create prototypes and test design ideas. The Fab Lab network includes more than 500 Fab Labs in 30 countries around the world. The college joined the Fab Lab Network to provide students and other Fab Lab users with not only the high-tech tools, but also access to people, knowledge and idea sharing.
The QCC Fab Lab has been built into the educational specifications of the QuEST Center project and includes a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, 3D printers, a 3D scanner, a precision milling machine, molding and casting equipment, and soldering equipment. This equipment is used to enhance the current curriculum in the Manufacturing Technology and other engineering technology programs.
The Gateway to College is a national program that supports students who have dropped out of high school or who may not graduate. Through the program, students ages 16 to 21 can obtain their high school diploma and earn college credits at the same time. Many graduates go on to finish associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges.
The program, now available at 41 colleges in 21 states, is rigorous. Students take a fulltime college course load, with classes that match their high school requirements, MCAS needs, and career interests.
To learn more about QCC’s Gateway to College program, visit the Gateway to College website.
See Gateway to College's Twitter to follow the progress and highlights of the program.