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Gateway to College Students Work on Fabricating their Future

April, 2019
  • Gateway to College Students with Fab Lab Manager Bryan DeConte (blue shirt)
    Gateway to College Students with Fab Lab Manager Bryan DeConte (blue shirt)
  • Gateway to College students proudly show off their project.
    Gateway to College students proudly show off their project.
  • Students work on finalizing one of their three projects.
    Students work on finalizing one of their three projects.
  • Watching the magic of technology in action.
    Watching the magic of technology in action.
  • A Gateway to College student working on a design using CAD/CAM technology.
    A Gateway to College student working on a design using CAD/CAM technology.

Collaboration and partnerships both on and off campus are an important part of the educational process in the Gateway to College Program, according to Gateway to College Manager Marci Skillings.This is why classes such as the Introduction to Fab Lab Science are so vital. Recently 16 Gateway to College students completed the course, which was funded through a grant from the Stem Starter Academy (SSA).

“The SSA funded the faculty member who taught the program. For two years now we have funded this class,” said STEM Starter Academy Project Coordinator Darcy Carlson. “It’s been wonderful every time we’ve done this Fab Lab class.”

Exposure to STEM is a win-win for the SSA and Gateway to College students.

“Since the program started, 80% to 85% of students continue on to earn their degree here at QCC.This is a great opportunity for us to collaborate on campus,” Ms. Skillings said.

The 10-week program offered students exposure to the college’s Fab Lab, STEM careers and associated technologies. Learning in the class was project-based and students were charged with making three projects in the 10-weeks allotted. The class is credited as a high school science course.

“So many of our students would have never gone to the Fab Lab and now they have this great exposure through this course,” Ms. Skillings said. “These are all undeclared students working on their credentialing for high school and we want to give them the opportunity to become interested in the STEM fields.”

During the class students received exposure to CAD/CAM programming, 3D printing, laser cutting, and woodworking.

“They all did well in this class, with the class average in the 80s,” Ms. Skillings said. “Out of this group, four students talked to us about their interest in a STEM-field.”

To learn more, visit QCC’s Gateway to College.